A Partial History of Dune Alpin Farm

Sep 25, 2018 at 02:31 pm by bwsupport


History of Dune Alpin Farm

 

Dune Alpine Farm first originated in the East Hampton area of Long Island’s east end.  Two hundred years ago the McAlpin family owned the land.  The ocean had long since receded from the property, but it left a dune.  Hence the name evolved from McAlpin Dune Farm.  The original landowner was George L. McAlpin, a New York hotel man who referred to the one thousand acre farm as his summer residence.

After Mr. McAlpin's death his estate was probated on December 11, 1922 and recorded to have been valued at that time of $3,000,000.00.  Mr. McAlpin's final will was very specific, which describes the estate as being split into sevenths, with his widow to receive all household effects and one seventh of all income.  Mr. McAlpin's daughters share was equal while Mr. McAlpin's son was to receive three sevenths of all income.

The property was later sold in 1932 to the son of a dairy farmer from Hicksville, New York to a gentleman by the name of Abe Katz.  Mr. Katz renamed the farm to be known as Dune Alpine Farm and over the years created one of the largest dairy farms in East Hampton with over four hundred and fifty head of quality Holsteins, (milking cows) on the east end of Long Island.  In 1964 Dune Alpine Farm was the first farm on the island to install an automated milking parlor allowing thirteen cows to be milked at once.

Dairy farming is a seven day a week job between having to milk cows in the morning and then again in the afternoon, and that doesn't include the additional time spent riding the tractors and cutting, raking, and baling hay.  At the end of the day or week the work may have been long and hard, but it was rewarding and enjoyable.

Unfortunately, times change and the East Hampton, L. I., N.Y dairy farm ceased operation in 1969, which was once one of the most successful dairy farms for over 30 years.  It was a very sad day when Abe Katz decided it was time to end the operation and sell off the cows and equipment.  It was also a sad day for those who worked the farm with Abe for over 30 years, men like Merrick E. Davis, who was the first individual responsible for producing the first mowed and baled hay for the farm, Harry Lamonda, and Vernal LaFoe and their families.

There was another farm down the road called Cove Hollow farm, which has been sold with the barn being renovated to a house.  Then there was another older gentleman, Willard Nichols, who had ponies and was also guaranteed to be at every town parade with his ponies and pull cart.

Abe Katz was also a member of the Lions Club and each summer would hold their chicken BBQ in the lower pasture adjacent to Cove Hollow Rd. and U.S. 27 (Montauk highway).  People from everywhere would show up for this event and sit on bales of hay to get their half of chicken, corn on the cob and baked potato with watermelon for desert.  Willard Nichols would be there with his ponies giving kids pony rides.

Eighty-five acres of the farm was later operated by a lessee as a horse farm and later sold and converted to horse barns and later sold again for condominium and housing developments.  For a short time horse shows were conducted on the farm and referred to as the "Hampton's Classic".

The first horse show started in 1971 by the Topping Riding Club in Sagaponack, New York as a one-day show.  In 1976 the Southampton Horse Classic became a five-day rated show held initially at Dune Alpin Farm in East Hampton (town), New York.  In 1978, its name was formally changed to the Hampton Classic and in 1982 it moved to its present location on Snake Hollow Road Bridgehampton.

In December of 1981 a 135-acre parcel of the farm was sold to a partnership of Tina Fredericks and Stanley Harte Jr. (The Dune Alpin Farm Co-op).  The partnership paid a total of $1,625,000 for all 135 acres.  The co-ops to be built were described by Mr. Harte as ''ultra-luxury'' and attracted buyers of commensurate means.  There is no guardhouse.  Mr. Harte said he saw no need for that here.  But what he did want was a maintenance staff to provide almost hotel-like services for owners.  He felt owners would want to phone ahead on a Friday night and be sure the refrigerator is fully stocked with food when they arrive home or have the fireplace lit and ready by the time the owner arrived.  The staff was to take care of it.  Staff would also prepare the house for arrival and clean up after departure.

