The building that I'm sitting in front of was the entrance and is called the Clock Tower, which was once the water tower for the estate. The tower's clock, while the Vanderbilt's owned it, was wound everyday by a jeweler who lived in a neighboring town.
The outbuildings included a stock barn, which housed a herd of fifty Alderney cows and bulls. There was a creamery, poultry barns, piggaries, a duckhouse, dog kennels, an eagle house, a forge and a house for the farm superintendent. There was also a barn where the farm horses were kept. A pig wallow, which are next to the piggeries, has been restored. However, none of these looked anything like your typical farm. Each of these outbuildings looked like residences and were set up as row houses, making them look like one long house.
|One of the homes inside the Artist's Colony.|
Mrs. Thompson turned the farm area into residences and invited several of her colleagues to live and work out in Oakdale. And so the Artist's Colony was born.
Exhibitions were popular as were theatre group presentations. A restaurant called the Tally Ho Inn was a well known stopping off point for residents and the public alike.
Today these are private residences but you can still ride up and down the streets and marvel at the quaint houses and streets with names like Featherbed Lane, Princess Gate and Frog Lane.
There are creeks and canals to pass as well as preserved wetlands that are filled with all kinds of wildlife. Rob and Susan have come down here many a time in years past, no matter what the season is. In the summer, you just might encounter couples on bikes taking in the quiet history of the colony or some neighborhood kids selling iced tea or lemonade and some homemade cookies or tempting baked brownies.
Here are some links:
This is a great site. Idle Hour, the Vanderbilt's estate, is now Dowling College. This is their official website and this link provides a virtual tour as well as the history of the place.
An article from examiner.com long island. I borrowed one of the pictures from this article.
Here it is on wikimapia
Old Long Island has some interior shots of Idle Hour as well as other Vanderbilt homes around the Long Island area.