Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Saddle Rock Turns 100

2011 marks the Centennial of the Village of Saddle Rock, the first village established on the Great Neck peninsula.
Louise & Roswell Eldridge founded the Village of Saddle Rock in January of 1911The Eldridge estate, in its entirety, made up the new village of Saddle Rock.  At the time, the new village had 77 residents.  All of them had lived on the Eldridge estate, and were either somehow related to the Eldridges, or worked for them.  The Eldridge mansion was called Redcote; it sat on a hill overlooking Long Island Sound, not far from the Saddle Rock Grist Mill.

"Redcote," the home of Louise and Roswell Eldridge, in Saddle Rock (no longer in existence).

Roswell was the first mayor of Saddle Rock, but Louise succeeded him when he died in 1927.  Louise was the first female mayor in the State of New York.  Given her previous experience with all things municipal (she was a founding member of many local entities, including the Great Neck Library, the Great Neck Society for Social and Educational Advancement, and the Great Neck Park District), Louise probably had little trouble serving and leading the new village.
Louise had inherited land and family money, and continued to make wise investments during her lifetime.  Roswell had made much of his fortune from the reorganization of The Hoboken Ferry Company.  Several Great Neck contemporaries of Roswell's had also gotten wealthy investing in shipping and ferrying lines.  Roswell also invested heavily on Wall Street.  Before he died he was a millionaire, living a life of leisure as a gentleman farmer and breeder of his beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Raising Cavalier King Charles Spaniels was one of Roswell Eldridge's true passions in life . . .
. . . riding his prized horses around Saddle Rock was another.
Stock certificate for 18 shares of The Hoboken Ferry Company, owned and signed by Roswell Eldridge, dated June 16, 1897.
This 1933 Chevrolet "woodie" was probably once the official vehicle of Saddle Rock and the Eldridges.  It was purchased by a Long Island collector in 2009.  "Saddle Rock - Great Neck" was painted in gold leaf on the driver's side door.  The owner sent us this photo, hoping that we might have further information about the van.
Louise Skidmore Udall Eldridge, the Grande Dame of Great Neck, onetime mayor, and owner, of Saddle Rock.
The oldest image of the Saddle Rock Grist Mill that the Great Neck Library owns is on this postcard.
The note written on the back of this postcard is signed "L. U. S.," which is probably either Louise Udall Skidmore, or her mother, Louisa Udall Skidmore.
Cool  Saddle  Rock  Facts
Most of the streets in Saddle Rock are named after famous American and British poets.
The Saddle Rock Grist Mill is the oldest known structure in the Great Neck area.  It dates back to the late 1600's.
For more information on Saddle Rock, visit the
History Page from the Village of Saddle Rock Website

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