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Hamptons Life

Jan 17, 2019 12:00 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Former Estates Of Basil O’Connor And The Entenmanns Are On The Market

6 Michael’s Way in Westhampton. COURTESY THE CORCORAN GROUP
Jan 21, 2019 11:46 AM

We don’t often write about a property while it is on the market, preferring to wait until there is an actual transaction. But, as we’ve said before, sometimes there is an intriguing story behind the property. This time around we have two, both west of the Shinnecock Canal.

The first involves 6 Michael’s Way in Westhampton. Not a high price tag, at $1,999,999, but it is in the Snug Harbor community and the 4,300-square-foot residence has four bedrooms and there is a pool and hot tub in the backyard. It was built by the late developer Ben Krupinski and is represented by Corcoran.

Now the story behind the property: The site is the former estate of Basil O’Connor, who passed away in 1972. He was a graduate of Harvard Law School and by 1919 had his own firm in New York. But what distinguished O’Connor most was his work for the public good. Because of his friendship with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, O’Connor became interested in helping people recover from polio. What was initially the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation (where Roosevelt was treated) became the National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis, which in turn morphed into the March of Dimes. The effort O’Connor headed, which raised $1.8 million its first year, revolutionized grassroots fundraising in America. One focus of the foundation was to support the research of Dr. Jonas Salk, who developed the first successful polio vaccine.

As if all that was not enough, when Roosevelt became president, he appointed O’Connor chairman of the American Red Cross. As with heading the March of Dimes, O’Connor would not accept a salary.

The other property, represented by Compass, is the former Entenmann estate on Moriches Bay in Remsenburg. The ask is $8.2 million for the 9,700-square-foot house with six bedrooms and 7.5 baths. Amenities include a professional-grade kitchen, bedroom suites with decks overlooking the bay, three wine coolers with storage for 325 bottles, a gym, a swimming pool with pool house, and 186 feet of bulkheading.

For those without a sweet tooth, the Entenmann’s company is more than 120 years old and originated in New York City. William Entenmann learned the trade of baking from his father in Germany and used his acquired skills to work in a bakery in the U.S., eventually opening his own bakery in 1898 on Rogers Avenue in Brooklyn. Later, he moved his bakery to Bay Shore. Home delivery was a substantial part of the bakery that William owned, eventually turning into 30 home delivery routes by the time his son, William Jr., took over the bakery. William Jr. died in 1951, leaving the bakery to his wife, Martha, and their sons, Robert, Charles, and William. The family decided to phase out bread, to focus on pastries and cakes, and to start supplying grocery stores as opposed to home delivery. In 1959, the Entenmann family invented the “see-through” cake box used by many today. In 1961, the business grew, with new bakeries and factories in Bay Shore, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Alas, in 2014, Entenmann’s ceased baking operations in Bay Shore, but they do continue elsewhere.

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