• Humes Property

    Experience the History of the Humes Preserve

    The Schmidlapp-Humes Estate, now known as the Humes Preserve, has a long history that dates to the Matinecock Indian tribe’s occupation of the area. It includes 17th century boundary disputes between the Dutch and English and milling and farming from the 18th to 20th centuries. Its transformation to a country estate began in the early 1920s, during the second wave of the Country Place Era. This was a time when wealthy New York City families sought a retreat from city living and commissioned prominent architects and landscape architects to create their country estates. Articles in The New York Times and The New-York Tribune document Carl J. Schmilapp’s real estate transactions from 1924 through 1927 that resulted in an 83-acre estate complete with buildings designed by Peabody, Wilson & Brown, gardens by Ellen Biddle Shipman and Vitale and Geiffert and two stocked trout ponds and trout streams. The oldest structures we see on the property today – Rumpus House and Tavern House – served as primary residences for the Schmidlapp and Humes families for nearly a century. The transition from a single country estate to two distinct family complexes began in 1952 when Frances and Carl Schmidlapp hired architect Alfred Shaknis to design a remodeling and expansion of the two-bedroom Tavern House (located on the west side of the property along Oyster Bay Road). A year, later Frances and Carl gave their youngest daughter Jean Schmidlapp-Humes three acres of land, the now four-bedroom cottage and a garage with parking court. In 1954, Jean hired Kasso and Luce to build a children’s playhouse where the remodeled tennis hut now stands. Two years later, with a fifth son on the way, Carl Schmidlapp sold two more acres of land to the Humeses, bringing their land holding to just under 6 acres. This transaction marked the beginning of the development of the Humes family compound. The building campaign they initiated under Alfred Shaknis and guided by Innocenti & Webel’s landscape design lasted from 1954 to 1962. Projects included a second-floor addition to the Tavern House, an expansion of the garage to accommodate guest quarters, a new garage and entrance drive, a tennis court and adjoining rose garden for Jean. They also included the creation of an entertainment area complete with a swimming pool, fountain, pool house and patio with a built-in barbeque that served as the centerpiece of the property. It was outdone only by the addition of a curved stairway that led to the wine cellar constructed below a new greenhouse with a fountain and potting shed. The last major landscape undertaking was John’s Japanese Stroll Garden which was inspired by his business travel to Japan and interest in Asian culture. After his purchase of a tea house in Japan in 1962, the Tavern House back yard and pond were transformed over the next three years into a stroll garden under the direction of Joni and Douglas Defaya. When the Humes Preserve officially opens to the public, a series of photographs depicting the property’s history will be housed in the former tennis hut. The exhibition will include aerial photographs, designs from Innocenti & Webel’s archives and images from what remains of the Humes family photo albums. The tennis hut/exhibition space was recently restored through a generous grant from the Paul and Maxine Frohring Foundation. Please stop by to learn more.


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  • O'Neil Stewards Program

    2020 O’Neil Conservation Stewards

    A Long Island native, Peter is a rising senior at Vassar College majoring in Earth Science and Society (a unique blend of Earth Science and Geography) and minoring in Creative Writing. When not exploring the Peconic Bay on a paddle board or attempting to hike the 46 highest mountains of the Adirondacks, Peter can often be found reading outside, or nestled in a bookstore in an effort to write a novel about dragons. Nicole Miliano Nicole is a senior Environmental Sustainability/Geography major at SUNY Oneonta. She is looking forward to gaining experience working outdoors in the hopes of protecting our natural resources. During a service trip in Guatemala, her passion for preventing land and water pollution was reinforced. She is interested in water quality, land conservation, travel and being immersed in different cultures. James Pizaro James is a student at Stony Brook University focusing on Environmental Studies. He is a Long Island native and an Eagle Scout and has dedicated hours of service to conservation through scouting. He is excited about helping our environment with his summer work at the Land Alliance!


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  • Friends Academy (FA) Students Raise Funds to purchase a Bench at the Humes Preserve

    Help Us Make an Impact! We have been interning for the North Shore Land Alliance this month through our school’s ISP Program, an independent service project offered to seniors in their final semester at Friends Academy. The North Shore Land Alliance, a local nonprofit that has preserved over 1,200 acres of land on the North Shore, is opening the historic 33-acre Humes Preserve in Mill Neck to the public this summer. As a part of our project, we would like to raise $2,000 for a bench the Land Alliance will install for public enjoyment at the Humes preserve. We want to help make an impact and give this property something for everyone to enjoy – like a place to sit and enjoy nature with friends after the pandemic is over. Please help us reach our goal! The Humes Preserve is at the heart of a corridor of 150 contiguous protected acres in the Beaver Brook watershed.  They form one of Long Island’s most treasured and ecologically valuable natural areas and boast an array of ecological communities like wetlands, streams and forests. Click here to read more about the Acquisition of the Humes Property in 2015. We chose to intern at the North Shore Land Alliance because we both love the outdoors and wanted to be outside every day helping in the Land Alliance preserves. We are also passionate about the environment and want to help protect land and make an impact in land conservation in our community. Our responsibilities at the Land Alliance have included trail maintenance, preserve cleanups and more. We have been in school together at Friends Academy for four years and have played football together for the past two years. Our experience at Friends has definitely been one to remember especially with doing our ISP internship at the North Shore Land Alliance.  


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  • Iselin Preserve

    Meet our 2020 Summer Conservation Stewards

    Nicole Miliano Nicole Miliano is a senior Environmental Sustainability/Geography major at SUNY Oneonta. She is looking forward to continuing gaining experience working outdoors in hopes to protect the environment. During a service trip in Guatemala, her passion for preventing land and water pollution was reinforced. She is interested in water quality, land conservation, travel, and being immersed in different cultures. James Pizaro James Pizaro is a student at Stony Brook University studying Environmental Studies. He is a Long Island native and an Eagle Scout and has dedicated hours of service time to conservation through Scouting. He can’t wait to continue helping our environment with the Land Alliance! Peter Markotsis A Long Island native, Peter Markotsis is a rising senior at Vassar College majoring in Earth Science and Society (a unique blend of Earth Science and Geography) and minoring in Creative Writing. When not exploring the Peconic Bay on a paddle board or attempting to hike the 46 highest mountains of the Adirondacks, Peter can often be found reading outside, or nestled in a bookstore in an effort to write a novel about dragons. For more information about the North Shore Land Alliance William C. and Joyce C. O’Neil Conservation Steward program, please contact Meghan Leverock at 516-922-1028 or meghan@northshorelandalliance.org. Click here to read more about the O’Neil Conservation Stewards program.


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  • Places to Go and Things to Do

    While social distancing is recommended right now, there’s no reason you cannot get up close and personal with Mother Nature. Health researchers have found that spending two hours a…


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