My Uncle Henry half brother to my father, Joseph was involved in a mysterious crime taking place in 1932. So far I haven't found any information proving who committed the arson. My attempt at checking the newspapers from 1932 gave me the information that I have reported in my article.
Built in 1875, this four-story waterfront inn had the distinction of being the tiny hamlet’s first big hotel. Destroyed by fire in 1895, the Miamogue was rebuilt two years later and expanded further when its owner, I. Seymour Corwin, purchased and then demolished a smaller neighboring hotel, the Sunnyside House. In 1932, the County Review reported that the Miamogue’s new owners, Henry A. Ramsauer and Henry Koferl, had been charged with second-degree arson for allegedly setting fire to the hotel in order to recover a $50,000 insurance policy. Nobody was injured in the incident, which took place before the hotel opened for the summer season. The Riverhead men were acquitted of the charges in May 1933, possibly because a defense attorney successfully indicated the fire was actually caused by two of the prosecution’s witnesses. The Miamogue Hotel was never rebuilt.
On April 27, 1932 a fire broke out in the attic of the Miamogue Hotel located in South Jameport, Long Island. Jointly owned by Henry F. Koferl and Harry A. Ramsauer it was recently purchased by the two plumbers who had a plumbing business in Riverhead. When firemen entered the fourth story of the hotel they found a lit candle near some oil soaked debris. Due to the find the fire was believed to be arson and the two owners were charged with second and third degree arson. Their lawyer, Harry Saxstien, of Saxstien & Scheinberg, filed a plea of not guilty and were secretly indicted by a Grand Jury. They were released on $7000 bail and were acquitted before Judge Hawkins on Monday after a jury had deliberated only 15 minutes.
Sometime after purchasing the hotel and between October 1931 and April 1932, Henry Koferl and Harry Ramsauer increased the insurance that they held on the hotel from $20,000 to $50,000. Two witnesses to the fire Jack Gerhardt, 40 of Riverside, and William Janis, 16 of Riverhead did not claim to know what started the fire were taken into custody at a local jail. They were released in May of that year after they had waived immunity rights and agreed to testify in front of a grand jury.
The owners Harry Ramsauer and Henry Koferl were working on the hotel preparing it for the summer guest when the fire took place.