Judging from the three accompanying post card images shown here, it would seem that Ye Olde Tea House in Stone Harbor underwent a significant color transformation when it was painted some years later. But we will get to that shortly.
The first image shows a side view of the Tea House taken from 108th Street sporting the customary dark brown stained shingles. This is the way the building looked when it was first built and originally opened for business. That being said, and before proceeding at this point, please pay special attention to the second story open-air porch in the front of the building depicted here.
Moving on to the second post card image, kindly examine this view of Ye Olde Tea House that was taken looking across Third Avenue with two parked vintage automobiles. What is interesting about this particular scene is that the Tea House is just next door to the charming bungalow colony and you can see the small bungalows on both sides of what is Bower Court in the center of this photo. Further to the right and in the background are more of the quaint bungalows between 109th and 110th Streets situated on what became Weber Court. This circa 1920 photo shows the Tea House still relatively new and no major changes or any remodeling have taken place yet. Note the shingled siding is still the original stained brown color.
The third and final image depicts a close up view of the front of the Tea House and at this time the building appears to have been painted a much lighter color, most likely all white. Other notable changes visible in this third image clearly show the open second story porch was enclosed and thereby added a few more rooms and more living space upstairs. In addition there was a large sign installed and hanging over the main entrance. Clearly this post card proclaims a Tea House that has been spruced up and makes for quite a fine appearance. What do you think?
In conclusion, we know that Ye Olde Tea House was a popular gathering place where there was even a cozy indoor sun-parlor. Patrons and guests were able to sit, drink tea, converse, read a newspaper and/or simply relax. It is not surprising that this very location was selected due to its proximity to the numerous cottages in the surrounding bungalow colonies as well as the growing number of houses being built at that southern end of the town. In addition, this establishment was also known for offering meals and renting out rooms for either seasonal workers at Stone Harbor or vacationers for short or limited periods of time during the summer months. According to some, this business might even be considered the forerunner to today’s modern and contemporary ever-popular coffee houses.