Recent Comments

Dec 14 2017 Mike Cain 3:14 PM

I wish you luck in contending for the award Howard. I see no reason why you shouldn’t get it. This car is simply magnificent! Historic and beautifully restored.

From 1937 Chrysler's Chrysler Honored with National Awards By The Antique Automobile Club of America

Dec 14 2017 Art Kleiner 1:22 PM

Great going, Brian.  I wasn’t too far off with the Douglas hydrant found at Longfields! But I’m not going to mention this investigation to my wife who already thinks I’m nuts (e.g, posts, wire, etc. in our shed).  But hey, maybe there’s room in there for a fire hydrant - lol!

From Mystery Foto #47 Solved: Long Island Estate of Virginia "Birdie" Graham Fair Vanderbilt

Dec 14 2017 Dave Russo 12:49 PM

The exploration, findings, and enthusiasm these posts about this estate have produced has been great. I’ve been trying to nudge Howard to start another web site, I know he has nothing better to do lol, focusing specifically on Gold Coast mansions, remnants, history, ruins, etc. There is a lot of really great stuff still out there, a lot more then just fire hydrants, although I have found many of them in the woods. This is the perfect group for this. Come on Howard! Whaddaya say???

From Mystery Foto #47 Solved: Long Island Estate of Virginia "Birdie" Graham Fair Vanderbilt

Dec 14 2017 S. Berliner, III 2:07 AM

Well done, Brian!  “Fun”?  This thread is priceless!  And I thought MY website was esoteric.  Sam, III

From Mystery Foto #47 Solved: Long Island Estate of Virginia "Birdie" Graham Fair Vanderbilt

Dec 13 2017 frank femenias 11:28 PM

Wow, nice work Brian. They look exact except the missing chain and added “W” to Middletown. Coming from nearby Connecticut, and opened for business as early as the 1800s, that must be it!

From Mystery Foto #47 Solved: Long Island Estate of Virginia "Birdie" Graham Fair Vanderbilt

Dec 13 2017 Brian D McCarthy 9:22 PM

In anyone is interested in viewing the small fire hydrant in it’s former glory, here is the site:

http://www.firehydrant.org/pictures/douglas.html

You’ll see “Middletown” & W & B Douglas”

It’s always fun coming across the old & interesting!

From Mystery Foto #47 Solved: Long Island Estate of Virginia "Birdie" Graham Fair Vanderbilt

Dec 12 2017 Steven Vilardi 10:06 AM

There is a middleton in manchester uk and there are hydrant manufacturing companies there.
Here is one:  http://www.avkuk.co.uk/en-gb/products/productfinder/details?STVId=27/94-001

Here is another possibility: a community named middleton somewhere in the world had a surplus of hydrants and they were sold to the builder of the estate.. I can almost bet that somewhere in Dubai there are manholes that say Brooklyn on them.

From Mystery Foto #47 Solved: Long Island Estate of Virginia "Birdie" Graham Fair Vanderbilt

Dec 12 2017 Steven Vilardi 9:41 AM

1. The Tucker looks great the way it is. Paint the pealed areas only and keep everyone happy by keeping it on the road.

2. Middleton hydrant sounds British. Could it possibly be a British manufacturer?
——————————-
Howard Kroplick

Thanks for the comment. We will be bringing it back to its original color and also keeping it on the road.

From Mystery Foto #47 Solved: Long Island Estate of Virginia "Birdie" Graham Fair Vanderbilt

Dec 12 2017 frank femenias 1:19 AM

I used the location ‘Middleton’ in Massachusettes, but to no avail. This is a mystery on its own. The answer’s out there somewhere.

From Mystery Foto #47 Solved: Long Island Estate of Virginia "Birdie" Graham Fair Vanderbilt

Dec 11 2017 Greg O. 8:43 PM

Al- Thanks for additional info! Once again you always provide that little extra tidbit that’s fascinating!

From Mystery Foto #49 Again: The Motor Parkway in Wheatley Heights/ Wyandanch/ Half Hollows Looking West

Dec 11 2017 frank femenias 6:52 PM

A super stretching aerial with Wyandanch/Wheatley Heights in the foreground looking West, mid to late ‘20s. I believe I see the circular path SW of the Motor Pkwy encircling Wellwood Ave, the future site for Pinelawn Memorial Cemetery, Long Island National Cemetery, and Colonial Springs Golf Club. The straight LIRR running east-west and slightly diagonal in the center.

