Long Island, New York, is an island that extends off the New York coast that is 118 miles long and 20 miles wide. This is one of the priciest areas in the country to live due to its small land mass of just 1,198 square miles. This means there are only 766,720 acres of land in total for development. And in today’s economy, that land has a value of about $1 million per acre. I am telling you this for an important comparison.
When Long Island was first settled, the original four families to settle on the island were the Smith’s, the Blydenburgh’s, the Miller’s, and the Albertson’s. The Blydenburgh family was settled on the area of the island now known as Suffolk County. This area is the largest portion of the island extending from the midway point of the island out to the eastern tips of the island. While they did not own the entire half of the island, they mapped out a huge part of it as their private family estate.
A large portion of this land settlement was later developed into a family owned park that was opened to the public as the island became more populated. A 627-acre parcel of the Blydenburgh homestead was developed into a beautiful camping park for visitors from all over the country (Blydenburgh State Park). Some of the activities available within the park include hiking, picnicking, camping, freshwater fishing, rowboat rentals, and bridle paths. There is also a great amount of history remaining that you can take tours through.
The official history as far as we are aware of goes like this. Around 1798, Elizabeth and her sister Susannah Blydenburgh (married to Benjamin and Isaac) inherited the land that is now the park. Susannah and her husband Isaac bought out her sister’s share of the land and built a mill complex. In 1938, Mary and David Floyd Weld buy the land from the Blydenburgh’s. In 1965, Suffolk County purchases the park (amount currently unknown, but wish I knew). Four years later, the park was officially named after its original owners ‘Blydenburgh Park.’ Forty three years later Suffolk County is making millions of dollars a year off of land that should have been mine until my great grandfather sold the land after a fight with the family while he was on his death bed. And the money it was sold for did not trickle far down the tree (we never benefited from it).
It’s just a shame to imagine just how different my life would be if only Isaac had not sold away the land over a silly fight the day before he died. Based on the figures at the beginning of this article, that land is worth almost $1 Billion and the revenues from that park reach the millions every year. On the other hand, a silly fight that was not really worth the actions he took led us all to live very different lives now as a result almost fifty years later. It is still a beautiful park to visit if you are ever out that way!