The History Main Page New York City Directory The World Of Society Main Directory    

Elegant Country Seats of Wealthy Long islanders 1896

  The handsome house of Garret G. Garretson, county judge and member of the greater New York commission, is situated on a beautiful avenue in Newtown, one of the oldest towns on Long island. The grounds of the judge's cottage are laid out with much care and always present a fine appearance. The interior is cozy and homelike, in possessing many fine works of art. Judge Garretson also has one of the best private libraries on the island.

The village of Flushing is the home of many artistic people. The celebrated Dan Beard has his cottage there, which is replete with much artistic and rare colonial furnishings. George H. Clements, the well known water colorist, has a magnificent colonial house on Bowne avenue, Flushing. it is a perfect reproduction of the New England colonial architecture, having been planned and designed by Mrs. Clements, who is a New England woman and a niece of Oliver Wendell Holmes. The interior is furnished entirely after the colonial period. The walls are unpapered and exquisitely tinted. On an upper floor Mr. Clements has his large studio, decorated with antique and artistic souvenirs of many lands. The clever young illustrator, Charles Dana Gibson, has his ancestral home in Flushing, one of the most beautiful of the many handsome residences of the town. The ancient Bowne house, on Bowne avenue, now over two hundred years old, is still kept in a state of excellent preservation by Robert Parsons, a descendant of the celebrated John Bowne. He has a fine residence near the old Bowne house, surrounded with gardens and a grove of magnificent trees. The interior is one of the richest in Flushing; the walls are hung with rare paintings and tapestries and the house is filled with man objects of art collected in European travels.

College Point and Whitestone, the adjacent villages, have also beautiful homes of prominent residents.

On leaving Flushing for College Point the first residence seen is the historic old Straton homestead, the home of the Strattons when College Point was owned by the family and called Strattonport, one hundred years ago. The house is now owned by Pratt Stratton, well known here and abroad as a government marine inspector, and has held many prominent public offices in his native town and Flushing. The house is a fine example of the architecture of the colonial period. The interior is quaint and beautiful, with broad hall and large rooms. The drawing room is one of the best examples of colonial decorative work on Long island. On the eastern end of College Point are the handsome houses of the Poppenhausens, who have made College Point what it has been in these latter days a great manufacturing center. The grounds of these houses slope tot he waster of the East river and are fine specimens of landscape gardening. The interiors have large airy rooms, furnished with richness and taste and wearing a charming foreign air, amid American surroundings. So thoroughly a German town has College Point become it is known as Little Heidelberg.

The next village further up the river is the pretty settlement of Whitestone, named for the big white stone, where the tides of sound and river meet. Whitestone is practically the entrance to Long Island sound and a great yacht rendezvous. Its waters are white with the spreading sails of scores of small and large sailing craft and present always a beautiful and attractive appearance. Guarded on one side by the fortress at Willets Point and one the other hand by Fort Schuyler, Whitestone is not only well, but picturesquely, defended. The two magnificent houses of the Harriet family front on the river, with well kept lawns, running down to the water's edge, and the beach is ornamented with beautiful bath and boat houses. At the rear are the extensive gardens and commodious stables. The gardens are among the finest on the island, containing rare and beautiful shrubs, trees and flowers, hot houses and graperies.

Gracefields, the summer home of ex-Mayor William R. Grace, is one of the most attractive and perfectly appointed places at Great Neck. It stands high on a wooded hill, with lawns sweeping down to the waters of Manhasset bay. The view from Gracefields is extensive and picturesque, embracing the undulating hills and curving shore line of Manhasset bay and the grand burst of the sound beyond. The house is large and airy and exquisitely furnished, and the stables are among the finest on the island, very large and perfectly appointed.

