Friede's Inn, Smithtown, Long Island

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Frank Friede's Inn, Smithtown Branch, Long Island

"Compliments of Friede's Hotel, Smithtown Branch, L. I."

Mailed in 1919

Sign over door

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

In March 2010 Barbara McConnin Berg Wrote:

The Middle Country Road Hotel was originally Mother Friede's. It was located on Jericho Turnpike near the intersection with Lake Avenue toward Saint James. Frank was her son and inherited it before he bought the Riverside Inn. My great grandmother and Mother Friede were sisters and my grandmother and her sisters, having come from Carbondale, PA worked in Mother Friede's hotel as maids and cooks. I suspect they were given room and board, but very little salary. There was a regular cliental of traveling salesmen. Mother Friede owned a home on Lake Avenue, Saint James, in which she allowed my grandmother to live when she married in 1920. Frank Friede willed the home to Nana when he died. They are all buried in St. Patrick's cemetery, Smithtown.

So, they are 2 different hotels. Mother Friede's has been gone for 70 years or so.

Our family went to Friede's very often and had all our landmark occasions there. My wedding reception, my sister's, our parents 25th, our grandparents 25th, Aunt Thelma Friede's second wedding to Jerry Burke (Uncle Franks wife inherited the Inn and married a second time). They are also buried in St. Patrick's, Thelma in the Friede plot. My sister and aunt worked at the Inn for many years.

Hope this helps. Barbara McConnin Berg"

A few days later Barbara wrote again;
"I emailed a couple of days ago identifying the building as Mother Friede's (that may be a "family-ism" instead of the actual name) and said it had been gone for many years. My sister corrected me and told me it is still there. She was in the building last year and it is now a fence company.

Barbara Berg

Frank Friede's Riverside Inn, Smithtown Long Island

Riverside Inn Smithtown, Long Island, L.I.

Posted 1910

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Riverside Inn Smithtown, Long Island, N.Y.

Posted 1915

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

"Famous Frank Friede's
Riverside Inn
Smithtown, L.I., N.Y.
Route 25
Phone: ANdrew 5-9895 - 9898
Now There is MUSIC
In the Champion Room
Wed. thru Sat. from 9:P.M
at the piano"

Not posted

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

The Inn on the Nissiquogue River, Smithtown, L. I.

Posted 1912

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Riverside Inn from R. R. Bridge, Smithtown, L. I.

Not posted

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Riverside Inn, Smithtown, L. I.

Not posted

In June 2005 Joan Rust and her sister, Betty Korman, emailed some of their memories of Smithtown/St James including the following about Freide's:

My Dad was a waiter at Frank Friede's Riverside Inn for many years and still worked there in 1969 or 1970 when he got ill. I have one of their menus from the early 1950's w/ Judy Garland's autograph. (Joan)

Our Dad's name was Bill Korman and he actually lived at the Inn for 5 days of the week and would commute upstate to where we lived after we left St. James for his 2 days off. (Joan)

There was a fire in the early 80's and it (Friede's) burned. It was in 1983 I believe when Andrea and I "drove" to the actual site. The only thing there was foundation. I do not know when exactly the ownership changed. (Betty)

It had changed names to something like "Harry's Balloon???* (Betty)

I would like to find any surviving people that may have known Daddy when he worked there. (Betty)

In February 2007 Arthur Valentine wrote to say,
It was actually called "Harry's Yellow Balloon"* at the time of the fire. It was also rumored that it was an insurance job; But I have no idea if that is true or not. Either way, Our town lost a wonderful landmark that day."
Joan sent xeroxes of two menus that her father had:
  1. Undated, Autographed by Judy Garland
    "To Joan Mary Korman with my love, Judy Garland"
    In addition to the specials, the menu includes A La Carte sections. The following includes the cheapest and most expensive items and a sample of others:
    • Relishes - .30 for Tomato juice, 2.50 Asst Canapee's, 2.00 Oysters Casino
    • Cocktail - clams, crab, shrimp, lobster, mellon, grapefruit - .60 fruit cocktail, 2.25 seafood cocktail
    • Soups - .35 chicken cons, noodles, 1.00 green turtle soup with sherry
    • Sea Food - broiled lobster priced according to size, shad, scallops - 2.50 fish in season 4.00 lobster a la Newburg or Thermidor
    • Eggs and "Omelettes" - jelly omelette, chicken liver or ham, .75 plain, 2.25 eggs benedict
    • Entrees - 2,50 half broiled chicken with french fried potatoes, peas, 3.50 Half long Island Duckling, Apple sauce and red cabbage
    • Steaks and Chops - 3.20 Thumbits a la Friede, 5.75 sirloin, 6.00 filet mignon, 14.00 planked steak garni (for 2)
    • Cold Buffer - 1.50 ham or beef tongue with potato salad, 3.00 tartar steak
    • Sandwiches - .50 fried egg 2.00 caviar, 1.25 hamburger with french fried potatoes, 3.25 steak sandwich garniture
    • Salads - .50 mixed greens, 3.00 lobster
    • Vegetables - .30 carrots, .50 sting beans, spinach or peas, 1.50 broccoli or asparagus with butter or Hollandaise Sauce
    • Potatoes - .40 julienne, .75 au gratin
    • Deserts Cheese - .35 raisin cake, .50 sherbet and ice cream, 1.75 cherries jubilee, 2.25 crepe suzettes
    • Cheese - .40 American, .50 Liederkranz
    • Rarebits - Golden buck, Welsh or Yorkshire all 1.50 to 1.75
    • Coffee Tea etc. - .35 Coffee, .50 expresso
    • An 8 course dinner of relishes, cocktail, soup, steak, salad, vegetable, dessert, cheese and coffee ordering the most expensive items for each course - total bill $21.25

