Wednesday, 03 October 2012 09:26

Local History Collection Featured at Glenwood Post Office



Ever wonder what the neighborhood looked like before most homes in the area were built? Stop into the Glenwood Post Office this fall during regular business hours to find out. Beginning in November 2012, the Glenwood Post Office will feature the exhibit Historic Glenwood Landing and Glen Head: Selections from the Gold Coast Library Local History Collection.


The exhibit features some 20 prints from the library’s recently established local history collection, including several items from the Griffin Collection. Nearly all postcards dating to the late 19th and early 20th century, the Griffin Collection is a group of digitized images generously donated to the library by collectors Warren and Carol Griffin of Sea Cliff.


Several prints in the exhibit focus on the Glenwood Landing Waterfront. They show the dock at the western end of Glenwood Road where steamboats regularly picked up and dropped off passengers; boat yards where vessels that would one day become national landmarks were built; and Glenwood’s three popular 19th-century hotels: Karatsonyi and Kmetz, Hahn’s, and Ayers.


There also are two views of the Glenwood Post Office itself. One print appears to show the large pond that once was located at the site of the current post office. Other prints feature the Glen Head Rail Road Station and the entrance to North Shore Acres around the time of subdivision.


Three national landmarks also are highlighted: the Stone House in Roslyn Harbor, once owned by department store magnate Benjamin Stern, and two sloops built in Glenwood Landing: the Christeen, now sailing out of the Waterfront Center in Oyster Bay, and the Stephen Taber, now sailing as a windjammer out of Rockland, Maine.


The exhibit was organized by the Friends of the Gold Coast Library and the Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Association in appreciation of the library and in cooperation with the Glenwood Post Office. Digitized images of the prints in the exhibit, and many more historic images of Glen Head, Glenwood, and environs, can be viewed online at


Monday, 16 July 2012 19:00

Fire, Fish, and a New Village: The Biography of a National Landmark



Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005, the magnificent building that retail magnate Benjamin Stern (1858-1933) once called home sits on a bluff overlooking Hempstead Harbor in Roslyn Harbor, much as it has for more than a century.


It is said that when Thomas Clapham (1839-1915) sailed into the harbor aboard his sloop Qui Vive, he was so enchanted by the spot that he immediately decided to purchase the property and build a home. In 1872, he completed an Italianate villa designed by noted architect Jacob Wrey Mould (1825-1886) in the High Gothic Victorian style. Constructed largely of granite, the home became known as Stone House and was the centerpiece of an 18-acre estate. For many years, Clapham operated a trout hatchery on Motts Cove and a boatyard in Glenwood Landing on the site of the present-day Swan Club.


Three other key owners left significant marks on the property.


Beginning in 1906, Benjamin and Madeline Stern, of the Stern Brothers department stores, remodeled the villa in the French Chateauesque style, renamed the estate Claraben, expanded the property to 23 acres, developed a working farm, and in 1931 helped incorporate the Village of Roslyn Harbor.


In 1943, Wendell Hughes, an eye surgeon, and his wife Louise bought the property and called it Wenlo. In 1960, a devastating fire engulfed much of the home. Three years later, the Hughes began a restoration based on Mould’s original design.


In 2002, the current owners began to restore the much-eroded historical integrity of the building and grounds. Thanks to this effort, the Clapham-Stern house survives, the only example of Jacob Wrey Mould’s work on Long Island and a reminder of the people, places, and events that shaped history on the eastern shore of Hempstead Harbor.



The Stern estate barn and field, circa 1960,

looking south from Grove Street in Glenwood Landing.      

Thursday, 19 April 2012 15:06

Steaming into Hempstead Harbor


For several decades beginning in the late 1800s, steamboats regularly stopped at several locations in Hempstead Harbor, including a popular dock in Glenwood Landing near the intersection of Glenwood Road and Shore Road. Passengers who disembarked there often stayed at one of three nearby hotels: Ayers’, Hahn’s, or Karatsonyi’s. Accommodations might also be found in cottages at Larssen’s Woods, located west of Larsen Avenue between Grove Street and Glenwood Road. Visitors to the area enjoyed an idyllic stay, picnicking beside ponds, combing the beach, and sailing in the harbor. See these and many other historic neighborhood scenes in the Gold Coast Postcard Collection at Long Island Memories ( While there, take advantage of new interactive features that enable users to share comments about the people, places, and events that shaped the Glen Head and Glenwood Landing of today.

Thursday, 19 April 2012 14:26

Arthur Keesler


Generations of Glenwood Landing School graduates are bound to recall the imposing yet genial presence of Arthur L. Keesler, who served as principal of the school from 1925 to 1968. This picture of Keesler, taken from a retirement program by Carol and Warren Griffin of Sea Cliff, is the most recent posting to the Long Island Memories website,


Keesler began his tenure at the Glenwood Landing School when the school was located at 18 Grove Street. Three years later, the Cody Avenue school opened with an enrollment of 96 students and Keesler at the helm. Keesler also served as President and Chaplain of the Glenwood Fire Company.


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