The meeting was
organized in 1702 by an outstanding English Quaker, Thomas Story, at the
home of William Mott in Great Neck, as part of the Flushing Monthly
In 1703 a meeting led
by Samuel Bownes, was held at the home of Jacob Doughty of Cow Neck where
meetings continued to be held each First Day until 1706. In 1706 and 1707
meetings were held alternately each First Day at the homes of William Mott
in Great Neck and Jacob Doughty of Cow Neck. In 1708 upon the latter's
removal to another locality, the Cow Neck First Day meeting was held at
the home of Richard Cornwell and the Sixth Day meeting at the home of
William Hutchings of Cow Neck.
In 1715, this Meeting
was transferred from the Flushing to the Westbury Monthly Meeting.
In 1719 it was
concluded to build a Meeting House at Cow Neck, the place and dimensions
to be left to Joseph Latham, William Hutchings, James Jackson, William
Mott, Jeremiah Williams and Richard Cornwell. The site, one half acre and
nineteen square rods, was given by Joseph Latham, who at that time owned
all of the land from Gildersleeve's Creek (Plandome Mill Pond) to the
present Northern Boulevard, and from the Bay to about one quarter mile
east of the Meeting House The site chosen was located "at the head of the
neck, west side of the road leading from Herrick's to Gildersleeve's Creek."
The first Meeting
House, which stood about one hundred feet southwest of the present
building, was completed in 1720. At that time the highway known as Shelter
Rock Road, probably the oldest in the vicinity, extended as above from the
present Plandome Mill to the Herrick's Pond area. It passed to the east
of the Meeting House property. then to the side of the brook which had
its source just north of the Meeting House, thence along the course of the
brook to tide water. This road was abandoned in 1751 and the present Plandome Road was laid out, in general as it is today.
John Fothergill led a very large meeting at the Cow Neck Meeting House.
"On the shortest day of the year 1725, it being snowy and stormy, eighteen
persons went, in company with Thomas Chalkley, from Cedar Swamp to Cow
Neck, where he had a good meeting!"
A curious entry
appears in the Hempstead Town Records (Vol 3, p. 293) to the effect that
in 1737, seventeen years after the Meeting House was erected, Joseph
Latham sold to the meeting for the sum of six pounds "half acre and about
nineteen square rods of ground including the Meeting House and stables. "
In 1755 and again in 1763 the Meeting House and shed were repaired.
In 1780 an additional
one half acre was purchased from Adrian Onderdonk for, as recorded,
nineteen pounds and eight shillings, which is possibly an error as it is
out of line with land prices of that time. This purchase, however,
included a fence of unknown length and material which may account for the
In 1782 the Meeting
House was occupied by Hessian Cavalrymen. The Friends protested to the
English Governor‑General Robertson, who ordered Col. Wormb to vacate and
restore the building. In 1783 it was again occupied by soldiers as a guard
house and considerable damage was done to the seats and fence which had to
be repaired by the Meeting, as the British and Hessians were shortly
forced to withdraw from the Island.
In 1786 "the Westbury
stove was put in the Cow Neck Meeting House" but it proved inadequate and
another was bought in 1789.
In 1809 it was
proposed to erect a new Meeting House on Thomas Appleby's land on Middle
Neck Road, east side, one hundred yards north of its intersection with the
present Northern Boulevard, a more central location. In 1812 it was
concluded to erect a new building on the old ground, northeast of the
original structure. The old building was torn down and the present Meeting
House, erected from both old and new materials. The old benches, with some
new ones, were used in the building.
At the Monthly Meeting
held at Westbury on January 20, 1813 the building committee reported that
the Cow Neck Meeting House was completed. As this was the first
opportunity for the report to be presented, it is evident that the present
Meeting House was completed in 1812.
The cost was $1547.25,
which was $297.25 above the estimated cost. Three hundred dollars had been
subscribed by the Cow Neck Meeting and nine hundred fifty dollars by the
Westbury Monthly Meeting. Some of the unused old material was sold for
$24.98 which left a deficit of $272.27 and a committee was immediately
appointed to clear up this indebtedness.
In the Hempstead Town
Records, which included North Hempsteadfrom 1644 until 1784, there
are a number of references to Cow Neck (Manhasset) Meeting House as a
reports from the records of Westbury Monthly Meeting.
"Friends on Long Island and New York" by Henry Onderdonk, Jr.
of Long island" by Benjamin F Thompson "History of Long island" by Peter