Sunday, September 18, 2011

St. John's Church, Cold Spring Harbor, LI, NY

Welcome to Greenleaf, Indiana, folks.  Yes, I know what it says on top, but this is the church that hosted the ill-fated wedding of Howard Brackett (Kevin Kline) and Emily Montgomery (Joan Cusack) in the film "In and Out."  Only the exterior was filmed here at St. John's Church and I will include the clip from the film in my links below.  The opening scene from the movie was filmed in the neighboring town of Northport.

According to the Church's website, most of the property that St. John's stands on was once the estate of John Jones.  At his death, two members of the family Joshua L. Jones and Charles H. Jones donated this land instead of money.  At the same time, however, members of the same family, fifteen to be exact, voted and raised two thousand dollars to build this church on September 4, 1831.

The architect was Smith Sammis and construction began in 1835.  The building was consecrated on April 5, 1837 by the Reverend Benjamin Treadwell Onderdonk.

As the church expanded, more land was needed and was gladly given by the Jones family.  St. John's Memorial Cemetery, one miles to the west  on Route 25A in Laurel Hollow, was deeded to the church in 1862.   It is a beautiful cemetery designed by the Olmstead Brothers. Many famous people are buried there, including the philanthropist Otto H. Kahn, former owner of Oheka Castle.  Be sure to check out my blog on Oheka Castle for more information.

If you want to check out the Jones' family cemetery, it's opposite the church, but you'll have to walk uphill. It's crumbling, but it's interesting to see.  All of Long Island's prominent families are buried here:  Hewletts, Seamans, Youngs  and of course, Jones. 

The rectory was built when the last surviving Jones' sisters donated their 1698 home to the church.  When the church couldn't afford to buy the pond in the 1930's, the Jones family offered to put up most of the money.  The church was able to buy the rest.

The church has survived 170 years and its congregation includes 400 families and there is not a Jones among them.  It's a lovely church and looks like it belongs in New England rather than on Long Island.  There is a fish hatchery next door and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory across the street. 

Here are the links:

Official site of St. John's Church in Cold Spring Harbor.  A more detailed history can be found under About.  There you will find a pull down menu.  This is the site that I got my information from.
Scene from "In and Out" showing St. John's Church

 Cold Spring Harbor Labs

Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery

Here is a link to the St. John's Memorial Cemetery in Laurel Hollow, LI, NY. Explains the history

Link to Oheka Castle:

Monday, September 5, 2011

Coindre Hall, Huntington, LI, NY


This is Coindre Hall, originally built for pharmaceutical magnate George McKesson Brown in 1912.  Originally known as West Neck Farm, it was built to resemble a medieval French chateau.  This 40 room mansion sits on 34 acres of land and overlooks Long Island Sound opposite Huntington Harbor.  Susan and Rob often passed the boathouse, which sits at the bottom of the hill.  They always wondered if the mansion still existed.

When Brown lost ownership due to the stock market crash of 1929, the property was sold to the Brothers of the Sacred Heart who established a boarding school and summer retreat in 1939.  It was named in memory of Father Andre Coindre, their founder. 
The boathouse and Huntington Harbor
After the school's closing in 1971, it reopened as the Eagle Hill School, a private independent school.

It has been part of the Suffolk County Department of Parks since 1973 and its 34 acres is currently used as a dog run and hotel.  

As of September, 1985, Coindre Hall has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  Weddings and private events are also held here.  Mirabelle Private Events was kind enough to let us come in to shoot some of the renovated rooms of the mansion, which I will share with you.

Here are some links
Wikipedia article
Lessings. Another group that does weddings at Coindre Hall.
An article from a student who attended the school in the 60's:

Bring Fido. Dog run at Coindre Hall
Brief history of Coindre Hall/West Neck Farm - Suffolk County site

Mirabelle Private Events: