Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Gamecock Cottage In Stony Brook

There are only a few, small inlets interrupting the long, gradual curve of Smithtown Bay. Stony Brook Harbor, located in the southeast corner of the bay, is the largest. Eleven miles east of Eatons Neck, the harbor consists of a series of creeks that merge before entering the Sound.

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.



Anonymous said...

Your possts bring back many memories. Very well done. JR 31 BERTRAM

Kim said...

Love your post. The pictures as well as the desprition of Stony Brook were lovely.

Larry said...

I suppose it must be sad to some to see cottages that hold memories for them to be torn down.-On the other hand fewer buildings along the shoreline might be a good thing-wouldn't it? nice descriptive post-I find too that snow seems to quiet the air.

Costa Rica Cheap Land for Sale said...
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Ben said...

This is my home sweet harbor! I grew up on the western shore of Stony Brook Harbor and passed by Gamecock Cottage nearly everyday in the summer on my way out to clam. And we will be departing from Stony Brook Harbor (on a high tide!) when we leave for our iceberg journey this summer. Great post. I love SBH!

Allen Smith said...
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