He was the grandson of Doctor Daniel Robert,
and born to Christopher R. Robert, a millionaire importer in 1835.
For most of his very privileged life he socialized with The Vanderbilts,
Cuttings, Astors etc in New York, Paris, Newport, Rhode Island
and out on Oakdale, LI , where he had a country gentlemans estate
known as "Pepperidge Hall". He also inherited his fathers
share of "Doctors Point" in Mastic in 1878. He most
likely spent some time there duck hunting because his name appears
as the estate owner on several maps from the 1870's on through
the early 1900's along with his nephew Chas. S Robert. I think
Christopher definitely left his mark in Mastic..... Being a wealthy
builder, he most likely is the one who had constructed the finer
Victorian buildings on the estate that were not in the style of
the buildings his farmer cousins the W. S. Robert clan would of
used. Some examples were the Victorian carriage houses,like the
Barn Restaurant constructed at a cost of $7,000.00!! and current
homes on Cranberry & Diana Dr another former carriage
house are examples) and other outbuildings like the Messinetti
outhouse/toolshed on Bayview Drive
His life (that was reported in the papers)
seems to have been a series of odd occurrences ...he reportedly
had quite a rivalry going with his neighbor William K. Vanderbilt
(read the hunting dog incident) in Oakdale and I read of some
derricks that were blocking access to his Riverside Drive apartment
. He wound up suing the mayor of NY city and the construction
equipment wound up in the Hudson River during the night.... but
what I found most interesting about Christopher Rhinelander Robert
the mystery of how he died.
Being that he had sold (traded actually)
Pepperidge Hall his Oakdale Estate by 1896 , the "someplace
in Long Island his family went to"
after his death was most likely
Doctors Point in Mastic.
The initial report in the New York
Daily Tribune was word for word with the Times. This follow up
offers a few variations and a few errors . For example it says
Mrs. Robert went to their Oakdale Estate. He traded that place
off in November of 1896
SO WHAT DO YOU THINK?...... DID
HE OR DIDN'T HE?
Here is what Newsday a current Long
Island daily paper
has about it on their
L. I. OUR STORY WEBSITE
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.
By 1888, Robert built a spectacular castle
just east of Idle Hour called Pepperidge Hall, magnificently furnished
in the French style for his young wife. But the pair didn't get
along. On Jan. 2, 1898, she told police she found Robert shot
to death in his Manhattan apartment. It was ruled suicide and
she moved to Paris.
HAS THE JURY REACHED A DECISION?
We Have Your Honor .......
I think that if a detective like
Columbo was around back then, Julia Remington Morgan Robert, the
pretty woman, now twice a widow, may of had to answer a few more
Another piece of possible irony is I am reasonably sure that Dr.
Charles S. Robert was at one time a NY City coroner !! however
I believe he was already dead at this time and if he were living
then I have no idea what type of relationship he had with his
I know there was a contest to Christopher's
will , as it was made out just about a month before he died leaving
most everything to Julia. Reports on what he was worth vary from
1 million to 30 ! I know that for several future court suits against
her after 1900 the widow Robert did not show up ....... and to
think that the little sleepy hamlet that would become the center
of Mastic Beach some 28 years later, played a small part in this
big high society who dunnit.
NOW TAKE A LOOK AT THE C. R. ROBERT
PLACE JUST DOWN THE ROAD IN OAKDALE
(no kidding it really was)