Just steps from the village center is Stony Brook Beach (or Sand Street Beach), which includes sitting areas, and a concrete walkway providing views of the harbor. There are interpretive signs near the walkway leading visitors on a southwestern course along the harbor, but I was interested in what lay in the opposite direction. In the distance I could see a small cottage or boathouse standing by itself on a strip of land surrounded by water. I decided to forgo the Harbor Walk and get a better look at the structure.
The beach was a combination of harbor ice fragments and fresh snow, which made walking a complicated task. I zigzagged my way between the high water mark and the trees lining the beach. Mallards paddled a similar path, swimming away from the shore, only to return once I had passed. Before reaching the cottage, I discovered that a creek separated it from me, and I would have to view it from a distance. I continued walking, eventually reaching a spot which was as close as I was going to get.
I learned from a longtime resident that the building is known as the Gamecock Cottage. The peninsula once had over 80 cottages which were demolished about five years ago. This was a well publicized, divisive story involving leases on public land. The Gamecock Cottage (built in 1864) was spared, but there has been disagreement over its future role.
Everything around me was silent and still. There was no wind in the air, or current in the water. The recent snowfall silenced any sounds in the distance. The small strip of land that had been the focus of so much heated debate, stood desolate and quiet.
GAMECOCK COTTAGE IN STONY BROOK: WebAlbum