Jan 05 2016

New Arcadia Images of America Book: Bethpage by John Logerfo

Lifelong Bethpage resident John Logerfo has authored a new Arcadia book celebrating the village of Bethpage.Chapter Four documents the Long Island Motor Parkway and the Vanderbilt Cup Races including 16 images from my collection.


Howard Kroplick

Images of America Bethpage

Located on New York’s Long Island in Nassau County, the quaint, tight-knit town of Bethpage was established as a settlement for the Thomas Powell family in 1687. In the early years, it consisted of a few small villages of farmers. In 1884, the Long Island Rail Road extended through Bethpage, which was renamed Central Park. Many businesses opened up around the station, bringing the town to the attention of land buyers, which had an enormous impact on the growth of the community. It was here that the ground-breaking ceremony for William Vanderbilt Jr.’s Motor Parkway opened in 1906 for the Vanderbilt Cup Races. This notoriety brought people to the town, as well as businesses, restaurants, and hotels, most notably the world-renowned Beau Sejour, which catered to aristocrats, socialites, and movie stars. The name Central Park was eventually changed back to Bethpage in 1936. Long Island State Parks commissioner Robert Moses soon opened the Bethpage State Park, with its five golf courses. Bethpage gained recognition for being the longtime home of the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, producers of Navy fighter aircraft and the Apollo lunar module, which landed men on the moon. Bethpage retains its sense of pride in its rich and historic heritage.

Approximately 500 people were in attendance on June 6, 1908 to listen to speeches from dignitaries and witness the ceremonial turn of earth for the ground-breaking ceremony for the Motor Parkway. Not all present that day came by auto. The horse and bicycle were well represented. A large number of well-dressed women carrying umbrellas also turned out on what was a bright sunny day.

A.R. Pardington can be seen here reading William K. Vanderbilt Jr.'s speech at the  ground-breaking ceremony. Today, the site is Stewart Avenue across from Albergo Court.

The M36 Rainer at Deadman's Curve during the 1908 Meadow Brook Sweepstakes

The Bethpage Lodge in 1910

As seen from the top of the Plainview Road Bridge, the #J11 Chalmers-Detroit led the #P42 Isotta during the 1908 Motor Parkway Sweepstakes.

A 1935 aerial view of Central Park (Bethpage) and Old Bethpage.


Jan 10 2016 Ann Albertson 6:23 PM

We are very proud of John Logerfo’s Arcadia book on Central Park/Bethpage.  Great story, great pictures makes for an interesting read of the history of Central Park/Bethpage.

Jan 18 2016 Ronnie Logerfo 11:52 PM

Congratulations on your book, John! I stumbled upon this page today, and when I saw your name, I knew that you must be my cousin. I am impressed that you have authored a book. Keep up the good work!

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