At the corner of Burro Hall Lane and North Menantic Road stands a beautiful old farmhouse that gave the little street its unusual name.
But the house now called Burro Hall originally lived in the Heights, near Our Lady of the Isle, according to the Shelter Island Historical Society.
It was known as the Cobb-Webb house, owned in the early 1800s first by a businessman named Cobb and then by his sister, who, in historical records is only know by her last name, Mrs. Webb.
At some point in the 19th century, the house was moved from the Heights to its present location at 31 North Menantic Road, the staff at the Society said. The move was not entirely successful; part of the structure fell from the transport and had to be separated from the main building.
This sort of misfortune has happened quite frequently, according to old records. House moving, an arduous production now, was even trickier back then. The movers left the smaller part where it now stands, across the street near Bowditch Road. A man named Max Walthers bought the larger house in 1875 and willed the property to his two daughters. He also dropped the “s” from his last name, according to the Society.
In 1910, the 10-acre property was bought by Richard G. Moser and became “Moser Hall.” A 1976 description of the outbuildings from the Society archives reads “three connected barns (donkeys, horses) and two buildings.”
The presence of donkeys on Shelter Island was exotic so that both the home and the road came to be known as Burro Hall, which became the official name of the street by order of the Town Board in 1995.
Although mules — or donkeys or burros for that matter — no longer reside at the old Moser property, memories of them still haunt the area. Meredith Page, a Burro Hall Lane resident told the Reporter of a neighbor who has since moved finding what she swore were burro bones in her vegetable garden.