Nassau Knolls: random PW names in the cemetery

By Christopher Bain

We loved all the replies to the Halloween Then & Now post... showing 30+ names at the Nassau Knolls cemetery. Several people wrote about their relatives, while others tied in a few names that we showed. While these specific stones might not represent these specific Cow Neck families referenced below, many of the names are family.  Here is our very abbreviated list of the names and how those names might be recognizable.


  • Hyde: Real estate in Port Washington, for generations
  • Dodge: As in the Dodge Homestead, early landowners and farmers, who stayed in the house that the Society maintains, for 7 generations. See our website for more information.
  • Mitchell: As in Mitchell Road, that large tract of land described best in George William's book, Historic Mitchell Farms, still available at the Society's headquarters, the Sands-Willets House.
  • Hewett: Early PW landowners. Could use more information here.
  • Seaman: As in Seaman-Needham hardware store, where Finn MacCools is today.
  • Henderson: As in Henderson Avenue
  • Cocks: Who owned the Mill across from where Stop & Shop is today, and much of that land where that group of store are. One of the families that introduced oyster farming, along with other shellfish, which became the largest employer in town by 1880 or so.
  • Morgan: As in Morgan's Dock, Morgan's Landing, and other local references.
  • VanWicklen: Related to the Morgan's, had a store on lower Main (bldg still there); First dockmaster; Raced sail boats and ice boats;
  • Mackey: As in the Avenue of the same name!
  • Schenck: Large early family in the area, with ancestors resting in many of our town's cemeteries.
  • Baker: Baker Funeral Home, for many years, one of our two such institutions, next to the present Library, until the house was razed for the current parking lot.
  • Goodwin: Goodwin-Gallagher, huge sand company, all over the peninsula.
  • Sheets: Could this be the Sheets of Sheets Creek? Someone should research this!
  • Davis: Davis Avenue
  • Hehn: Another real estate and insurance company.
  • Brower: Brower's hardware, Brower's Moving & Storage, where Arena Sports & Graphics are today.
  • Hopkins: Old PW family, and Milton Hopkins was a founder of the Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society. Thanks for everything, Milton. We don't know how you did it!
  • William Guggenheim: Obviously the family had many homes and estates in Sands Point. Not sure what this connection is, but we welcome research in this area.
  • Cornwell: Sometimes spelled, Cornwall, Cornell, Cornwell, this is as old a family as exists on the Cow Neck Peninsula. Cornwall Beach Road, among other references.
  • Zwerlein: Family behind Louie's, for 5 generations.
  • Hicks: Huge family in the area; Hicks Lane.
  • Gould: Family originally owned what is now Sands Point Park & Preseve. See earlier THEN & NOW columns for more info.
  • Fleming: The Fleming Buidling was the one that burned, across from the RR station last year. Could this be THE Fleming?
  • Mullon: Mullon Place (early builder of homes and stores, I think)
  • Knowles: As in Austin F. Knowles Funeral Home, originally on lower Main Street and founded in 1905. Susie Knolls points out that the business will be 110 next year!!! Imagine that!
  • Baxter: As in Baxter Estate; Hyde & Baxter had a partnership in real esate and the actual safe that they kept the money in is still on lower main street, in the Shoe Vault (as of 2 years ago). Must weight 3000 pounds…
  • Bird: The "Bird House", the first home of our historical society, is the house on Lower Main, next to the softball field and the PYA building, now home to the Village of Baxter Estates.  Bird families have been here since the 1700s and were involved in shipping, and dealing in oysters, sugar, and other commodities as far south as Richmond VA.
  • McKee: Owner of General Store, just across from the southwest corner of the Mill Pond, where the little bank was, now being used as a church. One of the early Post Offices, when they were in general stores.
  • Smull: As in Lorenzo Smull, builder/co-founder of Bank of North Hempstead (now Fish Kebab) and Main Street School (now Landmark on Main Street).

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