Monday, December 15, 2008

George Washing Lodge Preservation

A graceful parcel up for preservation
Marist property in Brookhaven hamlet targeted for planning steps
Long Island Advance, December 4, 1008, p. 11

The Marist Brothers of the Schools Inc. property on South Country Road in Brookhaven has been unanimously approved by the county for acquisition planning stages. The town and Post-Morrow Foundation has committed funds for its purchase.


The bucolic swath of land owned by the Marist Brothers of the Schools Inc. on South Country Road in Brookhaven hamlet, up for sale, has been targeted for preservation by the town, county and the Post-Morrow Foundation, The Long Island Advance has learned.

Originally 35 acres, the parcel was home to a man named George Washington who built his house around 1865 and had a menagerie of animals, said Tom Williams, vice president of the Post-Morrow Foundation Inc.

Over the years, Williams said, the property dwindled down to 9.5 acres and the house at one time was used as the Bay Community School. The Marist Brothers, a Catholic teaching order dedicated to the Christian education of children and young people, bought it in the 1950s.

"Right now it houses some retired teachers from Marist College," Williams said. "But they're thinking it's too much to maintain."

Post-Morrow approached county Legislator Kate Browning as well as the town to purchase the property about six months ago, Browning said. "Isabella Rossellini contacted us too," Browning said. "It's in the Beaver Dam Creek watershed and I want to pre- serve it. We don't need to pollute it with more cesspools." The acquisition proposal, introduced by Browning, was passed unanimously by the legislation Tuesday. "Now we'll go through the process of appraising the property and speaking ,with the owner about acquisition," said Browning's spokesperson Joshua Slaughter.

"We passed the resolution to purchase it Nov. 13," said Councilwoman Connie Kepert (4th District).

"The town is kicking in 40 percent. One of the nice things is that it's close to other preserved parcels, the Lohmann farm and the Dennis Puleston Nature Preserve."

The county and town will purchase 7.6 acres. "Post- Morrow will purchase the remaining two acres with the house on it," Slaughter explained. "They'll handle the demolition. The more environmentally sensitive land is what the county and the town are purchasing. It's categorized as passive park land with a public use where hopefully there will be nature trails in the future and people can walk and hike on it."

Williams said Post-Morrow would contribute 10 percent to the purchase of the property.

Besides its proximity to Beaver Dam Creek, Williams said there were specimen trees on the property and it was considered a wildlife habitat as well. "We did a small study and found sapsuckers and other birds," Williams explained. "It's a place where wildlife is abundant and it's adjacent to the Dennis Puleston Nature Preserve. Those were our major reasons. And we feel it's a significant piece in the hamlet."

A history of the Marist property, known as the Washington Lodge, and George Washington may be found at here.

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