Bridges in the aerials (some difficult to make out) are:
Half Hollows Rd parkway bridge (Colonial Springs), Wheatley Heights
Little East Neck Rd parkway bridge, Wyandanch
Wellwood Ave parkway bridge, Melville
Ruland Rd parkway bridge, Melville
Maxess Rd farmway bridge, Melville
Broadhollow Rd (Rt. 110), Melville
Clody farmway bridge, Melville
Old Bethpage parkway bridge, Old Bethpage
Claremont Av parkway bridge, Old Bethpage
Round Swamp Rd parkway bridge, Old Bethpage

Republic Airport? (Fairchild Flying field, 1927) later to come. I don’t see it in the aerial but someone will surprise me I’m sure.

From Mystery Foto #49 Again: The Motor Parkway in Wheatley Heights/ Wyandanch/ Half Hollows Looking West

Dec 11 2017 Greg O. 5:49 PM

Art, Brian-
I too tried looking up info on the hydrant without any luck. While it fairly clearly does say ‘middleton’ on the one side, I’m beginning to think that was not a manufacturer at all. I did find a website listing all fire hydrants and valves made for each state, none of them from any state was named Middleton.

From Mystery Foto #47 Solved: Long Island Estate of Virginia "Birdie" Graham Fair Vanderbilt

Dec 11 2017 Al Velocci 1:09 PM

Howard, This weeks mystery photo clearly shows the parkway’s serious turn southward after it crosses Wellwood Ave. Obviously this round-about route was not the Parkway’s first choice on it’s march to Lake Ronkonkoma. I’ve been asked on a couple of occasions, how come? Let me share with your followers what I have uncovered. The property east of Wellwood Ave. was part of a 1200 acre tract that stretched From Half Hollow Hills Rd. on the north down to Colonial Springs Rd. on the south and half way to Bagatelle Rd. on the east. It was owned by the Brooklyn Diocese of the Catholic church. The most desirable route across this tract would have been in a north-easterly direction. Parkway organizers would have been happy with a straight line. The officials of the Diocese said no, they didn’t want the property divided into two distinct parcels. They did instead sell the Parkway a 100 foot wide strip of land along their southern borders totaling 16 acres and at a cost of $2490 and which took the Parkway into Babylon Township. This circuitous route dramatically added to the cost of construction not only for the added length but also because of a Babylon Town requirement. When the Town found out the the Parkway row was going to go immediately north into Huntington Town they would not grant the Parkway the right to cross their roadways unless they built bridges,...now… not later as other Suffolk County towns allowed. Also, the Diocese as a condition of the sale called for the strip to be used only as an automobile roadway. Al

From Mystery Foto #49 Again: The Motor Parkway in Wheatley Heights/ Wyandanch/ Half Hollows Looking West

Dec 11 2017 Frank Mendyk 10:08 AM

The photo is taken over Wyandanch facing basically west towards Farmingdale/Melville with Bethpage in the background. The photo was taken on 2/03/30.
The following LIMP bridges can be clearly observed in the photo - Half Hollow Rd, Little East Neck Rd, Wellwood Ave, and Ruland Rd.  If you blow up the photo you can observe the LIMP wandering all the way back to Bethpage. You can further observe the Maxess farmway, Broadhollow Rd, Old Bethpage, Claremont and Round Swamp bridges.
The major roads which can be clearly observed in the photo are, Straight Path, Grand Blvd, Acorn St, Half Hollows Rd(Colonial Springs Rd), Wellwood Ave, and the LIRR mainline.
Republic Airport which opened in 1928 and Pinelawn Memorial Cemetery can be seen in the photo.

From Mystery Foto #49 Again: The Motor Parkway in Wheatley Heights/ Wyandanch/ Half Hollows Looking West

Dec 11 2017 Steven Vilardi 8:59 AM

Good work. Be careful not to move or upset anything at the site. Document it all. Keep it low key. Watch out for deer tics and rabid animals. ...and homeowners with rifles, yes trust me there are some whackos in old Brookville and surrounding areas.

From Hemmings Motor News: Pebble Beach Concours to feature Tuckers for their 70th anniversary

Dec 11 2017 Art Kleiner 6:09 AM

Another investigation, Brian! The hydrant is similar to one I found a year and a half ago at the Longfields estate in Old Westbury (campus of Old Westbury college).  That one has “W&B Doo . . .” on it but not much more I can make out.  I’m sure I did some research on what I had at the time but wasn’t able to find anything.  But since you raised the issue of Vanderbilt’s hydrant, probably will so some more!  Thanks.

