Art's Long Island Motor Parkway Site

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Colonial Springs Road


This page details the route of the Motor Parkway in Suffolk County, east of the Maxess Avenue bridge.  East of the intersection of today's Ruland Road (not shown on map) and Pinelawn Road (running north and south in yellow), Ruland runs into Colonial Springs Road (also shown above as East Neck Road).  This 1952 map from Hagstrom's Suffolk County atlas shows the Motor Parkway coming from the west (the blue line I've added), crossing Pinelawn Road and even though not actually shown, passing through (i.e., under) a number of streets.  Interesting is that these streets do not exist today, and this map is the only evidence I've come across of these streets.  I need to do additional research to see if these streets were ever actually there.  The red line is where I imagine the Motor Parkway having been before it started to travel southeast (the blue line again). 

South of the roadway and the streets is the U.S. National Cemetery - today called the Long Island National Cemetery at Pinelawn.  Today the cemetery extends further north to the area where the Motor Parkway was located.  Prior to the cemetery reaching that far north and prior to the streets being laid out, the area was owned by a man named Christian Fiegensphan who was mentioned in local Suffolk newspapers in the early 1900s.  According to a 1941 Hagstram map, Fiegenspan owned the property from the Motor Parkway south to the border of Huntington and Babylon Townships.  Several other landowners owned property between the town borders and the U.S. National Cemetery.  Research on the history of the Long Island National Cemetery finds that it was established by the U.S. Government in 1936 with a purchase of 175 acres of land from Pinelawn Cemetery.  The purchase was to fill the need after World War 1 of a large number of veterans and not enough burial space in the urban cemeteries in New York. 

A Dec. 20, 1951 article in the Long Islander newspaper reads: "For the nominal consideration of $100, the Suffolk Board of Supervisors voted Monday to convey to the U.S. Government 1.25 acres of land required for the enlargement of the Long Island National Cemetery at Pinelawn.  This property was formerly part of the Long Island Motor Parkway which was turned over to the county by the Vanderbilt interests in 1938."  This piece of property either is or is close to the area discussed above.    

Here are links to ariel photographs of this area from 1953 to 2006.   Once you are into each link you can use the tools to overlay names of roads, look at other years, and use the compare function to look at two photos at the same time.  The Motor Parkway runs from left to right in the upper third of each photo below Colonial Springs Road.  The cemetery is clearly seen in the photos from 1966 on.
        

The following details what is in the area today.     

The below paragraph is updated to reflect my visit to this area in Nov. of 2016, 6 years after my initial meeting with Miguel.  As before, Miguel was very gracious and offered to show me (and a few friends) the posts that line his property.   Picture below are current photos followed by my original story and pictures. 

 
 

Directly on the south side of  Colonial Springs Road is a house with many posts on the property (I've circled the area in red above).  As I mentioned there are no streets there today, so as the article states above the cemetery must have obtained the property and done away with the subdivision (all except for what was owned by the local power company whose high tension wire is shown below).  On an exploration of the area in Nov. of 2010, I introduced myself to the family living in the house and explained my interest.  Miguel was very friendly and was very interested in the Motor Parkway, having lived there for over 40 years but not knowing about the historical significance of the posts.   Miguel showed me around his property and pointed out the many posts which he agreed I could include on this page.  A very special thank you to Miguel and his family for being so hospitable.
  The posts run from one end of Miguel's property to the other and then continue along Colonial Springs Road before the Parkway turned south as shown in the map above.  Here is my new friend Miguel and some of the posts.  

 

Miguel's property is bordered on the south by a tract of land used by the Long Island Power Authority and which has numerous high tension power lines and towers running behind Miguel's property and further east. On the other side of the towers is the Long Island National Cemetery.  Here are pictures of the tower and the many posts on the property.  Of particular interest is the twisted metal wire strung between each post that is very evident in many of the pictures.  Remember, the posts and the wire are around 100 years old.  Not bad!









Next I detail an earlier exploration I did in the summer of 2004.  The pictures show posts from the Motor Parkway on the south side of Colonial Springs Road which are the continuation of the posts that are on Miguel's property shown above.    

View of Colonial Springs Road Today


These first few pictures are of posts easily seen lining the south side of Colonial Springs Road. This photo shows Colonial Springs Road today, looking west.  The posts featured on this page were found on the south side of the road, the portion on the left.  The north side, as you see, is being developed by a local nursery.

Posts on South Side of Road

 

 

 

 

Toll Gates Featured

This 1935 Hagstrom's map shows an expanded area of what was shown above with two Toll Gates also shown.  The first is west of Colonial Springs Road at Huntington Road/Route 110, (lower left of the picture) and the second is at Deer Park Road in the upper right hand corner. 

Further East on Colonial Springs Road


The map on the left is from the 1952 Hagstram Atlas of Suffolk County and shows the Motor Parkway running southeast of Colonial Springs Road/East Neck Road and then back north to cross East Neck Road.  The Google map on the right shows in blue where I believe the roadway existed.  Interestingly, the road heading south that is roughly where the Motor Parkway ran is today named Ridge Road. 

My next page (and more to come) will detail the Motor Parkway as it headed back north into Half Hollow Hills and Dix Hills.