Renovations to a waterwheel at a Roslyn Harbor mill that...

Renovations to a waterwheel at a Roslyn Harbor mill that editor and poet William Cullen Bryant once owned are now finished. Credit: Danielle Silverman

Visitors to a mill on the former Roslyn Harbor estate of renowned poet and editor William Cullen Bryant now can see a sight that has been missing for a long time — water splashing off a waterwheel and flowing into Hempstead Harbor.

This summer, preservationists completed a yearlong project to add a new waterwheel on the 161-year-old Gothic Revival mill on the estate known as Cedarmere.

The nonprofit Friends of Cedarmere led the restoration and the organization's president, Tom Powell, said the project will continue the 19th century literary figure's legacy and "teach people how Long Island worked in those days."

From 2008 to 2013, the Roslyn Landmark Society restored the exterior of the building. 

Powell said adding the waterwheel and refurbishing parts of the mill's interior cost about $400,000. 

He said work on the interior began in late 2020, finishing a year later. Friends of Cedarmere received two grants for the project — $147,000 from Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation and $130,000 from Nassau County.

The nonprofit also raised about $100,000 for the restoration and received extra funding from the county to cover the remaining costs.

The waterwheel's foundation was rebuilt with American white oak and cypress from Kentucky, with the steel for the wheel coming from North Carolina.

The structure served as a paper mill, a wood planing mill and for a business that made glass products before it burned down in 1849, according to the Roslyn Landmark Society.

It was rebuilt in 1862, with the waterwheel powering machinery needed for the estate such as lathes, saws, grindstones and other tools.

In about 1930, the mill's main floor was converted into a sculpting studio for Bryant's great granddaughter, Frances Bryant Godwin, according to a book about the estate.

In 1975, another great granddaughter of the poet, Elizabeth Godwin, donated the property and mill to Nassau County.

The project has become a model for another effort in the community, the restoration of the centuries-old Roslyn Grist Mill, according to Roslyn Landmark Society co-president Howard Kroplick. 

He said the addition of a waterwheel to Bryant's former estate brings back the historic building's functionality.

“It really shows the whole scope of what this building was," Kroplick added.

To schedule a tour of the restored mill, go to www.friendsofcedarmere.org

Visitors to a mill on the former Roslyn Harbor estate of renowned poet and editor William Cullen Bryant now can see a sight that has been missing for a long time — water splashing off a waterwheel and flowing into Hempstead Harbor.

This summer, preservationists completed a yearlong project to add a new waterwheel on the 161-year-old Gothic Revival mill on the estate known as Cedarmere.

The nonprofit Friends of Cedarmere led the restoration and the organization's president, Tom Powell, said the project will continue the 19th century literary figure's legacy and "teach people how Long Island worked in those days."

From 2008 to 2013, the Roslyn Landmark Society restored the exterior of the building. 

Powell said adding the waterwheel and refurbishing parts of the mill's interior cost about $400,000. 

He said work on the interior began in late 2020, finishing a year later. Friends of Cedarmere received two grants for the project — $147,000 from Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation and $130,000 from Nassau County.

The nonprofit also raised about $100,000 for the restoration and received extra funding from the county to cover the remaining costs.

Friend of Cedarmere president Tom Powell is pictured with a restored...

Friend of Cedarmere president Tom Powell is pictured with a restored waterwheel at a Roslyn Harbor mill poet William Cullen Bryant once owned, a restoration project Powell's nonprofit led.

Credit: Danielle Silverman

The waterwheel's foundation was rebuilt with American white oak and cypress from Kentucky, with the steel for the wheel coming from North Carolina.

The structure served as a paper mill, a wood planing mill and for a business that made glass products before it burned down in 1849, according to the Roslyn Landmark Society.

It was rebuilt in 1862, with the waterwheel powering machinery needed for the estate such as lathes, saws, grindstones and other tools.

In about 1930, the mill's main floor was converted into a sculpting studio for Bryant's great granddaughter, Frances Bryant Godwin, according to a book about the estate.

In 1975, another great granddaughter of the poet, Elizabeth Godwin, donated the property and mill to Nassau County.

The project has become a model for another effort in the community, the restoration of the centuries-old Roslyn Grist Mill, according to Roslyn Landmark Society co-president Howard Kroplick. 

He said the addition of a waterwheel to Bryant's former estate brings back the historic building's functionality.

“It really shows the whole scope of what this building was," Kroplick added.

To schedule a tour of the restored mill, go to www.friendsofcedarmere.org

Ref shortage... Katie Lee Biegel debuts new wine... What's up on LI Credit: Newsday

Home elevation program... Suffolk vehicle auction... Ref shortage... Katie Lee Biegel debuts new wine.

Ref shortage... Katie Lee Biegel debuts new wine... What's up on LI Credit: Newsday

Home elevation program... Suffolk vehicle auction... Ref shortage... Katie Lee Biegel debuts new wine.

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME