Jan 20 2020

Mystery Foto #3 Solved:  The Links Golf Course’s Private Opening on the Motor Parkway in Searingtown

While documenting the Motor Parkway in 1981, Ron Ridolph came across this unique Mystery Foto.

Mystery Foto questions:

  • Identify the location and orientation of the photographer

The Motor Parkway west of Shelter Rock Road looking north towards the Links Golf Course. The opening is now located in North Hills but Searingtown and Manhasset Hills are also correct answers.

  • What was the purpose of the opening? 

​A gated entrance and exit to the Links Golf Course in which William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. was a member.

  • Why was the opening unique?

​According to my favorite co-author Al Velocci, there was only two official gated private openings on the Motor Parkway; the Links Golf Course and at the Wheatley Hills Golf Club (near the 10th tee and clubhouse at Hillside Avenue). Vanderbilt was a lifetime member of the Wheatley Hills Golf Club when the Motor Parkway sold them the land for the course.

Comments (6)

Congrats and kudos to Greg O., Tim Ivers, Joseph Oesterle, Steve Lucas and Mark Lanese for solving the Mystery Foto.


Howard Kroplick

Other Photos at the Mystery Foto Location and a Close-Up (Courtesy of Ron Ridolph)

1926 Aerial

Note the road leading to the Motor Parkway in the middle of this aerial.

1950 Aerial

The gate can be seen in this 1950 aerial.

Robert Miller's Photo of the Gated Entrance/Exit (Circa 1970s)

Motor Parkway Today

Art Kleiner's best guess of the location of the gate (2013).

Last Friday, I once again searched for remnants of the gate. Although I found many concrete posts and pieces of the road, the gate is long gone. It was probably removed in 1988 when the fence around the Links housing development was built.

The embankment for the Shelter Rock Road Motor Parkway Bridge is still there!

The Wheatley Hills Golf Club Private Opening on the Motor Parkway

Circa 1930s


Jan 16 2020 Greg O. 11:46 PM

I recognized this private entrance to the Links golf club looking North from the LIMP right away by remembering a very early mystery photo from June 3rd 2013 (Holy cow! Coming up on 7 years ago! -you learn a lot hanging around this place!)

Located in North Hills and unique in that there were no other private entrance/exits from the LIMP- If I recall correctly, for easing founding member Willie K’s quick Mercedes commute from Deepdale to the West.
I’m sure Robert Miller’s 2013 mystery photo was taken at an earlier date due to much less foliage being present.

Art K had some great contributions in that previous mystery photo, so I’ll just leave the link;

And a pre-congratulatory mention to Art, Steve and Joe who will most likely guess this one correctly again! -Ha!

Jan 18 2020 Tim Ivers 6:22 PM

Looks like an entrance to the old Liks Golf Club looking west off Shelter Rock Road in North Hills. The gateway was created to allow access for its elite clientele, including Willam K Vanderbilt Jr.

Jan 18 2020 Joseph Oesterle 9:49 PM

The entrance to the Links Golf Club, previous the IU Willets property, off the LIMP in Manhasset Hills.

Jan 18 2020 Brian D McCarthy 10:33 PM

Definitely an interesting mystery.

*Location & Orientation:  I think this within the Wheatley Hills Golf & Country Club, and figuring this photo is showing broadly west. The building seen is likely the former Titus home that became the first clubhouse for the country club.Not sure if this building is still there with the new clubhouse built off it.

*Purpose & Uniqueness of this Opening:  This opening was created for club members to access the LIMP. Wasn’t complimentary, toll pass had to be purchased. Think I’m seeing the actual road/path that leads to the LIMP from the clubhouse. The maps below show where I think this opening was.

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Jan 18 2020 Steve Lucas 10:41 PM

We are looking north from the LIMP through the private entrance to the Links Golf Club in either Manhasset Hills, Searingtown, North New Hyde Park, Roslyn, or North Hills, depending on your point of view or which decade of the 20th. century. It was located between New Hyde Park Road and Shelter Rock Road (closer to Shelter Rock Road). I believe it was the only legitimate entrance / exit from the LIMP onto private property, which is understandable since Willie K. was a founding member of the golf club.

Jan 19 2020 Mark Lanese 8:13 AM

The photographer was standing on the Long Island Motor Parkway looking north at the private entrance for the Links Golf Club in North Hills. The Links Club was an exclusive organization with wealthy members. I assume Vanderbilt was friends with some of these members and built them their own private entrance off of his Parkway

Jan 20 2020 Al Velocci 10:34 PM

Mark, Vanderbilt was more than friendly with members of the Links Golf Club, he was also a member.                                                                            Brian, The Titus homestead was the original clubhouse which was later expanded. In 1927 a new clubhouse was built. In 1976 it was severely damaged by a fire. It was rebuilt, modernized and expanded at that time.

Jan 21 2020 Art Kleiner 11:17 AM

I had a chance to visit the area last Friday also in the frigid temps (24F)!  No remnants of the gate except possibly a brick found on the other side of the roadway.  Along with other possible pieces of a wall. 

The blue dot in the first pic shows where i was standing.  Estimate of where the gate was. 

And don’t forget the no parking sign in the area - I’m sure Willie K. and friends obeyed.

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Jan 21 2020 Art Kleiner 11:18 AM

Two more

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Jan 21 2020 Mark Lanese 11:28 PM

Art. That is the exact location of where the gated entrance to the Links Golf Club was. I grew up in that neighborhood and remember it well.

Jan 23 2020 Art Kleiner 12:05 AM

Thanks for the confirmation, Mark!

Jan 25 2020 Art Kleiner 7:16 AM

I happened to come across this article from Newsday, of March 3, 1942 pertaining to Long Island Lighting’s purchase of 15 acres of Motor Parkway property from Nassau County.  I believe this would be the the southern border of the Links Golf Club.

Jan 26 2020 Mark Lanese 9:57 AM

Great find Art. I like to see how properties have been acquired through the years.

Feb 01 2020 Art Kleiner 11:17 AM

Another article mentioning Willie K. and the Links Golf Club.  From The New York Times of August 20, 1989.


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