Dec 16 2014

Rare View of the Bethpage Lodge and Its Lodgekeepers

Gary Hammond has forwarded this photo of the Bethpage Lodge.

Gary Hammond: "This undated snapshot was given to me many years ago by relatives of Ida and Louis Damiano.The photo was taken at the Long Island Motor Parkway's Bethpage Lodge located off Round Swamp Road. As provided in Al Velocci's book The Toll Lodges of the Long Island Motor Parkway and Their Gatekeepers' Lives, the Damianos were the last lodgekeepers of the the Bethpage Lodge. Louis Herbert Damiano (February 28, 1883-?) became the Bethpage lodgekeeper on August 13, 1922 and was paid $30 per month. He previously worked on the Motor Parkway's road repair gang. His wife Ida E. Damiano (August 21,1885-July 1979) became the lodgekeeper by January 1924, earning $30 per month. After the Motor Parkway closed, the Damianos purchased the Bethpage Lodge and 1/2 acre for $1,700 on June 27, 1938 and owned it until 1961.

Thanks, Gary!


Howard Kroplick

To help date the photo, can anyone provide the year and model of this automobile? The license plate is too blurry to blow up.

The presence of the toll gate may indicate the photo was taken 1922 to April 1938 when the Motor Parkway was still active and the Damianos were taking tolls.

The couple in the photo may be relatives of Luis and Ida Damiano. Their immediate family included: son Hubert (1912-1983), daughter Anita (1914-?) and son Rodney (1914-1994).


Dec 17 2014 Ron Ridolph 3:56 AM

Hi Howard and ALL:  The license plate appears to read as:

                    1 R 3 7 - 1 or 4 ?      which is a Nassau County issue and perhaps
owned by the Damiano’s in a posed photo…...The Auto appears to a   Model A Ford.

Dec 17 2014 brian d mccarthy 6:00 PM

Great photo! A dollar per day, wow. When you think about it, the lodgekeepers and others employed to maintain the parkway probably spent their careers doing it. The stories they would have to share.

Dec 19 2014 frank femenias 1:04 AM

Nice shot! Great to see the never before seen photos. More info to inspect and gather of this significant event of Long Island history.
Thank you Ron for pointing out the plate. Didn’t know about Nassau and Suffolk but I do remember in the 60s-70s, the city plate’s boroughs were identified by letters in the first position: Q-Queens, B-Brooklyn, X-Bronx, .... This photo was fun. Thanks to all!

Dec 26 2014 Al Velocci 1:21 PM

Its possible that the photo might have been taken after the Parkway closed. The sign board that listed the rates to use the Parkway is missing in the photo, it was usually attached to the brick column behind the couple. Also missing is the Bethpage Lodge sign, usually located in the peak area above the porte-cochere . Al

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