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.

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