Sep 12 2017

Great Turnout to the Presentation on Ronkonkoma and the Motor Parkway in Holbrook

It was a great turnout on Tuesday night at the Sachem Public Library with over 80 people attending a special presentation on the role of Lake Ronkonkoma and the Long Island Motor Parkway.

Sponsored by the Lake Ronkonkoma Heritage Association, the presentation was raised $400 for Child Abuse Prevention Services.

Here are the answers to several questions discussed tonight. Photo courtesy of Jim Ryan.


Howard Kroplick

Why and when was this Motor Parkway brochure created?

1929 issued when the Motor Parkway opened the Fresh Meadows entrance in Queens.


How is this residence linked to the Motor Parkway?

Undeneath the restoration is the Ronkonkoma Lodge.

What was the name of the Petit Trianon Inn before it opened?

Ronkonkoma Inn.

Who was this gentleman and how is he linked to the Motor Parkway?

In 1942 Walter T. Shriley purchased almost 900 acres of land owned by the Motor Parkway after it closed.

Where was this treasure found?

A remnant of a dish from Petit Trianon found by Steve Lucas..

Who designed this building and what has it been used for over the years?

John Russel Pope. The building was a staff annex to Petit Trianon, a restaurant and a nursing home.

Where did these steps lead to? Are they still there today?

The steps led to Lake Ronkonkoma. Some concrete remnants still exist today.

Which other Motor Parkway lodge had the exact same design for the residence of the lodgekeeper's family?


The Mineola and Huntington Lodges had the same pre-fabricated design.

Who is this young lady?

Everlyn Erickson, the daugther of lodgekeeper Eric Erickson, posing in front of the Ronkonkoma Lodge.

Where was the Parkway Inn located? Hint: It was not the Petit Trianon Inn.

This restaurant was located in the Annex of the Petit Trianon.

What happened to this Lake Ronkonkoma building?

Petit Trianon caught on fire in 1958.

Why did William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. and his business associates purchase this 891-acre property in Ronkonkoma?

To build a 3-mile or 5-mile speedway that would be the mecca of motor racing.


Sep 10 2017 Bob DeStefani 1:58 PM

Motor Parkway Inn
Poe and it was used as a place for the Triianon workers and later as an Inn and then as an old age home
The steps were the nine “court house” steps from the Trianon to the sea cliff
The Parkway Inn was located on Lake Drive between Washington Ave and Rosevale Ave.
The building was the Trianon in 1958 after the fire
The property was bought for the construction of a race track
The other photos I can’t recall

Sep 10 2017 Bob DeStefani 5:16 PM

The toll house looks like the one at Rosevale Avenue

Sep 13 2017 Frank Mendyk 10:06 AM

Howard, a great informative presentation as usual.  I really liked the Suffolk County map of the LIMP

Sep 13 2017 Mike Cain 11:06 AM

Sorry I missed your presentation Howard. I was really looking forward to it but thanks for this summary of the highlights. What a great story! Hope to see you soon.

Sep 14 2017 Bob DeStefani 11:14 AM

Hi Howard,
The presentation in Holdbrook was extremely informative, I have a question, it wasn’t in line with the flow of the subject matter that’s why I didn’t ask it at the questions section of your presentation, in your book ”Vanderbilt Cup Races of Long Island"on page 110 in the lower photo of the Alco I noticed what looks like two steel rods one over each of the front wheels, at your Roslyn show I examined them closer and I still couldn’t see the purpose, can you tell me what they are there for ?
Thanks for invite to the presentation, it was great
Bob DeStefani
Howard Kroplick

Bob, great to see you on Tuesday. Thanks for the stories of when Petit Trianon was your playhouse.

The two rods in the photo are brackets for a canvass fender when the Alco Black Beast was not racing.

Sep 16 2017 Bob DeStefani 10:18 AM

Hi Howard
I hate to bother you but, I have another question, and I think only you can answer, this time it’s about the Vanderbilt property turned over to the state in 1938 in lieu of taxes, as shown in the Motor Parkway map you had on the tables at the library, after the presentation I neglected to examine it as close as I should have, my mind was on the 70 mile trip I had to make getting back home my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be,  If these were the parcels turned over to the state in lieu of taxes, my question is, was the Petit Trianon and the property it sat on part of that property turned over to te state?  Your map would have the answer where the parkway terminated but I missed it.
Bob DeStefani
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Howard Kroplick

Great question! My favorite co-author Al Velocci may have the answer.

Sep 18 2017 Howard Kroplick 8:49 PM

Al Velocci:
Howard, The timing of your question regarding the the disposition of the Parkway’s Petit Trianon Inn property is impeccable. Yes, I am familiar with those details as they are covered in book I am writing on the Inn which I hope to publish later this year. All will be revealed at that time. Originally, this book was to be a chapter in my work on the Motor Parkway. There came a time when I realized I had more than enough very interesting material on the Inn (and the annex ) that it’s story should be told separately. Will keep you informed about the timing of publication. Thanks, Al.

Sep 19 2017 Bob DeStefani 8:51 AM

Howard, thank you answering that question, I’ll be looking for Mr. Velocci’s book it should be vey interesting.

Nov 03 2017 Bob DeStefani 10:46 AM

Hi Howard,
Just a quick question, it goes back to the Holbrook presentation on September 12th, is your map of the LIMP properties turned over to the state back in 1938, available for viewing in any of the Long Island Museums?
Bob DeStefani

Howard Kroplick

I believe that I have the only known copy.

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