Nov 17 2012

Then & Now Update: Ronkonkoma Lodge (1923-2012)

The private home that was formerly the Ronkonkoma Lodge is being remodeled and expanded. Here is an updated "Then & Now" of the building from 1923 to today.


Howard Kroplick

Then: 1920s

The Ronkonkoma Lodge was built in 1923 and was on the north side of the Motor Parkway approximately 1,500 feet west of Rosevale Avenue. This 1920s photograph published in the book The Long Island Motor Parkway shows the Ronkonkoma Lodge porte cochere in the background. The young lady is Evelyn Ericson, the daughter of Eric Ericson, the Ronkonkoma gatekeeper. (Photo courtesy of Evelyn Miller)

Then: 1930

Unique for a Motor Parkway lodge, the porte cochere straddled the road, which became the style of modern-day tollbooths. When the parkway was closed in 1938, the building was purchased by its gatekeeper Eric Ericson. Erickson removed the port cochere and moved the building off the 100 foot right-of-way of the Motor Parkway and approximately 150 feet west of its original location. The Erickson family continued to live in the lodge into the 1960s.

Then: 2006

The Ronkonkoma Lodge was still standing as a a private home on the Motor Parkway near Woodlawn Avenue. The distinctive frame of the original lodge was easily recognizable. The building design was the same prefab that was used for the Mineola Lodge.

Now: 2012

The Lodge is in the process of being remodeled and expanded. When completed, it will be unrecognizable from its original structure. Another piece of Motor Parkway history is now virtually hidden.


Nov 18 2012 Howard Kroplick 9:38 AM

Andy H:

When I worked at a building on Motor Parkway, I drove by the lodge/home one day and I couldn’t understand why it didn’t line up with the parkway lane.  I thought the parkway turned north but now I know, they moved the home!

BTW – I thought you did a great job as a ‘silent extra’ in the MWB America series.  Add that one to the amazing list of experiences you have had since bringing the Beast back to America!  What a ride!

Nov 18 2012 Howard Kroplick 9:39 AM

Tom C:

Being a Ronkonkoma native, the information on the toll lodge near Rosevale Avenue was fascinating.  Next time I’m on the Island, I look forward to checking out the house.


Nov 20 2012 Lou K 10:10 AM

I may not comment on all of the articles you gift us with but I read them all and appreciate the indepth details you provide on these fascinating topics…Thanks !

Nov 22 2012 Tom S. 10:41 PM

I agree with Lou K., I don’t always comment but I enjoy all the info and pics you give us.  You’re a custodian of history!

Nov 24 2012 Howard Kroplick 12:33 AM

Lou and Tom, I appreciate the feedback!

Nov 28 2012 Frances Miller 6:31 PM

the young lady, Evelyn Ericson, in the picture is my mother.  Sadly, she passed away in October 2004.  My grandfather was Gustaf Eric Ericson.  My mother donated the gates to the Vanderbilt Musuem along with records my grandfather kept of his experiences as gatekeeper. 

Thank you for this update, although it saddens me to see this small piece of history disappear.

Frances Miller

Dec 07 2012 Howard Kroplick 6:11 PM

Hi Frances:

Thanks so much for the comment! Would you have any additional photos of the Ronkonkoma Lodge?

Sep 27 2016 Joyce Sorrese 11:05 AM

Thank you for these wonderful posts about Motor Parkway. I have lived off Motor Parkway in Ronkonkoma for years and never knew which house was the toll house. Now, thanks to you,  I know!

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