The community began building luxury co-op community units on the original farm of Abe Katz.  The fifty acres that included the buildings that once housed cows and later horses were kept by the developers and were planned for rehabilitated into what will be a "deluxe riding and boarding facility."  An additional 50 acres was dedicated to the town of East Hampton or village for scenic easements.[1]

It was the most ambitious housing effort yet undertaken in East Hampton, a $14 million project in which the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States made a $9.5 million construction loan.[2]

 

The partnership of Tina Fredericks and Mr. Harte bought 85 acres of Dune Alpin Farm, and then bought 50 additional acres nearby, paying a total of $1,625,000 for all 135 acres.  The cluster plan ultimately approved by the town provided for the construction of 45 cooperatives in six clusters of low, cedar-clad buildings with pitched roofs on 22 acres. The three other units were in existing, totally rehabilitated cottages on the site. There were also four tennis courts and two swimming pools.

 

The Delta Group of Philadelphia was brought in as architects and land planners. Castagna & Sons of Manhasset is the general contractor.

 

In addition, the developers offered 59 half-acre to one-and-a-half-acre lots for sale, at current prices of $45,000 to $150,000, for custom home construction off the winding roads and a few cul-de-sacs. Home positioning and exterior characteristics - pitched roofs, cedar shingles, no contemporary architecture - conformed to architectural guidelines to preserve overall harmony.

 

Fifty acres that include the buildings that once housed horses have been kept by the developers and were rehabilitated into what were planned as a ''deluxe riding and boarding facility.'' And 50 acres were dedicated to the town or village as scenic easements.

 

The co-ops were described by Mr. Harte as ''ultra-luxury'' and attracted buyers of commensurate means. Most paid all cash.  The eight one-bedroom units with 1,600 square feet of space were for sale at $105,000; the 10 convertible two-bedroom units with 1,900 square feet (''convertible'' because one bedroom could be used as a dining room) were placed on sale for $127,000; the 15 two-bedroom units with 2,800 square feet were to be sold for $173,000, and the 15 three-bedroom units with 3,100 square feet were to be sold for $235,000.

 

In contrast to many comparably priced new developments in the metropolitan region, security systems were not emphasized at Dune Alpin Farm.  There was no guardhouse. Mr. Harte said he saw no need for that here.  But what there was a maintenance staff to provide almost hotel-like services for owners.

 

Bankruptcy and Transition to the Co-op and Property Owners

 

By 1983 it became clear the co-op project was in trouble.[3]  Sale of units and lots had stalled.  In 1983 Mr. Harte declared personal bankruptcy and removed himself from the project’s operations.  In October 1984, Dune Alpin sought debt restructuring under Chapter XI of the Federal Bankruptcy Act.  In May 1984, 41 of the 59 lots were sold to the North Fork Bank and Trust Company, thus avoiding a public action.  From 1982-1985, 39 of the 48 cooperative units (one-, two-, and three-bedroom units) were sold, and in August 1985, the management team was forced to liquid the remaining 9-units at auction.  For example, three-bedroom units originally offered for $270,000 were sold at auction at prices ranging from $122,000 to $165,000.  Throughout this tumultuous phase, the existing owners continued to enjoy a well-maintained property with tennis courts and swimming pools that were enhanced by extensive services and a wonderful staff.[4]

Early Co-op Owners

Linda and Gene Kaye

Arnold Schiller

Joan Frohman

Kathy Marino

Ira Goldstein

Bob Nemmoroff

 

Past DAF Board Presidents

  1. Xxx
  2. Yyy
  3. Zzzz
  4. Iii
  5. Jjjj
  6. Mel Cooper (1989-2006)
  7. Neil Faber (2006-2008)
  8. Bob Berger (2008)
  9. George Lee (2009)
  10. Biddle Worthington (2010-2012)
  11. George Lee (2012-2014)
  12. Bob Berger (2014-current)

Current Status



[1] Web Site Designed and Maintained by Dune Alpine Farm, http://dune-alpinefarm.webs.com/

[2] July 31, 1981, About Real Estate; REAL ESTATE HEIR DEVELOPS LUXURY ON SUFFOLK FARM, By Alan S. Oser, Special to the NEW YORK TIMES

[3] NY Times, “An East End Co-op Plan That Faltered”, by Thomas Clavin, August 25, 1985

[4] Joan Frohman, Letter to the East Hampton Star, November 25, 1984.