From Mystery Foto #47 Solved: Long Island Estate of Virginia "Birdie" Graham Fair Vanderbilt

Dec 11 2017 David Stephan 4:55 AM

I loved the “U-turn question” but I suspect some may be overlooking just how rural this area was 1924, how much traffic patterns differed from today, and how the premise of the question is a bit suspect.
  Plans to connect LIMP to No Hmpstd Tpke (or later Nassau Blvd) were meant to tap into many drivers coming from points many miles east going many miles west, a complaint Queens residents still have about the LIE…and that their predecessors had about Nassau Blvd in the 1920s!
    Also, Nassau Blvd was not completed until 1928 and when Nassau Blvd was more concept than real in the 1920s,  it was seen more as the link to a “true” Northern State Parkway. Again, the westbound drivers for the road were not envisioned as coming from (the undeveloped portions of) eastern Queens.
  Finally, improvements to Qns Blvd & Hillside Ave would have been a better western route for drivers from points south of the temporary Rocky Hill terminus. (Recall LIMP was originally extended to Rocky Hill Rd in order to be close to Hillside Ave and to better connect with drivers from points miles east and those coming over the Queensborough Bridge.)

 

 

From Malverne Treasure #3: Plan Showing the Entrances to the Motor Parkway at Rocky Hill Road

Dec 10 2017 Brian D McCarthy 11:59 PM

Location/Orientation/Year?  Bird’s Eye View of Wyandanch, Wheately Heights, Farmingdale, and Melville. Looking west, early 1930"s.

Visible LIMP bridges?  East to West…Half Hollows, Little East Neck Rd Parkway type. Wellwood Ave, Ruland Rd Parkway Type. Not visible, but known…Ezekiel Smith Farmway type and Broadhollow Rd Pkwy/Trolley type.

Major Rds/Cemetery/Airport?  LIMP heading south, then west in a serpently route. Grand Blvd, LIRR, Straight Path, Main & Conklin Ave, Bagatelle Rd, Colonial Springs Rd, Little East Neck Rd, Wellwood Ave/Pinelawn Rd, Ruland & Baylis Rd, and Broadhollow Rd. Pinelawn & Long Island National Cemetery. Republic Airport.  BDM

From Mystery Foto #49 Again: The Motor Parkway in Wheatley Heights/ Wyandanch/ Half Hollows Looking West

Dec 10 2017 Brian D McCarthy 10:40 PM

It’s me again, Howard. This is in regards to the small fire hydrant we first came across during our exploration ( good photo of it on your 12/9/2017 blog ). And you’ll see why I’m posting my comments here.

Greg O. and I made out the name “Middleton” inscribed on this hydrant. Thinking this may be a manufacturers name, I searched the net. No luck, yet. This may mean nothing, but the 1906.14,23, and 27 property maps that Art submitted here show a “Middleton S Burrell/ M. S. Burrill” owning quite large propertys W/O Cedar Swamp Rd, north & south of Jericho Tpke. I found that his estate was named “Jericho Farm”. The property was sold in 1953 to The Meadow Brook Country Club.

On the 1914 property map, Birdie’s estate is shown W/O and E/O Cedar Swamp Rd. Her estate that burnt down was just north of Burrell’s property.

Maybe there’s nothing to figure out here, but the fact that the hydrant is inscribed Middleton, and Middleton S Burrell resided on the other side of Rte 107 makes me ponder.

From Mystery Foto #47 Solved: Long Island Estate of Virginia "Birdie" Graham Fair Vanderbilt

Dec 10 2017 Brian D McCarthy 10:11 PM

Hello Howard. This comment pertains to our exploration & your 12/9/2017 blog about the findings, etc. You’ll understand why I’m posting here.

I’m curious about the location of the former Vanderbilt Swimming Pool. The pool is mentioned in the New York Times articles that Art posted here ( 5/20/1941 & 9/30/1951 ). I know the former location of ” The Reflecting Pool “. But where was ” The Large Swimming Pool “? It’s noted in the 1951 article that the swimming pool would be utilized by the then new development. I couldn’t locate this pool on the aerials. No doubt it’s been filled in ( no pool could last from then until now ).

From Mystery Foto #47 Solved: Long Island Estate of Virginia "Birdie" Graham Fair Vanderbilt

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