Historic Long Island: “Knothole,” Sagamore Hill & Old Bethpage Village  
Join Tour Leader Justin Ferate for a delightful day discovering Historic Long Island. We’ll view a “cabin in the woods,” the country mansion built for President Theodore Roosevelt, and an historic village with structures dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries.

First, we’ll peek into “Knothole” – a tiny one-room wooden cabin built as a writer’s studio by the prominent Long Island editor and writer Christopher Morley. Morley, one of the foremost American “men of letters” in the 20th century, was a prolific writer who produced more than fifty books, including several popular novels, plays, poetry, and essays. He also edited two volumes of “Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations” and was a founder of the Book of the Month Club. Morley wrote of his work retreat: "I built myself a pine-wood cabin, as aloofly jungled as a Long Island suburb would permit."

Constructed in 1934, Knothole includes built-in bookshelves, a fireplace, and a bunk bed. Over the years, the public has been most intrigued by Knothole’s “Dymaxion” bathroom, which was designed in 1936 by Morley’s friend, the renowned scientist and inventor Buckminster Fuller. The bathroom is a one-piece, pre-assembled unit, similar to restrooms in use on airplanes. Viewing doors have been installed in the cabin so that the public can peek in and see the interior of the studio and bathroom.

Located in a quiet corner of the park, The Knothole is framed by trees and greenery. Coming close to the structure, one notices a motto in Latin above the door. It is a quote from Erasmus (1466-1536), the Dutch scholar and philosopher for whom Erasmus Hall in Flatbush, Brooklyn was named. The phrase translates as: "How Busy You Are in Your Library, Which is Your Paradise."

Next, we’ll travel to Oyster Bay to visit Sagamore Hill, the home built for Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States – who lived here from 1885 until his death in 1919. Named after the Indian chief Sagamore Mohannis, Sagamore Hill stands atop Cove Neck on 95 acres of forest, tidal salt marsh, and bay beach. In 1884, Roosevelt hired the prestigious New York architectural firm of Lamb and Rich to design a shingle-style, Queen Anne home for the property. The twenty-two-room home was completed for $16,975. In 1905 Roosevelt expanded the house – adding the largest room he called the "North Room" (40’x30’) for $19,000. Overall today, the home has twenty-three rooms.

The first floor contains the large center hall, library, dining room, kitchen, and drawing room. The massive North Room houses Theodore Roosevelt’s collection of trophies, books, paintings, sculptures, library, and dozens of priceless artifacts given to him by foreign dignitaries. The second floor contains the bedrooms, nursery, guest rooms, and a turn of the century water closet with a uniquely large porcelain tub (a luxury in those days). A spacious raised porch shaded by an unmistakable green awning surrounds the house.

The house and its surrounding farmland became the primary residence of Theodore and Edith Roosevelt for the remainder of their lives. Sagamore Hill took on its greatest importance when it became known as the "Summer White House” during the seven summers (1902-1908) Theodore Roosevelt spent there as President.

Theodore Roosevelt described Sagamore Hill as follows:

The house stands right on top of the hill, separated by fields and belts of woodland from all other houses, and looks out over the bay and the Sound. We see the sun go down beyond long reaches of land and water.

We love all the seasons: the snows and bare woods of winter; the rush of growing things and the blossom-spray of spring; the yellow grain, the ripening fruits and tasseled corn, and the deep leafy shades that are heralded by 'the green dance of summer'.....and the sharp fall winds that tear the brilliant banners with which the trees greet the dying year.

Lunch will be at Grasso’s – an Italian trattoria in the delightful former whaling village of Cold Spring Harbor.

After lunch, we’ll travel to Old Bethpage Village Restoration – a living history museum that provides visitors with the unique opportunity to step back in time and experience life as it was on Long Island during the 19th century. The village consists of 36 houses, barns, and buildings dating from 1765 through 1865. Buildings were moved to Old Bethpage from various locations around Long Island and then restored to recreate a prototypical mid-1800s community. Situated on 209 acres, Old Bethpage Village Restoration is a wonderful family-friendly venue with something to delight visitors of all ages.

Old Bethpage is more than a collection of historic houses. A knowledgeable staff of costumed interpreters brings the buildings to life with facts and stories about the houses and the people who occupied them. Visitors can enjoy root beer and pretzels at the Noon Inn bar, and purchase candy sticks at the Layton Store. Just down the road, the ring of the blacksmith’s hammer can be heard, while across the way the hatter is putting the finishing touches on a gentleman’s hat. Elsewhere ladies are sewing and knitting, candles are being made, and the potter is shaping clay into fine ceramic pieces. On weekends you may find a decoy carver at the Conklin House, or a weaver in the Cooper House. Many will be thrilled at the Powell Farm where there is an assortment of farm animals.

Be certain to order your meal on the Registration Form!
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Date: Sunday May 22, 2016
Time: 8:00 AM  to approximately 6:30 PM
Cost: $ 140 (No on-site registration)
Meet: 7:45 AM at Hotel Waldorf=Astoria. Bus generally parks on East 49th Street, between Lexington and Park Avenues – closer to Park Avenue. Look for the Yellow, White & Black Passaic Valley Coach
Train: 6 Train to 51st Street (at Lexington Avenue)
Tours operate rain or shine. Please dress appropriately. For more information or to confirm meeting locations please call (212) 223-2777. Please note that tours sometimes run late. While tours are rarely cancelled you can call the number above to confirm, or join our mailing list to keep informed of cancellations due to extreme weather conditions.
Justin Ferate's Tours of the City | www.justinsnewyork.com
Justin Ferate's Tours of the City    |    (212) 223-2777    |    
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