Apr 10 2017

Mystery Foto #14 Solved: The Dining Room of the Petit Trianon in Lake Ronkonkoma

Gary Hammond once again challenged you to solve this weekend's Mystery Foto.

Mystery Foto questions:

  • Where was this photo taken?

The first floor dining room of the Petit Trianon Inn in Lake Ronkonkoma.

  • What was the orientation of the photographer? Provide a rationale.

Based on Bob DeStefani's layout, the photographer was on the north side of the dining room looking south.

  • What was the price of a lobster entree at this location in 1914?

$1.50 (equivalent to $36.54 today).

Comments (8)

Congrats to Bob DeStefani, PJ Ingrassia, Greg O.,  Frank Femenias, Art Kleiner, Tim Ivers and Steve Lucas for identifying the dining room of the Petit Trianon Inn. Kudos to Bob DeStefani, Greg O., Frank Femenias, Art Kleiner, Tim Ivers and Steve Lucas for tracking down the price of lobster in 1914.


Howard Kroplick

Gary Hammond:

 As a follow-up to Bob DeStefani's fabulous remembrances and detailed drawings, this Mystery Foto is an image of the Dining Room of the Petit Trianon showing the balcony with the plants on it supported by decorative brackets, and with open latticework.   Also looking through the doorway you can spot a stair railing with its newel post and vertical balusters. 

The detail of this real photo postcard is wonderful - note the narrow board wood floor, the metal lighting fixtures, the caned back chairs, and glassware on the tables.  The back service area seems to contain bins for the different silverware, along with other serving pieces including creamers & sugar bowls, also some liquor bottles.  You can see the arch of the ceiling, and at least three colors on the walls and trim.


First Floor Layout (Submitted by Bob DeStefani)

1914 Petit Trianon Menu


Apr 07 2017 Bob DeStefani 12:58 PM

The photo was taken inside the dining room of the Petit Trianon.
the photo was taken from the north end looking to the south.
The price was $1.50 per person,but it was a starred item which meant it varied

Apr 07 2017 tom hutchins 5:53 PM

looks like the bavarian inn in ronkonkoma after ww2 but missing the long tables that i remember in early 70s

Apr 07 2017 PJ Ingrassia 10:54 PM

Petit Trianon

Apr 08 2017 Greg O. 6:54 PM

Petit Trianon dining room. Balcony on the right, photographer is standing on North side of the room looking South.
As per the 1914 menu, Lobster was outrageously priced at $1.50! I’d have to go with the bargain filet mignon for $1.

Apr 08 2017 frank femenias 10:39 PM

WOW Gary, where did you find this gem? I instantly knew the answer then spent the next 30 min analyzing every inch of this photo. Never thought I’d ever see what this room actually looked like. Thank you for presenting this. Fantastic!

Petit Trianon’s Dining/Dance room looking South, with the garden balcony hanging overhead (Bob DeStefani was right on!). Visible are the stairs in the reception room through the doorway that is SW of the Dining area. The stairs are South.

Never mind the $1.50 lobster ($35.00 today), after that 45 mile first class drive, I want the En Casserole aux Primeurs for $2.75 ($65.00). WAITER!! 

Fantastic Foto Howard! All you guys made my day. THANK YOU!!!

This is the best time machine to date, and provided by the best available.

Apr 09 2017 Art Kleiner 7:27 AM

Where was this photo taken?  Dining Room in the Petit Trianon, Lake Ronkonkoma
What was the orientation of the photographer? Provide a rationale.  Looking south west based on the location of the stairs and balcony with the plants.
What was the price of a lobster entree at this location in 1914?  $1.50

Howard, I suggest we have our next meeting there and we all order two pound lobsters!

Apr 09 2017 Tim Ivers 12:52 PM

My guess is the south reading room of the Petit Trianon because the hanging lights are similar to those shown in Bob DeStefani’s recent post.  The lobster price on their 1914 menu was $1.50

Apr 09 2017 Steve Lucas 6:33 PM

I think we’re looking at the main dining room of the Petit Trianon. There appears to be a food service or prep station on the left side of the photo which logic would dictate should be near the dumbwaiters coming up from the basement kitchen. Based on Bob DeStefani’s sketch, I think we’re looking at the northwest corner of the dining room. According to a previous post of a 1914 menu, the price of lobster was $1.50.

Apr 11 2017 S. Berliner, III 9:59 PM

I know I’m pretty old but can anyone please explain to me the incredibly high (relatively speaking) of poultry dishes vs. fish and such.  “Maryland” be damned; 65 bucks for fried chicken?  Sam (el Cheapo), III

Apr 24 2017 Ken Buettner 1:46 PM

Chicken was an expensive item in 1914.  Modern cultivation practices were not yet known and a good chicken dinner was a treat for most folks.  Remember Herbert Hoover’s promise of “A chicken in every pot…?”  That was a promise to bring to the common man’s table something that was mostly reserved for those with wealth.  Fish and other staples were more readily available and were cheaper.

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