  2. March 20, 1949
    " To Joan best wishes, Margaret Truman"
    Some additional items on the this menu not included on the other menu: 1.25 smoked eels, .75 turtle soup a la Ducret, 1.75 fried oysters, 1.25 scrambled eggs with country sausage, 2.50 Steak Minute with O'Brien Potatoes, cold roast beef, anchovies on toast, sardines on toast, .40 roqueford dressing extra


Friede's Riverside Inn is proud to carry on a tradition of service to critninating (?) clients. An Inn has stood on this site for nearly 100 years. And long before that the original house, which was turned into an inn in 1859, was a famous landmark; it was the family home of one of the Smiths who have been at Smithtown for three centuries.

About 300 years ago Smithtown, also called Smithfield, was settled by the patentee Richard Smith. The Indians he found here, "a friendly people, were the Nissequakes, called so from the character of the terrain, which was known as "The Land of Mud and Clay."

The story goes that in 1663 the Indians granted Richard Smith as much land as he could cover in a day. Whereupon Smith, who had trained a bun until he could ride him as other men did horses, rode around almost all the land which today comprises Smithtown Township. From that time on he was called "Bull" Smith.

Chief of the Nissequakes was the Sachem Wyandanch. One of the most romantic tales in local history concerns his daughter, who, having been kidnapped, was ransomed from her father's enemies with the help of Lyon Gardiner of East Hampton. The land Gardiner received from the grateful Indian chief was later bought by Richard Smith, and formed part of the tract divided by heirs.

Other settlers soon followed Bull Smith, and by the time of the Revolution George Washington, during a visit found a thriving community. Washington slept here, too, it is told, at the Widow Blydenburgh's.

The home which later became an inn was built by "Ed Henry" Smith, great-great-grandson of the Founder of Smithtown. In 1859 it was sold to Benjamin B. Newton, who conducted it for 17 years as "B. B. Newton's Hotel, except for a short interval when the hotel belonged to William Spurge. The original inn was burned down during that interval, but was soon rebuilt.

At the turn of the century the inn at the Head of the Harbor became a Mecca for New York celebrities of the stage and sport worlds.

Frank Friede, present boniface (?) of Riverside Inn, took possession in 1919. It was under his management that Riverside Inn achieved widespread fame. During World War II a soldier in New Guinea enclosed a wrapping from a River Side Inn sugar cube, and wrote that it was a thrill to come upon it in the South Pacific. A noted host, Frank Friede's friends are 14on (?); in every gathering where fine food and Good Companions are mentioned, Frank Friede's name, like Abou Ben Adhem's, leads all the rest.


As taken from a Freide's menu of the early 1950's contributed by Joan Rust whose father worked there.

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Famous Frank Freide's Riverside Inn, Jericho Tpke, Smithtown , L. I.

Not dated

"Gracious country dining- Long Island's oldest and most famous Inn. Princess and Oval rooms for weddings, social and business functions. The Champion Room Open daily except Tuesdays for business lunches, dining, and entertainment. Piano music Sat. nites in the Champion Room"

In March 2010 Barbara Berg wrote: :The bartender is Nick Lamb (another distant cousin)."

In December 2009 George Boone wrote:
"I bought 10 acres, built a home and raised 6 children in Nissequogue in 1949. knew many of the names and places you mention in Nissequogue's pictures and history. What memories it evokes.

I spent many an evening dining at Freide's and I confirm the presence there of many a celebrity. I specifically recall Peter Lawford with a gorgeous blonde, not his wife, sitting at the back of the bar and later dining (while carrying on discreet foreplay) as a twosome in the shadows at the rear of the restaurant.

There was, for a time, very illegal gambling on the second floor, and the horse crowd made much use of Freide's enroute to/from NYC and the Hamptons. My Aunt was married to Ott MacIntyre who owned race horses and was part of this crowd.

Iloved this delightful time in my early adulthood. Wonderful food, discreet formally dressed waiters. No reservations needed, but the restaurant was almost always full. There aren't anymore Freide's that I know of anywhere."

