Sunday, September 05, 2010

Manor St George: back to the British!

Yesterday, we visited Manor St George, near Smith Point, in Shirley. It's just down the road, it's part of British (as well as Dutch and American) history, yet I'd never taken the right-turn off William Floyd Parkway. The road twists through typical Long Island overgrown low woods... and then opens up into an English park. Low grass, mature trees. And a beautiful view over the bay.

At one time "Fort St George", it's now a museum which contains a full geneaology of the Smith family, copies of deeds from British royalty, a wonderful 17th-century kitchen, beautiful and decoratave parquet floors, and several very short beds (when did people grow so tall?)  A good history can be found here: St George Manor. A knowledgeable young lady showed us around the house and refused to take even a donation--it's all free. And we met a couple who were visiting from Setauket, who hadn't known the place existed. Why no handouts? It's true... think of all the historical sites in Setuaket and on the north shore, and how they are publicised... why are we not doing the same for Manor St George, the William Floyd Estate, and other places of interest here? Yes, there is information out there--but some of the marketing is lacking.

A small cemetery on the grounds of the manor memorialises the Smith family--but living memorials are the names, with Smith Point and the Tangiers area of Shirley.

We tried to claim the manor back for the British, but the cannons point the wrong way.

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