Thursday, August 11, 2011

Stable Grounds

A few years ago I was surfing for images 
of old polo stables when I found this amazing photo.
The details are stunning:  herringbone brick floors, 
circle windows above the tilt-in stall windows, 
an arch window topped doorway, 
 and a handsome hanging light fixture. 

We've all seen new, state-of-the-art equestrian 
ranch buildings in magazines and books, 
but when you run across an older photo, 
it's more interesting somehow. 
After a little digging, I quickly found the source 
of the photo and the exterior of the building.

This was the polo pony barn for the estate 
of Marshall Field III, grandson of the famous 
department store pioneer, built in 1922. 
It is now part of the state parks system in New York. 
The property was purchased from the family in 1961 
and became Caumsett State Historic Park. 
These historic estate grounds are situated 
on a peninsula extending into Long Island Sound.

In 1921 Marshall Field III purchased 1750 acres to 
build a self-sufficient English-style estate which 
he named "Caumsett" an Indian name 
meaning "place by a sharp rock."

The complex was a combination country club, 
 hunting preserve, and home, complete with its
own water and electrical supply. 

When the estate was finished, it had facilities for 
every sport except golf. The main house is shown below, 
and was originally much larger than it is now.

The land is now open to the public, as are 
most of the remaining buildings.

I have never been there but it is now on my "list".
If you have ever had the pleasure of visiting Caumsett, 
please comment and let me know if it is worth a visit.

For more information:

Photo credits:
1. Samuel H. Gottscho taken in 1933. Courtesy of
2. Caumsett  Estate, Polo Stables. Photo courtesy of
3. Photo courtesy of, photos taken by James Robertson.


Pamela Gordon said...

Interesting post! That inside photo of the stable it beautiful. It would be an interesting place to visit. Thanks for sharing.

Michele Smith said...

I thought it was interesting as well. I'd love to visit there.
Have a great day!


Oh my, this stables are fabulous and in the Long Island anything in my home state! How are you aweetie and how is your Polo House, this days?
Have a great weekend. Hugs,

Designs By Pinky said...

No, have never been there but now I want to go! Beautiful!!!! XO, Pinky

Richard Cottrell said...

The stables are bigger and almost grandeur than the home. I loved the period of history when all those wealthy people built such wonderful homes and stables. This was all before Income tax. see what the US Goverment did to us. hated it! I love this stable, that's when a dollar got a lot. Richard from My Old Historic house.

Deserae said...

WOW!!! Fabulous......just really beautiful!! Have a great weekend :o)

Robin@DecoratingTennisGirl said...

This is wonderful. I love to go to Marshall Fields in Chicago on State St. It is now Macy's but I can't help refering to it as Fields. I would love to visit!

The enchanted home said...

Totally breathtaking and an intersting tidbit of information!Stop by doing a great giveway ends tonight (if you haven't already)

Town and Country Gals said...

That is one beautiful stable! Years ago, I bought at book called American Stables An Architectural Tour by Julius Trousdale Sadler,Jr. and Jacquelin D.J. Sadler. It has a lot of photos of old stables along with drawings and history. It is amazing the things they built back then for their beloved horses.

Babs said...

Love the barn and to me, it's more beautiful than the house. Love, love the brick floors. I haven't been there, but it sounds like a lovely place to visit.

Kellie Collis said...

What a fabulous house! Enjoy the lovely day, Kellie xx

Karen said...

The stables and the story are amazing. So interesting. To this day I still wish that Marshall Field's (the store) still existed. It was the best, I loved it. Mr. Field's has wonderful taste. Thanks for such an interesting post.

Honey at 2805 said...

Thanks for sharing this bit of history. This stable is so grand!

Kathy said...

How marvelous - love the detail in the herringbone brick flooring! Terrific photos - that'd be a wonderful place to visit - Hope you get an opportunity soon
Thoroughly enjoyed my visit your newest follower,

Red Rose Alley said...

Oh, how I love horses. I rode one at my brother-in-law's ranch in Oregon one time and it was so wild that it almost bucked me off. Your pictures are wonderful. Have a nice weekend.
~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

Burlap Luxe said...

Hi Alison, today I am blogging at the kitchen table, it was a place with and inspiring view today so it worked.

Love at things English hunt, when my son was 10 I did his room very gentlemans English quarters, this is when my much larger home was all English Cottage! I so miss the look sometimes.

I do get enjoyment visiting you and re-living my old design style :)

Thank you for your beauty and beautiful comments left on your way home :)

Keep inspiring all thing English Polo! it has a place in my heart!!

Upscale Downhome said...

What a fun way to learn about history! The floors are gorgeous so I can only imagine what the inside of the home looks like. It's a place I'd definitely like to visit.