Saturday, May 19, 2018

Farmingdale State College

Farmingdale State College, originally designed to accommodate upper-level high school students in agricultural training, was founded in 1912 under the name of New York State School of Agriculture on Long Island.  The school has also be named: the New York Institute of Applied Agriculture, the Long Island Agricultural and Technical Institute, SUNY Agricultural and Technical Institute, SUNY Agricultural and Technical College, SUNY at Farmingdale, SUNY College of Technology at Farmingdale, and SUNY College of Technology at Farmingdale.

The founding of the College was originally proposed by State Assemblyman John Lupton in 1909. Lupton Hall, which houses the departments of Chemistry and Physics as well the School of Engineering Technology, now bears his name. The bill to create the school was originally vetoed by Governor Dix. With the lobbying efforts of Franklin W. Hooper, John Lupton, Frederick Cox, Hal Fullerton, James Cooley, and C. H. Howell, the bill was passed to create the school.

The earliest years of the college were devoted to the technology of farming – both farm crops and dairy and animal husbandry. The early curriculum consisted of courses in agronomy, horticulture, and general studies.

In 1920, the college began a farm equipment show that included the various kinds of machinery that would be used on a farm. In 1987, the agricultural programs were discontinued; only Ornamental Horticulture remains. The school became a four-year college in 1990. In 1946, the mission of the college expanded to include technical education.

Hicks and Cutler Halls were originally called the Horticulture and Agronomy Buildings. They were both constructed in 1914.  Ward Hall was constructed in 1914, this building served as a dormitory for over 40 years. Thompson Hall, named after Senator George Thompson, was built in 1938. It was originally the Administration building, housing the Director's Office, the main office, the library, animal husbandry laboratories, and some classrooms.

Dr. Franklin W. Hooper, the namesake of Hooper Hall, was the Director of the Institute of Arts and Sciences, Brooklyn, NY. In 1911, he called a meeting of his colleagues to discuss the establishment of a School of Agriculture on Long Island

Horton Hall was named for D. Hart Horton, and early Professor of Poultry Science. Built in 1936, Knapp Hall was dedicated on October 20, 1937, by then Governor Herbert H. Lehman. The Director's Cottage was built in 1914.

Mott House was owned by the Mott family, one of the families who sold land to the college to become part of the original campus. The house served as a women's dormitory for many years. It is no longer in existence.


“Campus Buildings- Past, Present, Future.” Farmingdale State College,

Cavaioli, Frank J. State University of New York, Farmingdale. Arcadia Publishing, 1999.

“Farmingdale State College.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 16 May 2018,

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Massapequa "Haunted" House

For decades, a Massapequa home has been the center of tall tales and teenage rite-of-passage visits. The owners call it Cafaro Castle. The house’s legend stem from its looks. The house is bright red with gothic trimmings along with turrets and an iron fence. One of the more common rumors is that the curtains are made from coffin liners. Another one is that the number of candles in the window represent the amount of people in your car and seeing them will bring misfortunes. There’s a persistent tale of a horse-drawn hearse in the backyard.

While neighbors have noted that there are residents in the house, there is little activity throughout the course of a normal day. The surrounding homes on the block carry on with daily activities as if there wasn’t a large, brick mansion across the street; complete with turrets, a “bleeding” maroon sidewalk and a hearse parked in the driveway, barred behind an eight foot tall wrought iron fence that is perpetually chained. Several overgrown trees block some of the house from view.

The design of the house is architecturally symmetrical, down to the 25 plus windows that evoke a grinning devil face. The curtains are drawn at all times and are said to be coffin linings. Legend has it that candles suddenly illuminate in the upstairs window when cars drive by the house. Supposedly, the number of candles in the window corresponds to the number of people in the car, and it is said to be very bad luck for those who see the candles.

Some say that the residents belong to a Satanist cult who chant behind closed doors. Others claim to have seen people emerge from the house, dressed head to toe in Gothic black.

Of course, the reality is, none of this is true. A normal family lives at the house.


“Haunted Houses In Massapequa.” Massapequa Observer, 14 Oct. 2016,

Leita, John. Long Island Oddities: Curious Locales, Unusual Occurrences, and Unlikely Urban Adventures. The History Press, 2013