On a crisp late afternoon in mid-November, Quest ventured out to Old Brookville, Long Island, to meet with the female smart set in this fabled village, who have helped to reinvigorate the North Shore community with restored commitment and dedication. Our setting was Rynwood, the vintage 60-room estate that sits upon 51 landscaped (and forested) acres that still recalls the opulent age of Long Island’s renowned Gold Coast. This Tudor-inspired mansion was the vision of Sir Samuel Agar Salvage, who was referred to in the 1920s as the “father of the rayon industry” (think “nylon”). And even with its vaulted ceilings, English oak paneling, stained-glass medallions and long-sounding corridors, this recently restored manor house is perfectly scaled and charmingly livable (think “cozy”). And it’s for sale! It is also worth noting that Rynwood is situated on Cedar Swamp Road, which several historians claim is the oldest road in America!
The group of community-minded leaders who met us at Rynwood are each involved with and dedicated to the North Shore Land Alliance (NSLA), a robust local land trust that is passionately supported by both private and public funding to protect and preserve the cherished open spaces of Long Island’s North Shore (see page 120 to learn more about the NSLA).
Quest listened to and saluted this dedicated group of still youthful yet highly accomplished women, and we photographed them in the courtyards, outbuildings, and gardens of this baronial residence. One cannot help but especially notice the spectacular library (seen above) that is a wing of Rynwood onto itself. Yet for all of its obvious grandeur, the triple-width fireplace and patina-perfect paneling add natural warmth and comfort to this near-chapel-like space (think “inviting”).
As we gathered up, reluctantly, to leave Rynwood, I was reminded of a conversation I recently had with Sir Samuel Agar Salvage’s grandson, Silas
Anthony Jr., who lived at Rynwood with his father and mother
(née Magdelaine Salvage) when he was a very young boy. Said Si to me, reflectively:
“I have fond memories of my grandfather, who would take me by the hand and walk the grounds of Rynwood, pointing out the hills and vales that still exist today. But what I most remember is the workmen in their cars winding down the long driveway, when they would leave the house at the end of a day’s work. There were a whole lot of cars.”