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Letter: Knollwood Gates Restoration

There will be an official ribbon cutting of the restored Knollwood Gates located at Route 106 and Muttontown Road in Muttontown the morning of Friday, Dec. 9. This photograph shows a group of riders going fox hunting as they exit the gates.

Last week the gates were removed for the final restoration work which has been going on for some time. Ursula and Bill Niarakos of the Hoffman Center donated funds toward the restoration of the gates some time ago. Several other donations have been made to the project and it is all coming to fruition now.

We saw sketches of the work they have been engaged in and are looking forward to seeing them sparkling with their brass finials on top of the gates. It will be a wonderful addition to the Muttontown Preserve and Knollwood.

Betty Gilmartin, Muttontown Historian said, “The gates are on the north end of the Muttontown Preserve. It was originally the estate of Charles Hudson who ran the Knollwood Dairy. He employed quite a few people including the Oyster Bay Town Historian’s uncle, who drove the milk truck.

“It was an interesting decade in the history of Muttontown. Mr. Hudson was one of those wealthy people who rode to the foxes and there is a picture of them coming out of the gate. [See photo, courtesty of the Muttontown Historical Society member Stan Jackson.]

“The property was bought by Mr. Christie who also bought property on the south side of Muttontown Road which became part of the estate.

“There’s a big long story about King Zog of Albania who bought the property but never lived here.

“The house was demolished, after it was abandoned by King Zog. People came in looking for money and jewelry and it was pretty much destroyed. Mr. Christie tore it down because of taxes.

“Over the years it was considered the center of Muttontown. The Beautification Committee, headed by Ursula Niarakos and some other people donated money for the restoration of the gates – over the years,” said Ms. Gilmartin.

It will be a wonderful thing to see the gates finally installed. It will be a pleasure to tell you more of the story next week.

It’s a holiday present to the whole of Long Island! Congratulations to everyone involved.                     

   – DFK