Vintage Postcards of Bayside, New York
The areas now known as Fort Totten and Bay Terrace sit on a peninsula which at one time belonged to the Willets Family. The Willets had amassed their fortune through a fleet of whaling ships and as nurserymen in Flushing.
Charles Willets acquired the property in 1829 from Jacob Thorne and renamed Thorne's Neck Willets Point. Robert Willets built Shore Acres, the mansion seen in this postcard, in 1853 on the peninsula overlooking Little Neck Bay at what is now approximately 18th Avenue and Bell Boulevard.
While the federal government purchased two parcels of land from the Willets Family in order to construct a fort as a companion to Fort Schuyler in 1857, Shore Acres was not part of those parcels.
It is interesting to note that this property connected three important Bayside families. In 1899, Shore Acres was inherited by Robert Willet's daughter, Amelia and her husband, A. Howland Leavitt. In 1923 the estate again was transferred. This time to Leavitt's daughter, Sarah and her husband, Charles Garrison Meyer. The property was sold in 1939 and is now a highly developed residential and commercial area in Bayside.
The mansion was demolished in 1963.