In the early Twentieth Century, the first wave of real estate development in Hewlett saw Carleton Macy's Hewlett Bay Park Corporation erect large homes in varied styles on five-acre plots in what is today the incorporated village of Hewlett Bay Park. These served as seasonal homes, sometimes rented to other summer vacationers, if their owners planned on yachting at Newport rather than on the Long Island shore. Most did not have heating plants and so were inhospitable during the colder months.
The area attracted a wealthy population to the area and, to accommodate their lifestyle, facilities like the Seawane Club, the Woodmere Club and the Inwood Club joined the Rockaway Hunting Club in providing recreational services to their clientele. Mobster Arnold Rothstein opened a beachfront casino at Hewlett Harbor in 1916 and the area was well-known for rum-running in the 1920's.
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, many of the formerly wealthy landowners were forced to sell their property in the "country" and when money again became available, builders and speculators subdivided the large estates and sold them to the new middle class as well as the affluent who had retained their fortunes.
Brothers Sanford (1879-1938) and Harold Jacobi (1884-1938), the founders of the Schenley Distillers Corporation, built homes in Hewlett Harbor during the 1930's, on property from several of the original Hewlett Bay Company properties. With origins in Germany, their grandfather, Simon, (listed as a mohel in census records) emigrated to New Orleans before 1850. After resettling in New York, the family returned to New Orleans, where Sanford was born. Emile Jacobi, their father moved the family to Alabama, where the boys grew up. By they had established themselves in the distilling industry. Their careers brought them to Chicago and, eventually, New York. After the repeal of Prohibition, they became affiliated with the Schenley Products Company, rising through the ranks to eventually found their own division.
|Harold Jacobi house (photo courtesy of Cornell University, |
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections)
|Harold Jacobi and family|
(photo courtesy of American Jewish Historical Society.
Center for Jewish History)
- Guide to the Papers of the Jacobi-Schlossberg Family (American Jewish Historical Society. Center for Jewish History)
- Olive Tjaden Papers, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University.
- "350 Attend Rites for Harold Jacobi," The New York Times, January 3, 1939, p. 17.
- "Sanford Jacobi, 59, Schenley Official," The New York Times, November 29, 1938, p. 23.
- "Rites for Mrs. Jacobi," The New York Times, January 21, 1939, p. 15.
- "Schlossbergs Off for Southland," Newsday, September 11, 1941, p. 19.
- “Plan Fine Home Community on Hewlett Harbor Estate,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 27, 1941, p. 30.