Dec 12 2018

Updated: Surveyor Clinton Robertson Photo Album: A Motor Parkway Survey Team in Lake Success in 1909

In the fourth of the photo series from surveyor Clinton A. Robertson's recently discovered construction album, the Clinton's Motor Parkway survey team in Lake Success (Lakeville) is featured.

Clinton A. Robertson's Long Island Motor Parkway Construction Photo Album

While working as a surveyor on the Long Island Motor Parkway in 1908 and 1909, Clinton A. Robertson documented the Motor Parkway construction  and his fellow workers with his trusty camera. Lost for 109 years, Robertson's photo scrapbook with 84 amazing images of the Motor Parkway was recently purchased for $20 in a New Jersey flea market and resold on Ebay for over $3,000.

Howard Kroplick

"The field party at lunch

Lakeville, L.I. '09"

"A happy bunch"

"A field party posing"

My best guess was the survey team is in front of the Old Courthouse Road Motor Parkway Bridge. However, Based on the below comments, it is more likely the Smith's Farmway Bridge.

Smith Farmway Bridge in Lake Success

Courtesy of Frank Femenias


Dec 13 2018 Greg O. 1:29 AM

Hi Howard,
Looking closely at ‘the 1st bridge after Great Neck’ photo of the Smith Farmway Bridge, the tree line very much resembles that of the field party posing. Could this be the Smith bridge and not Old Courthouse?

Dec 13 2018 Greg O. 1:35 AM

Also, forgot to add as per your link I shared, it’s stated;
“...Moreover, the wooden railings were typical for a farmway bridge.”

Dec 13 2018 Brian D McCarthy 1:50 PM

These photos are amazing! Check out that Steam Roller, must have ran on firewood!

Field Party image brings the Smith Farmway Bridge to mind.

Dec 13 2018 frank femenias 9:37 PM

Brrr, ankles in snow. This could also be the second only photo of Smith farmway bridge. Check out the matching rails

Dec 15 2018 Howard Kroplick 11:54 AM

I am convinced by Brian, Greg and Frank, the survey team was in front of the Smith Farmway Bridge in Lake Success.

Dec 16 2018 Joseph DeBono 6:19 AM

What a great picture!

Dec 16 2018 S. Berliner, III 7:39 PM

I somehow missed Bridge Series 15 but find it hard to believe that all traces are gone.  The abutments and wing walls didn’t sit flat on the ground.  Assuming they had rebar in the foundations, it’s probably still under there and thus readily locatable by magnetometer.  It seems unlikely anyone would have bothered to bulldoze the underpinnings up in an undeveloped area like that.  How precisely can we locate Station 742?  Buried treasure seekers, get cracking!  Sam, III

Dec 16 2018 frank femenias 9:20 PM

There’s actually a third photo of this bridge on the front cover of a ‘Long Island Motor Parkway’ brochure, that I somehow cannot locate now, even if my life depended on it. Or was I dreaming?

Dec 16 2018 Howard Kroplick 11:05 PM

Update: Added Long Island Motor Parkway brochure courtesy of Frank Femenias.

Dec 16 2018 S. Berliner, III 11:19 PM

Hah!  There’;s an old typo!  The LIMP didn’t eliminate “highways”; only the at-grade crossings of same.  What got me to write, though, is to ask if there’s a date anywhere on the brochure.  One might assume 1917-18 from “War Tax”.  Thanks , Frank.  Sam, III

Dec 17 2018 frank femenias 1:25 PM

Hi Sam,
WWI quite possible. Sent Howard the rear side of the brochure which sold on ebay in 2017. There’s no date on the rear as well and It’s not a great image. The toll on the brochure was $1 dollar so it may have been printed sometime between 1917-1933 I believe.

Dec 17 2018 Gene Perry 7:31 PM

It says 1st bridge after Great Neck , so that would make it the bidg over New Hyde Park Road? Gene

Dec 17 2018 Greg O. 8:18 PM

Sam, As per Art K’s website, that was an advertisement in a 1927 Rand McNally.

Dec 18 2018 Art Kleiner 7:30 AM

Greg, Sam, et al,
Thanks for pointing that out Greg, however,  not sure where my reference to Rand McNally came from.  That was probably one of my first posts, back in 2004 or 2005, so will see if I can figure out what I was thinking.

Dec 18 2018 frank femenias 10:04 AM

Hi Gene,
First bridge after Great Neck lodge likely the Smith farmway bridge, once located south of Great Neck South High School by the trackk field,-73.69879739916951&z=16

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