Another beautiful country seat, commanding the finest situation and widest water view on Great Neck, is the home, at King's point, of John A. King, whose famous ancestry and many p ublic appointments have made his name famous throughout the United States. This charming residence has been and is the scene of many a gathering of noted people. Its roomy interior, pleasant piazzas, and wide views of the sound make it at once unique and beautiful. The extensive grounds, lawns and pastures present more of the rural than the suburban home, and its stables, gardens and hot houses are on a generous and well appointed scale. The interior is filled with pictures, books, works of art and furnishings that only people of culture and refinement know how to collect.

From Great Neck Long Island sound gives a grand sweep of wat4rs to the next great peninsula at Sands point, where the sound widens out into a magnificent waterway, almost like the ocean in its freedom and extent. Upon this wind swept point are the summer homes of John Harper and his son, of the firm of Harper Brothers. Mr. John Harper's residence has beautiful vistas of sound and shore from its broad piazzas. The interior has recently been remodeled and decorated, and is a charming study of artistic design and coloring. The drawing room especially, furnished in white and old rose, with white paneling and deep window seats, filled with old rose cushions, is a charming retreat for summer days. The beautiful colonial house of Mrs. H. Harper is a fine example of the simple yet exquisite style of earlier times. The dining room is early English. The immense fireplace is carved oak, and the room is wainscoted with old oak from floor to ceiling. One of the rare and valuable articles of furniture is an antique chair from Hawthorne's "House of Seven Gables."

Another Colonial house at Sand's Point is owned by A.G. McDonald of Brooklyn. On entering the doorway of this elegant home you are in a hallway of the olden time, with quaint dog legged staircase and Colonial furnishings. The hall window seats command magnificent views of the sound and shore. Opening from hall are several rooms furnished in the quaint colonial fashion, which could only be enhanced by the presence of fair women, in gay brocade and powdered hair.

On a thickly wooded eminence commanding vista views of Long Island sound and Hempstead harbor, stands the colonial cottage of W. Bourke Cochran. The house is a perfect specimen of the colonial style and furnished with antique furniture, elegantly carved which Mr. Cochran brought from the continent and England. The interior is quaint and beautiful and the grounds, with their well kept lawns and gardens, models of elegance. Following the beautiful curving shores of Hempstead harbor, Roslyn village--called the Switzerland of Long island, appears standing picturesquely on its wooded hills. This was the summer home of William Cullen Bryant and his family still retains his quaint and picturesque old house, amid its bower of greenery, and surrounding of placid lakes and harbor waters. The interior of the house is much as the poet left it, old fashioned, charming and comfortable; with its low ceiled rooms, wide mouthed fire places, and peaceful air of cultured refinement.

Near by is the cottage of the poet's grand daughter, Mrs. A.L. White, a gem of colonial and artistic interiors, containing also many valuable heirlooms of silver, china and rare old mahogany furniture. Across the way, through a vine draped gateway, is the home of Mrs. White's father, Parke Godwin, a beautiful modern residence filled with valuable works of art and literature, the three homes making a most interesting trio of well known haunts of the literary, artistic, scientific and musical celebrities of our time.

From Roslyn there is a still greater sweep of land and water, out to the island of Dosoris, the palatial country seat of Charles A. Dana. A more magnificent site for a home can not be found on Long island. Wind and wave swept, surrounded by groves, fields and gardens, Mr. Dana's home is a little paradise. The house is commodious and beautiful, both in the exterior and interior, and the gardens the most beautiful and complete, not only on Long Island, but in the United States. Every flower and plant that can be made to grow in this climate thrives in Mr. Dana's gardens. The variety seems endless, and the display bewildering in its beauty. The wonderful growths are a model for gardeners and a boon to the botanist. The lawns are so beautifully kept, and nature contributes so much for art to enhance, the place is a veritable fairy land of exquisite creations and stands pre-eminently the queen of north shore summer homes.


Website: The History
Article Name: Elegant Country Seats of Wealthy Long islanders 1896
Researcher/Transcriber: Miriam Medina


Brooklyn Eagle July 19, 1896
Time & Date Stamp:  


  Privacy statement | Terms of use