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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Great River in Suffolk County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Neighbor Across the Way

 
 
Neighbor Across the Way Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 8, 2017
1. Neighbor Across the Way Marker
Inscription.
Across the river from Bayard Cutting Arboretum stands the large red-brick and gray-stone structure that was part of William Kissam Vanderbilt's estate. W. K. Vanderbilt's "Idle Hour," a 110-room, English-style mansion, was designed by Richard Howland Hunt. Completed in 1901, it replaced an earlier manor destroyed by fire.

W. K. Vanderbilt was the grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, a railroad magnate, and the son of William H. Vanderbilt, who, in 1881, was said to be the richest man in America. W. K. was a member of the South Side Sportsmen's Club, as was Bayard Cutting. There was good-natured competition between these wealthy men.

Harold S. Vanderbilt inherited the estate after his father W. K.'s death in 1920. The estate was put up for sale, and three years later, Edmund C. Burke developed a large portion of the land. The mansion changed hands many times until 1963, when Adelphi Suffolk College purchased it and changed its name to Dowling College.

Paddle-wheel Steamer, Mosquito
The Vanderbilt family enjoyed many hours fishing and boating on their 78-foot, paddlewheel steamer. The Mosquito was built in 1890 and moored in the Connetquot River. In the early 1920s it was sold to the Sayville Steamboat Company and used as a Sayville to Point-of-Woods ferry.

An Environmental Treasure
The early presence of large estates has protected much of the Connetquot River and its shores from dense development. W. L Breese, W. Bayard Cutting,
Marker detail: Paddle-wheel Steamer, <i>Mosquito</i> image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Paddle-wheel Steamer, Mosquito
W. K. Vanderbilt, and C. R. Robert owned large tracts of land along this picturesque river. At the headwaters of the river was the South Side Sportsmen's Club. The families who owned these great estates are gone, but their legacies still provide protection for the river. Today, the Connetquot River remains one of Long Island's cleanest rivers.

Bass Hole
The stretch of river between the Vanderbilt and Cutting estates was called “The Bass Hole." It was known for excellent fishing. This photograph of two unknown fishermen dates to ca. 1910. The W. K. Vanderbilt mansion Idle Hour is visible across the river.
 
Location. 40° 44.503′ N, 73° 9.383′ W. Marker is in Great River, New York, in Suffolk County. Marker can be reached from Ruland Road south of Montauk Highway (New York State Route 27A) when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located inside Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park, along the Connetquat River Trail on the east side of the park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 440 Montauk Highway, Great River NY 11739, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Locust Bridge (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Country Home (approx. half a mile away); Great River Depot (approx. 0.7 miles away); Corporal Francis V. Todarello (approx. 1.3 miles away); Brookwood Hall
Marker detail: Connetquat riverside estates in the late 1800s image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Connetquat riverside estates in the late 1800s
(approx. 2 miles away); Log House (approx. 2.7 miles away); St. Mark's (approx. 2.8 miles away); Gibb Patent (approx. 2.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Great River.
 
More about this marker. The marker overlooks the Connetquat River and Dowling College on the opposite side.
 
Also see . . .  Oakdale.
Oakdale originated from a tavern owned by Liff Snedecor in what is now Connetquot River State Park Preserve. Soon after its founding in 1820, Snedecor's Tavern began drawing New York bluebloods and business barons. In 1866, as the railroad reached the area, Liff's wealthy patrons formed the Southside Sportsmen's Club, and soon the race was on to see who could create the most superb spread in the thick forests adjoining Great South Bay. The most prominent were William K. Vanderbilt, grandson of railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt; Frederick G. Bourne, president of the Singer Sewing Machine Co., and Christopher Robert II, an eccentric heir to a sugar fortune. Meanwhile, William Bayard Cutting, a lawyer, financier and railroad man, built his estate next door in Great River, which had once been west Oakdale. (Submitted on March 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Settlements & SettlersSportsWaterways & Vessels
 
Marker detail: Bass Hole image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 8, 2017
4. Marker detail: Bass Hole
Neighbor Across the Way Marker (<i>wide view; Connetquat River in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 8, 2017
5. Neighbor Across the Way Marker (wide view; Connetquat River in background)
Idle Hour, the W. K. Vanderbilt mansion (<i>across the Connetquot River from this marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 8, 2017
6. Idle Hour, the W. K. Vanderbilt mansion (across the Connetquot River from this marker)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 9, 2018. This page originally submitted on March 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 74 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on March 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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