This just in : From the Neighborhood News Columns
of The Patchogue Advance , May 1911.
Fact is I've known for some time that
Claire Knapp was a horsewoman probably before she ever focused
on her legendary show dogs. Her granddaughter told me that on
the phone back in September 2001 "I have a photo of my grandmother
on horseback that I'll ask my mother if you can have" .........
and since then I have found many articles in the N.Y. Times about
Claires equestrian adventures. Including those as the only woman
silky (trotter) racer at the Mineola Fairgrounds in the early
1900's. I will be adding those to this page in the near future,
but for now I'd like to kick off this page with what I feel is
a very lucky find that hits very close to home. The back yard
of the Mastic Beach Knapp Mansion that I'm sure still holds many
buried treasures. I'd love to get into the underground tunnel.......
One particular horse that she owned and showed and seems to
mentioned by name a great deal around 1910 was Zulal. In fact
she was thrown from Zulal at a show in New Jersey.
Adolph Almasy who has been a lifelong
friend of mine (we had our first band together in high school)
lived literally in the back yard of Knapp's Mastic Beach Mansion.
In fact he is still looking for a photo that his Dad took of his
sister Marguerite and himself around 1951 that clearly shows the
entire north face of mansion (PLEASE KEEP LOOKING PAL!!) It was
in the 1950's when his Dad was digging a garden that he unearthed
this treasure. Could this be a shoe from one of the Knapps horses?
Highly Probable ...owing to its location, a and condition.....And
could it be one of ZULALS?
THE MARK OF ZULAL?
This was Claire's backyard in Greenlawn
where she lived from 1912 - 1916 prior to moving to her Mastic
estate. It is highly likely the Mastic Beach land where the Almasy
house was built (between Dogwood & Lacrosse) once resembled
this scene, with horse exercise corrals etc. I know there were
several barns in the immediate area, as I used to play in them
MORE TO COME....STAY TUNED