George Boone

In April 2010 Kevin Collins wrote:
"I started as a dishwasher in FF Riverside Inn in 1967 when I was 14, and then later became a busboy. I worked with Dick Kuri (sp?) who ran the floor and my waiters were Gibby, Victor and Hans.

Nick Lamb was behind the bar and would often break out in song. His favorite was "You only hurt the one you love". Margo was in the pantry with Edna and Simon was the pie man. Charlie was the chef and bookmaker.

The restaurant changed hands while I was there. A man named Segal who owned the Swan Club on the south shore bought it from Thelma and that was the beginning of the end. He changed almost everything and took all the class out of the place. I have a lot of fond memories of working there. It was a great experience for a young guy.

Thanks for the walk down memory lane. Best wishes,


A Little Friede History

Birth: Rumania circa 1881 to Henry and Rose Friede

Immigration: 1899

Passport Application: Frank Friede, naturalized citizen, and wife, Clara, R Friede born Brooklyn, N. Y. June 4, 1885, Frank Friede born in Roumania October 4, 1881 to Henry Friede born in Bohemia, now deceased, immigrated from Antwerp, about 1899. reside 21 years on Long Island, naturalized at River Head, April 18, 1910, Hotel keeper, Smithtown, wants to visit Cuba, 39 years old, 6 feet, brown eyes, black hari, application made at Key West Fla Jan 18, 1921.

1910 Census Middle Country Road, Village of Smithtown,

  • Friede, Frank, head, single, age 27, born Germany, immigrated 1899, proprietor Hotel,
  • Welcel, Roeice (hard to read), mother, age 40, married at age 22, 2 children 2 still living, born Germany, immigrated 1899, Housekeeper, sons hotel
  • Wagner, Margaret, grandmother, age 80 Widowd, 1 child i still living, born Germany immigrated 1899
  • Fink, Daniel, boarder, age 24, farm hand
  • Hesse, Adolph, border, age 22, born New York, teamster on pupil road
Draft Registration World War I: Frank Fride Smithtown Branch, Smthtown, Suffolk, age 37, born October 4, 1880 hotel keeper, self, Rose Welcel, mother, tall, medium build, brown eyes brown hair,

1920 Census: Middle Country Road,

  • Friede, Frank, ead, age 38, immigrated 1899, or Romania, hotel keeper
  • Friede, Clara,age 35, born New York
  • Welzel, Rose, mother, age 57, born Hungary, immigrated 1899
  • Wagner, Margaret, grandmother, age 89, born Germany, immigrated 1899
1930 Census: address unclear, either Head of the River, of Landing,
  • Friede, Frank,own $25,000, age 47 married at 37, born Germany, immigrated 1899, manager hotel
  • Friede, Clara, born New York, age 42 married at 32
  • Wagner, Harry, clerk, born Germany, age 40, clerk hotel
  • Kolman, William hired man, age 23, born New Jersey, laborer

2 March 1953 New York Passenger: Friede, Frank, Riverside Inn, Smithtown, age 70, Romanina naturalized 12/4/82 Friede, Thelma, age 47 born Texas


Proprietor of Riverside Inn of Smithtown was 72 Years old.

SMITHTOWN, L. I. May 4, Frank Friede, proprietor of the Riverside In on Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, a Long Island landmark where notables including Gov. Alfred E Smith and Mayor james J Walker spent week-ends, died this morning at he Southside Hospital, Bay Shore, at the age of 72.
Born in Rumania, Mr Friede went to Philadelphia early in life where he worked in hotels and restaurants. He came to Smithtown thirty-six years ago and four years later bought the Riverside Inn.
He was a member of the Patchogue Lodge of Elks, the New York Athletic Club, Long Island Association, and the New York Hotelmen's Association.
Frank Fiede was buried in St Patrick's Cemetery in Smithtown.

Thelma Friede Burke was listed Riverside Inn, Rte 25, Smithtown, in Hotel & motel red bookby American Hotel & Motel Association, date unknown.

Thelma Friede Burke, died on March 1, 1988,

Thelma Death Announcement New York 1988

Clara and Frank Friede, from passport application photo

To see images of the home of Percy Land and Meta Petermann Land at 101 North Country Road, Smithtown go to The Home of Meta and Percy Land

To see images of the St James Long Island ( a part of the township os Smithtown) go to St James, Long Island

To see images of the Central Islip, Long Island go to Central Islip, Long Island

To see images of the Smithtown, Long Island go to Smithtown Photos

To see images of the Hauppauge, Long Island go to Hauppauge, Long Island

If you have any suggestions, corrections, information, copies of documents, or photos that you would like to share with this page, please contact me at

Land Introduction
Law Land and Elizabeth Sykes
Percy Land and Meta Petermann Land
Long Island Maps
St James, Long Island Photos
Central Islip, Long Island Photos
Percy Land and Meta Petermann Land's house on North Country Road.

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This page was created in 2004, latest update April 2010