Saturday, March 12, 2011

Caumsett, The Estate of Marshall Field III, Lloyd's Neck, Huntington, NY

We spent the afternoon at Caumsett State Park in Lloyd's Neck on the north shore of Long Island.   The house is not open for tours, but you can hike its many trails, watch the horses run and play at the stables and just enjoy the surroundings at another Gold Coast estate.

Marshall Field III was the richest man in the world when he purchased a strip of land on Lloyd's Neck in 1921. It was a sizable fortune, inherited from his grandfather, Marshall Field I, who founded the now famous department store in Chicago. 

 Marshall Field III was famous for many things in his lifetime.  He was a publisher, philanthroper, merchant, banker, and farmer who owned several properties.   There was an estate in New York City, one in Chicago, another in Maine and a hunting plantation in South Carolina in which they all spent time.  But Mr. Field and his wife, Evelyn wanted to create a self sustaining country estate similar to one that the family enjoyed in England.  And so, in 1922, work began on one of the grandest of the Gold Coast estates, Caumsett, a Matinecock Indian word meaning "place by a sharp rock."

The Winter Cottage
After the lands were cleared, the Fields hired noted architect John Russell Pope to build everything that would require a self sustaining estate including Summer and Winter cottages and a stable for the polo grounds, not to mention the manor house and smaller homes for the caretakers and workers.  The famous Olmstead Brothers worked on the landscaping.  This estate was to be used for every outdoor activity; polo, hunting , riding, sailing, yachting , tennis and swimming plus a dairy and greenhouses.  The Field family and their guests could easily access the estate from New York City by airplane, yacht or car. 

Horses feeding at the stables
In 1961, Mrs. Ruth Field, Marshall Field's widow and third wife, sold the estate to State of New York with the promise that Caumsett would be "used forever for park purposes." and to this day remains a beautiful park with many things to see and do.  In 1996, the Caumsett Foundation was formed and in 2010 Caumsett State Park was designated as an historic park preserve for everyone to enjoy. 

New Stables
Here are some of the links that you will enjoy:

Official site of the Incorporated Village of Lloyd Harbor.

Official site of the Caumsett Foundation which will explain in more detail about the history of Caumsett and for its future plans for the preserve.

More of the history of the estate plus an article from 1921 regarding the sale of the land to the Field family.

Here are photos of what's left of the dock area including the sharp rock that Caumsett is named for.

Wikipedia article.  Check out the external links, especially the second one which has black and white photos of some of the estate buildings that were torn down in 1970 and the inside of the manor house.  To see the pictures, click on the link provided then click on the camera icon to the left of the screen.

Official site of Caumsett State Park. The picture above is that of the old stables.

View from the rear porch overlooking  Long Island Sound


  1. Seeing these Gold Coast estates make me wish (just a little bit) that I were born into a wealthy dynasty. Such gorgeous buildings! Thanks, Clyde, for taking us to another great place. :o)

  2. Me my friends use to walk all around the estate and grounds in the early 70's. The place was all but abandoned then. (Must of been between glory days and Historic park times)

  3. Odd thing is, my family and I lived right near there on Cordwainer Ln in 1968, last house on the South side of the cul-de-sac and never knew this was there.