Following Famous Footsteps Across Long Island

Written by Kelly Tenny  |  25. July 2014

Long Island has long been a desirable area to live in and visit. From beautiful shorelines to lovely wooded areas with thriving wildlife, not to mention a convenient location, just far enough from the city to enjoy the peace and quiet but still close enough to civilization to not feel completely secluded, Long Island has many charms and attractions for visitors. With so many alluring characteristics and aspects it is not hard to imagine why Long Island has appealed to so many different famous people throughout history.

Why not make a trip of it this summer, while the weather is nice so you may take in the beauty of the property grounds, and the hours of the properties are in season, to follow famous footsteps around the Island. On the journey you’ll have a chance to take a step back in time, receive a valuable history lesson on the places and people the locations have encountered, and seize an opportunity to take in the beauty of these manors, houses, gardens, and estates.

  • Sagamore Hill Historic  Site – Oyster Bay – The only U.S. president to ever hail from New York, Theodore Roosevelt lived in Sagamore Hill from 1885 until his death in 1919. Construction on the house almost came to a halt when Theodore’s first wife Alice passed away, but in the end he decided to keep on with construct for his daughter’s sake. Nowadays the presidential abode is open for guests to visit and explore the 23 rooms of the house. With a guided tour you can learn about the family and lifestyle of Theodore Roosevelt and the site also contains the Sagamore Hill Nature Trail and the Roosevelt Museum at Old Orchard.
  • Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site and Interpretive Center – Huntington Station & Jayne’s Hill nature trail – The farmhouse was built by Whitman’s father around 1810 and Walt Whitman was born right there in the West Hills area in 1819. The museum features films, a voice recording of Walt Whitman, old photos, and exhibits about his life and writing. Bring your favorite Whitman anthology along and walk the historic Walt Whitman Trail to Jayne’s Hill which reaches a staggering elevation of 400 feet, the highest peak on Long Island.
  • Cedarmere – Roslyn Harbor – Cedarmere was built by poet William Cullen Bryant. He bought the then small house and land so he would have a place to go to escape the noisy hustle and bustle of the city, a place where he could write poetry and reflect on nature. Since his original purchase the estate has undergone many expansions and restorations. While you’re there you must take a walk around the beautifully landscaped gardens. Bryant himself, who was a passionate horticulturist, is responsible for planting many of the plants and trees on the property.
  • Pollock Krasner House & Study Center – East Hampton – This historic house was put on the market and purchased in 1945 by abstract painter Jackson Pollock and his wife, fellow abstract expressionist painter, Lee Krasner. Both artists used the house and barn as their own personal studios. Now when you go and visit the property you can see artifacts from before Pollock’s death, view original paintings, and see evidence of the creative process from many of Pollock and Krasner’s own works.
  • Sagtikos Manor – West Bay Shore – The manor was used as a headquarters during the Revolutionary War by the British forces and later on was a brief stop on George Washington’s tour of Long Island in 1790. When you go visit the manor docents decked out in period attire will show you around the property, furnished with styles from the 1600s all the way to the 1900s, and even the show you the very room that President George Washington stayed in.

Now that you know some more history of Long Island, whose famous footsteps are you going to follow first?

Sources: [National Park Service, WaltWhitman.org,FriendsofCedarmere, StonyBrook.edu, SagtikosManor]

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