The 2,500 square foot center hall colonial was built in 1908 and sits on one quarter acre.
The first family to be found at 169 Brompton was Ernest Regel (b. approximately 1894 in New York) and Marion Elizabeth Rankin Regel (b. approximately 1900 in New York), who lived there for 25 years. Ernest and Marion were originally from Brooklyn where both sets of parents were immigrants: his were from Germany and hers were from Northern Ireland. Ernest started his adult life as the chief yeoman officer for the Brooklyn Navy Yard, performing administration and clerical office duties. He had one year of college.
The Regels were married about 1922, and by 1925 he was a manager of a paper company. In 1930 they were still living in Brooklyn. He was in newspaper advertising. They had two children: Eleanor Alison (born approximately 1925) and Mary Jane (born approximately 1930). Soon after Mary Jane's birth they moved to Brompton Road.
By 1940 the Regels had a maid and she was paid $1 a day. Ernest Regel became an advertising manager for Barron's National Business and Financial Weekly. Barron's is a financial information and market development company in the United States, originally founded in 1921 by Dow Jones.
Daughter, Eleanor, graduated with a Bachelor's degree from Wheaton College in Norton, Mass. She started out as secretary of the Wheaton Club of New York and later worked for New York Telephone.
While the Regels continued to live in Garden City, both Eleanor and Mary Jane married. Eleanor married Lieutenant William Louis Schwab of Hempstead in 1949, who graduated from New York University and was in the Navy Reserve during WWII. They were married in the Garden City Community Church by the Reverend James Gettemy, who just passed away a few months ago.
Mary Jane Regel, the younger daughter, graduated from Pennsylvania College for Women, now called Chatham University in Pittsburgh. She married George Hagemeister (born 1925- died 2008 in Cutchogue) of Morristown, NJ in 1953. At the time of her marriage she was the secretary of the Mattituck Yacht Club. Hagemeister attended the now-closed Lutheran-based Upsala College in East Orange, NJ. The Navy veteran was president of the Morris County Gardeners and Florists Society.
Around 1954 Marion Regel passed away. Two years later Ernest Regel passed away. Ernest had been living at 111 Seventh Street and had sold his house to the Varga family in 1955.
The second family to live at 169 Brompton Road was Joseph G. Varga (b. Feb. 8, 1918- d. July 16, 1997) and Gay K. Varga (b. June 18, 1914- d. Mar. 15, 2001 in Sarasota, Florida). Like Ernest Regel, Joseph was in advertising. He was a senior vice president and national advertising director for Army Times Magazine at the Citicorp Center in Manhattan for 22 years, from about 1966 to 1988. The magazine catered to Army personnel.
Gay and Joseph had son Grant first. Grant graduated Garden City High School in 1964 and headed to Lehigh University in Pennsylvania for a degree in electrical engineering. After working as a Westinghouse field representative, he sold advertising to ad agencies in the United States and Europe for 24 years. The best part was working with his dad for 10 years. Currently, he is back to the hands-on side of business as a building manager of the 60-unit apartment building he owns in Manhattan, along with an additional apartment he owns next door.
Grant Varga said they moved when "I was eight years old and we had lived at 11 First Place on the other side of Garden City for...three years...I went to both Stewart School and Stratford School...Prior to that we lived...in Garden City Park...My parents paid $23,000 [for 169]...The third floor of the house was a bedroom for the 'help' and when we needed a bedroom for my grandmother, I was delightfully moved up to the third floor to clear a bedroom! [I] loved being a teenager with that space that was all my own and away from everyone else...
"I do remember my folks telling us that the original owner told them that when our house was new, it was the only one on the block. So they used to sit on the porch on the side of the house and watch their sons walk all the way to St. Paul's School. They could still see the boys when they arrived at school."
Younger son, Scott, graduated Garden City High School in 1969. After attending Ithaca College he spent 22 years in advertising and marketing. The last eight years have been selling real estate for the Corcoran Group in Manhattan.
In 1971 the Vargas sold their house to the Lanning family and moved to Sutton Place in Manhattan. They had lived in the Brompton home for 16 years.
William G. Lanning , Jr. ("Sam") and Jan Jeans Lanning (both born around 1940) were the next owners of 169. Jan said that both of them graduated Garden City High School in 1958, where they met. She was a cheerleader and grew up at 104 Poplar Street as well as Westbury Road. Three years later they were married and started out living in Mineola. The next home was on Prescott Street for six to seven years before moving to Brompton Road. William worked for Dillon Read, a big investment bank similar to J. P. Morgan.
Jan and William had Kathryn in about 1964. Five years later they welcomed twins Michael and Kevin.
The Lannings did work on the house. In 1973 they added a 17 by 23 foot den to the back of the house. Then the one-car garage was demolished and a two-car garage was erected. In 1984 and 1985 two small additions were built.
Around 1991 William Lanning passed away at the age of 51.
In 1993 Jan married Louisiana- born John Scopes whose father was involved with the famous "Scopes Monkey Trial" of 1925 where the Tennessee high school science teacher was accused of teaching evolution to his students. It stirred up debate with Bible creation and scientific evolution of humans. He was defended by well-known lawyer Clarence Darrow.
Jan's husband, John, has had a quieter life as a claims adjuster in the insurance business and they continued to live in the Brompton Road house. Currently, they are living in Stewart Manor. Jan is a volunteer at the Winthrop University Gift Shop for the last 10 to 12 years, but also spent time as a nursery school teacher at Garden City Community Church Nursery School.
Jan remarked, we had "wonderful block parties then. I have many friends who stayed in Garden City after graduation from Garden City High School. I loved that house! We have so many memories." The Lanning/Scopes family lived in the home for 30 years before selling it to the Jahelka family.
Patti Jahelka is a sixth grade teacher at Herricks Middle School in nearby Albertson. Her husband, Bob, is a CPA and owner of the accounting firm, DeMasco, Sena and Jahelka, located in Massapequa. They have now lived in the Brompton Road house for 12 years.
The Jahelkas have two children. Their son, Stephen, graduated Garden City High School in 2011. He is attending Harvard University where he plays lacrosse. Their daughter, Jacqueline, just graduated Garden City High School and is a freshman at Adelphi University where she will also play lacrosse.
Village historian Suzie Alvey would like to thank Tracy Jordan for her generous contribution of "The Game of Garden City" to the Garden City Archives and Anonymous for a Nassau County Historical Journal issue.