Keith Snedecor shares family history

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On Thursday, Nov. 16, members of the community met at the Bay Shore-Brightwaters Public Library to hear Keith Snedecor’s presentation on the Snedecor Inn through the years.

Almost all the chairs were filled, making it evident that this month’s Bay Shore Historical Society meeting was met with anticipation throughout the community. As always, the meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance. Afterward, Keith Snedecor began his hour-long presentation.

Snedecor is a 13th-generation Snedecor. He started by mentioning his first ancestor, who came over with the Dutch West India Company in 1639 and settled in lower Manhattan. In the 1650s, they moved to Brooklyn. From there, the following generations would branch out across Long Island.

He then showed a portrait of his ancestor, Eliphalet Snedecor, who established The  Snedecor Inn. It was established in 1830, and it was operated up until 1866. It was then employed by The South Side Sportsmen’s Club. The Inn had hosted well known guests such as Charles Tiffany, Daniel Webster and President Martin Van Buren. After the building was purchased in 1866, many changes occurred. The building was split in half, and the decor changed too.

Built in 1780 by Jessie Smith was a stagecoach stop that stood for over 100 years before being lost to fire in 1883. Snedecor showed more photos of the Inn and the land throughout the years.

Next, Snedecor explained the history of the South Side Sportsmen’s Club. In 1866, the club was chartered on Long Island. The first article of its constitution stated, “This club is established for the protection of game birds and fish and for the promotion of social intercourse among its members.”

Over the years, it became a hunting and fishing club. Snedecor said, “It attracted the New York aristocracy of the city; they all came to Connetquot to relax and enjoy the pristine environment.” The club no longer exists; the property is now part of the Connetquot River State Park Preserve.

He showed pictures of the dining room, living room, and kitchen. Many people in the audience were shocked to hear that men and women had their own living rooms and that the only time both shared space was on New Year’s. Some of the decor was original, but most were filler pieces received through donations.