RETURN TO LONG ISLAND .......October 12-22, 2005
This past October I headed back to Long Island to give a talk at the Mastics,Moriches,Shirley Library on my research for the books "The Mastics...From Blue blood to Blue collar" and "The Knapps Lived Here" the one that started it all. In spite of the fact that I have stopped active research on the Knapp book, it continues to hold my attention because new discoveries seem to keep coming forth right out of the blue.......
For the first few days there was no blue other than this shot of the wild blue yonder taken minutes after take off from Nashville....about halfway there we flew into the storm that literally drowned Long Island for the first few days. My thoughts on this flight, especially as we descended were of "Gyro" Sperry who made it possible through his inventions of flying blind instruments back circa 1917, You could not see the ground until we were almost on it when we touched down at Islip. The crew of the plane apologized for the ride and the spokesman said he was looking forward to a change of underwear! It really was the roughest plane trip I was ever on save for the the first time I flew to England in a lightning storm in 1970. That said here are a few photos, memories and observations from the trip back home......
Mastic Beach Monday October 17: I'm standing on top of the dredge spoils high above the cattails that line Dock Road (in the shadows below) because it is flooded. Dock Road which is no longer on the map, once led to Knapp's private yacht basin at the foot of Jefferson Drive. Nothing like a little altitude to get a new perspective. This view is looking north across what was once the Knapp Estate. Once upon a time, say in the days of the Knapp Seaplane base (1917-18) or through the "Roaring 20's", you probably could see the roof of the Knapp mansion from here...... that is if it was still standing. Yes the mansion would show up about dead center in this photo...... but what is that above the tree line dead center ...a mirage ?
It almost looks like a large white building with a red roof and multiple chimneys......
Once Upon A Time
HOW IT MIGHT OF LOOKED IN OCTOBER OF 1917
NOW JUST UP THE ROAD A PIECE....
On Locust Drive, are the finest privately owned, mid 19th century Mastic Beach landmarks. They once upon a time were part of the Lawrence / Knapp estate. Of course I'm refering to The Muse & Heyer Houses both built circa 1860 by C. J. Smith.
Once upon a time in 1917 it served as a "barracks" for the Knapp Seaplane base
Bob Muse has recently completed matching the roofline of this extension to that of the original house. You can tour
"Woodhull Lodge" and learn more about it's history by clicking here
THE HEYER HOUSE You can tour it by clicking here
I got to visit for a spell with Jack Heyer that afternoon. At one of my visits to the Patchogue Library a few days later, I ran across this item in the news from Mastic.
I'm sure Mr. Garity, who was the the third president of the M B P O A and first owner of this home after it was sold off from the estate in 1927, was inspired somewhat by the humble hacienda just 200 yards across the section 3 border from his eastern door.......The J. F. Knapp mansion