Aug 22 2019

Update-Malverne Treasure #6: 1908 Survey of the Proposed Entrance to the Bethpage Lodge

Over 300 Long Island Motor Parkway surveys, maps, blueprints, documents and drawings discovered by Roy Knoernschild in a Malverne basement in February 2017 are still being categorized, repaired and scanned. This July 8, 1908 Motor Parkway survey documented the "proposed entrance to parkway on property of William A. Finger at Junction of Manetto Hill Road and Round Swamp Road."
Howard Kroplick

The final layout of the entrance to the Bethpage Lodge was from Round Swamp Road as seen in 1910. The Round Swamp Road Motor Parkway (built in 1910), can be seen in the background.

This photo was taken around 1910. According to Al Velocci, the toll collector was Thomas Grafenstein and the motorist was Willian Evans. The scene was shot in the exit lane to accommodate the photographer Joseph Burt.

The Round Swamp Road entrance can be seen in this 1935 aerial.

Kleiner's Kolumn by Art Kleiner

Additional research I've conducted tries to estimate where the proposed entry off of what was then Manetto Hill Road would have been.  I've also found some articles indicating the enthusiasm the local farmers had for having the Motor Parkway on their property and a bit more about William A. Finger, on whose property the Motor Parkway crossed.  Not sure why the proposed entry was proposed or why it was not done.  Maybe it would have taken up too much of Mr. Finger's farm. Comments?

Viewing Howard's survey the proposed entrance was to be 200 feet west of the intersection of Manetto Hill Road and Round Swamp Road.   At the time of the survey, Manetto Hill Road was an extension of today's Manetto Hill Road that runs north and south in Plainview, north of Old Country Road. 

Seems only fitting that 200 feet west of the intersection leaves you short of Motor Lane by about 90 feet. Guess there's more to it being called Motor Lane than we know! 

Intersection of Motor Lane and Old Bethpage Road

Motor Lane curving south towards the location of the Motor Parkway

At the point where the Motor Parkway roadway would have been.  Notice the berm.

And the firehouse in the background where the actual roadway past through.

Looking north across Old Bethpage Road from where the proposed entry would have been.  Drivers on the Parkway would have had easy access to the local 7-11. 

Looking south across Old Bethpage Road towards the proposed entry that would have been very close to the small bush and large tree. 


Actual location of the entry and Parkway lodge on William A. Finger's property.  Mr. Finger happened to be the Highway Commissioner for the Town of Oyster Bay so his positive view of the Motor Parkway and his willingness for it to use his property was definitely advantageous. 


Motor Parkway officials took to the streets to obtain the okay to route the Parkway through the local farms as evidenced by these two 1907 articles in The Long-Islander (January 25) and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (March 1). 

For those of you wanting to hear a bizarre tale of William A. Finger's life after being Commissioner, read on. 

An article fin the Nassau Daily Review provides a glimpse.  Need to do further research to substantiate what resulted. 


Aug 24 2019 Howard Kroplick 8:59 AM

Art Kleiner has updated the Bethpage Lodge entrance post with a Kleiner’s Korner.

Aug 25 2019 Brian D McCarthy 8:14 PM

$500 per acre would’ve been tough to turn down back then, and it seems like there was always a few acres or more in these transactions.

You just don’t hear tales these days like William Fingers. Maybe as an older man he found it a whole lot easier getting in & out of horse trough rather than a wooden barrel? Sure you’ll let us know, if possible Art, the conclusion of this.  : )  Thanks

Aug 26 2019 Al Velocci 11:07 PM

Art,  In June of 1907 the Parkway purchased 4.7 acres from William A. Finger and his wife Louise for the ROW and proposed entrance paying $3011 for the two parcels. In July of 1908 the Parkway acquired the parcel marked .05 which we know was used for the lodge site and entrance way. I couldn’t find any record of monies changing hands for the .05 piece, I’m assuming that a swap took place, the Fingers taking back the original proposed entrance way for the.05 tract. The change made sense for both parties, Round Swamp Rd. was the major roadway in the area and new alignment had a much less impact on the Finger property. Al.

Aug 27 2019 frank femenias 8:52 PM

My first thoughts were the same. The eventual entrance on corner of Round Swamp Rd and Manetto serves a better exposed entrance for the lodge/parkway.

Aug 28 2019 Art Kleiner 7:11 AM

Thanks all - Yes, seems a much better choice for all involved.  Except 7-11! lol

Aug 28 2019 Art Kleiner 7:43 AM

Well since you asked, Brian - here’s the conclusion as best I can find.  So, no worries to all out there that take baths in horse troughs in the nude.  By the way the suit was brought in 1934, after William Sr. passed away Oct. 24, 1933 at his home in Bethpage around the age of 74.

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