"Island View Manor"
There is almost as much mystery
about the Tolfree Estate as there is about the Knapp Estate. It's
been in the Cutro Family since the 1940's and has been used as
a hotel and nightclub for much longer than it ever was as the
Tolfree's private residence. It was built by Edward & Aline
Tolfree. He was a chemist and worked with the DuPonts. Aline was
a writer. Some people think their home which was built in the
early 1900's was designed by the same architect as the one who
did the Knapp's mansion. I don't subscribe to that. Speaking of
subscriptions, Aline was an magazine editor for Scribner's at
the turn of the 19th century. Does that mean she knew the Knapp's?
The Tolfree property purchased from
the Smith's extended from Neighborhood Road to the waters edge
at Smith's Point. There was no public access then to the future
Several locals have told me stories
about the place when it was under Tolfree ownership. Estelle Parr
Schulz, recalls going there with her father in the 1930's and
early '40's when he would service the Tolfree vehicles. Unlike
the milk and cookies that Miss Eugenie provided just up the road
at The Manor Of St. George, Estelle remembers the Rotweiler Guard
Dogs that patrolled the grounds here. Mrs. Jendral the Mastic
Beach Postmaster provided catering for the parties that the Tolfree's
would host. Aline passed away in 1944 and her husband sold the
place soon after.
Not too long after the Cutro's first
opened "Island View Manor" as a restaurant, their good
friend from Astoria used to come out on weekends and sing for
his supper and the entertainment of many Mastic area folks, my
parents included. His name Tony Bennett!
JANUARY 21, 2002