In late 1936 as she was contemplating the transfer of what was then called "Westbrook" to the Long Island State Park Commission, Olivia James wrote of the two purposes she and her mother envisioned for what is today, Bayard Cutting Arboretum, named for her father William Bayard Cutting.
"These purposes are:
(1) That Westbrook shall be an oasis of beauty and of quiet, and that it shall be a source of pleasure, rest and refreshment to those who delight in outdoor beauty.
(2) That it shall serve to bring about a greater appreciation and understanding, on the part of both the general public and of those professionally concerned with landscape design of the value and importance of informal planting, and shall thus be an influence in preserving the amenities of our native landscape."
With 691 acres situated on the picturesque Connetquot River, Bayard Cutting Arboretum fulfills Ms. James' wishes in fine style. Visitors can learn about the value and appearance of planned, but informal plantings on a country estate. Or they can merely enjoy the serenity of a walk among the trees of the pinetum or among the rhododendrons. Most trees are labeled so that visitors can learn how they might appear in their landscape at home. The Bayard Cutting Horticultural Club offers programs that add to the educational value of the place. http://www.bcahortsociety.org/
The estate mansion is maintained in its original style with furnishings typical of the estate era. Guided tours of the mansion are available seasonally. A café on the first floor offers light luncheon with a stunning view over the great lawn of the Connetquot River. Formal teas are offered and can be arranged by reservation. Historical retrospective photo exhibits in the mansion show that Westbrook was once a well known dairy farm producing glass-bottled milk for sale in local markets. One of the original barns remains in the farm area of the arboretum.
It's a wonderful place to relax, read a book, and experience the peace and serenity of estate living in the 1920s and ‘30s. Please note:
is required to take all but personal photos at Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park. It must be obtained prior to the event and a fee may be required. Please contact the park for further information regarding photography permits at (631) 581-1002.