The first image shown here is the Lennon house built in 1914 and located at 255 97th Street. Michael Patrick Lennon was hired by the Risely brothers in 1911 as a watchman and 3 years later Lennon became Stone Harbor’s first policeman when he was sworn in as “Borough Marshall” at the time the newly formed government was created. Initially working 7 days a week, Michael Lennon always walked or patrolled “the beat” on foot, never did he drive, every night back and forth between 96th and 80th Streets. Please keep in mind that back then Stone Harbor was considerably smaller and much more compact than the town is as we now know it. For a brief period of time the family’s first floor living room became both his office and the “jail” while the Lennon family lived on both floors of the house. At the time this very photo was taken a portion of the house was available for rent. Close inspection of this image reveals an “Apartment For Rent” sign posted on the middle column on the front porch. To give you the reader/viewer added perspective, when Michael Lennon built his house there were no other houses built south of his for a time. But that was all about to change now that Stone Harbor was preparing to really undergo significant growth and development with so many planned projects about to be set into motion including a mile and a half long boardwalk, 500 foot fishing pier, an extensive bungalow colony, and more stores along 96th Street and the business district.
Incidentally, the Lennon house would eventually be sold to the Borough in 1986. Pictured above are the following individuals that comprised the Lennon Family: Michael and wife Annie Lennon, Marie Lennon, Mehan and others, Bridget Kelly, sister of Annie Lennon.
Nearing his retirement in 1951 after 40 years of service as watchman, Police Marshall and Police Chief of Stone Harbor, this second photo shows Chief Michael Lennon in his famous pose proudly wearing his tradition blue uniform. One might say that he became an insitutuion of sorts as he was reappointed by every succeeding mayor until he retired. A grand retirement party was held for the Chief at Fred’s Cafe with over 90 persons in attendance. After having been presented a large purse for his excellent service, dedication and commitment to the community, it was reported Michael was too choked up to even speak. According to information gleaned from the Stone Harbor Museum archives, the Lennon family history states the 5 generations of Lennon descendants have purchased and sold properties on the island and the mainland. Accordingly, some members still live in Stone Harbor full time and those who do not continue to return for their summer vacations at the one and only place called “The Seashore At Its Best”.