Waccabuc Country Club, 90 Mead Street

Original built by Martin R. Mead (#1) and Octavia Badeau Mead– early 1830s
Sold to cousin Robert Hoe III – rebuilt in 1877, renamed “Indian Spring.” 
Now Waccabuc Country Club, founded 1912

Club 6.JPG

Robert Hoe III is the great-grandson of Solomon Mead; his mother, Thyrza, was a granddaughter of Enoch Mead (daughter of Solomon Mead), therefore he comes from the two separate Mead lines that came to this country from England in the 1600s.

In 1830, Martin Rockwell Mead built a small house down the road and across the lane from Elmdon.  In 1838, Enoch Mead’s granddaughter, Thyrza, married Robert Hoe II , the founder of R. Hoe & Company, an early firm in the printing and tooling industry (his brother Richard Hoe went on to invent the rotary printing press in 1847). Robert and Thyrza lived in the city, but spent summers visiting Elmdon.  In 1877 their son, Robert III, bought the small house and property that Martin R. Mead had built in 1830; this purchase is now WCC.

Another building associated with the Mead family was Waccabuc House, which Martin R. Mead built in 1860.  It served as a hotel and stood for some 40 years at the north corner of Mead Street and Chapel Road.  Additionally, across from the hotel, where Mead Chapel now stands, was a large barn to accommodate neighbors’ and guests’ horses.  The hotel served the carriage trade until destroyed by fire in 1896.

Robert Hoe III

Robert Hoe III

Robert Hoe III married Olivia Phelps James (daughter of Daniel James and Elizabeth Woodbridge Phelps) on Aug 12, 1863.  They had nine children:  Elizabeth, Caroline, Olivia, Laura, Ellen James, Thyrza, Robert, Ruth Lancaster, and Arthur I.

Their house was greatly enlarged and remodeled from the one originally bought from Martin R. Mead.  They named it Indian Spring Farm, for the spring which still may be found on what is now the seventh hole.

Early 1900s. The inn provided guests with swimming, boating, golfing, tennis, and horseback riding facilities

Early 1900s. The inn provided guests with swimming, boating, golfing, tennis, and horseback riding facilities

In the early 1890s, Robert Hoe III built many new facilities for his estate:  houses for the estate manager and the coachman, a carriage house and stables for the horses, a lawn tennis court, a large boat house on Lake Waccabuc, a log cabin designed as a playhouse for his children, a schoolhouse on Schoolhouse Road, the original post office, a private racetrack on which to race his numerous horses (in the vicinity of the fourteenth hole).  After Robert Hoe’s death in 1912, Indian Spring Farm was sold to the Kings and Westchester Land Company, then owned by the family of George Mead, grandson of Enoch.  The house and grounds were turned into Lake Waccabuc Inn and operated by the George Mead family as an inn until 1927. 

Many of the outbuildings eventually became seasonal rentals to family members and friends and by the end of the late 40s and into the 50s, had passed into private hands.

 

Some had fanciful names, as depicted in this partial list of rental properties from 1942 and 1943:  Garden Cottage, Playhouse, Swallow Cottage, Orchard Cottage, Maisonette, Auntie Al's Sheepfold, Cider Mill and Wee Croft.

According to the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, published in April 1910, Robert Hoe III gathered “one of the greatest private library in America, and who was among the foremost men of his time in the development of the present-day newspaper printing press.”

Robert Hoe (first), son of Thomas and Elizabeth Hoe, of the Hamlet of Hoes, Leichestershire, born in Oct 29, 1784 and was a master carpenter,  who came to NYC in 1802 and was the grandfather of Robert Hoe III.  He married a daughter of Matthew Smith of North Salem, NY.  In 1805 he formed a partnership with 2 other men, a joiner and and inventor of a hand press.  They died and he continued the business under a new name, R. Hoe & Co.  He invented several machines for special printing work and retired from his business in 1832 and was succeeded by his son, Robert Hoe II.  The business invented the rotary press in 1846, which revolutionized the method of printing daily newspapers. Robert Hoe III eventually succeeded to the business after his father died in 1886.  Robert III further refined the development of another printing press invention in 1865 (curved stereotype plates, allowing printing of newspapers from a continuous roll of paper in one operation).  He also devoted much time and energy to the construction of presses for the printing of magazines in color, as well as millions of weekly magazines. He had a maxim (according to an article about him) which throws a sidelight on his character: “Concentration is the first condition of success”.  And another:  “Get behind a thing and push it; don’t put yourself in front and pull”.  These qualities were applied by Mr. Hoe to every enterprise in which he became interested.

He was a great lover of art and of books and of bindings, and was a discriminating collector in each of these fields.  He was one of the founders of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Grolier Club.  His personal library of 5,000 books, letters and other items was auctioned off in 1911, two years after his death in London.

52 mile marker in front of the main Clubhouse

52 mile marker in front of the main Clubhouse

2013

2013

2015

2015