Saturday, November 12, 2011

Oyster Bay Town Board to Consider Landmarking Maine Maid Inn

The Town of Oyster Bay has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday, November 15, at 10 A.M. to consider landmarking the Maine Maid, a structure on Old Jericho Turnpike in Jericho that is more than 200 years old.

Also known as the Valentine Hicks House, the building is one of the few surviving remnants of the Quaker community that thrived on Long Island during the 18th and 19th centuries. It
has been a stage coach stop, post office, and way station on the Underground Railroad. It is said that runaway slaves made their way to the property by sailing across Hempstead Harbor, landing on the eastern shore in the vicinity of the community that later came to be known as Glenwood Landing, and then traveling farther east overland through Glen Head.

Valentine Hicks was the first president of the Long Island Rail Road. For the past 50 years, his homestead was a restaurant. Frank Sinatra dined there after performing at the Westbury Music Fair. Charles Dolan regularly held meetings in a second-floor room to develop a company known as Cablevision. Grumman engineers gathered in the dining room to discuss designs for the lunar lander over lunch.

The restaurant is now closed, and the property is presently in foreclosure. The East Norwich Civic Association submitted a landmark application to the TOB Landmarks Commission, which recommended that the Town Board landmark the site.

The East Norwich Civic Association has incurred various expenses related to the application and has retained an attorney to assist in the application process. Opposition from a bank that is foreclosing on the property is anticipated. Contributions can be sent to the East Norwich Civic Association, P.O. Box 126, East Norwich, NY 11732.

The hearing will be held at Town Hall, 54 Audrey Avenue, Oyster Bay.

Hempstead Harbor Water Trail: Your Input Needed

The Town of North Hempstead is conducting a survey to gather information that will be used to create a canoe and kayak trail in TNH waters (Little Neck Bay, Manhasset Bay, and Hempstead Harbor). The grant was awarded through the New York State Department of State Division of Coastal Resources and funded through the NYS Environmental Protection Fund. The consultant is Nelson, Pope and Voorhis.

To increase the likelihood that some launch sites will be established in Hempstead Harbor, especially on the eastern shore, it is important for people who live in eastern shore communities to weigh in on the matter. Click here to fill in the quick and easy survey, which is managed by the consultant using a service called Survey Monkey. You can fill out the survey even if you are not a canoer or a kayaker. If you wish, at the end of the survey, you can sign up for more information.

On several occasions over the years, Tom Halton (then a Roslyn Harbor Trustee) and the Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Association proposed a canoe and kayak put-in at the western end of Scudders Lane. Sometimes the proposal has prompted positive feedback from TNH; other times the feedback has been less than enthusiastic.

The Town of Oyster Bay has received a similar grant for a canoe and kayak trail in TOB waters (Hempstead Harbor, Oyster Bay, and Cold Spring Harbor). The civic association will pass along information as it becomes aware of developments. Meanwhile, more information about each project may be available on the Town of North Hempstead website or the Town of Oyster Bay website.

The Glen Head / Glenwood Civic Council, an organization made up of civic groups in Glen Head and Glenwood Landing, is an adviser to the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee, an inter-municipal organization made up of the municipalities surrounding Hempstead Harbor.