Bayard Cutting Estate
In 1936 the
Long Island Park Commission accepted on behalf of the State of New York a deed of
approximately two hundred acres near the northeasterly boundary of Heckscher State Park.
Mrs. Bayard James made this gift in memory of her father, William Bayard Cutting.
Mr. Cutting and his brother, Fulton, had started the sugar beet industry in this
country in 1888. He was a builder of railroads, operated the ferries of New York City, and
developed a part of the south Brooklyn waterfront.
Mr. Cutting started the
development of the property in 1887 in accordance with plans made by the well-known
landscape architect, Frederick Olmstead and carried forward by Mr. Fred Sparks, a resident
of Great River until his death in the summer of 1968.
The Great River Estate, known as "Westbrook" originally consisted of over one thousand acres. Only part of this area was deeded to the State of New York. In 1938, Mrs. James donated an additional three hundred eighty-two acres, and her mother, Mrs. William Bayard Cutting, established an endowment of over $1,000,000 for the maintenance of the arboretum.
Mr. Cutting was a
sportsman, lover of nature, and a gardener of great ability.
He took a special interest in Westbrook and the unusual variety of plants and
pinetum from all parts of the world, which are found in the arboretum, reflect his taste
The purpose of the
arboretum, as expressed in the deed of gift is . . . "to serve as an oasis of beauty
and quiet so that said premises may be a source of pleasure, rest and refreshment to those
who delight in outdoor beauty and to serve to bring about greater understanding on the
part of both the general public and all those professionally concerned with landscape
design, of the value and importance of informal planting, and thus to be an influence in
preserving the amenities of our native landscape."
Today, residents and visitors alike enjoy the cultivated gardens, trees, plants and shrubs that have been imported from all over the world.
Bayard Cutting Arboretum
Bayard Cutting Arboretum - http://www.bayardcuttingarboretum.com/
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The Cutting Estate, located on the east side of the Connetquot River, was purchased in 1880 from Pierre Lorillard, by the Cutting family and in 1886 the mansion was built. This cottage on the estate, situated near the southwest corner of Great River Road and Montauk Highway, originally had a thatched roof made from Scotch Heather, brought over from Scotland every few years. These shipments were no longer possible with the onset of the first World War. The thatched roof could be seen from the railroad station located nearby.
This Book can be purchased at the Arboretum.