The Gamecock Cottage is said to be the most painted and photographed structure in the Three Villages. Over the past century, the Cottage at Shipman’s Point, at the tip of the West Meadow peninsula, has served as a boat storage facility, a honeymoon getaway, a rental unit, and now, under the stewardship of the Three Village Community Trust, it will be an important community resource.
At this point in its long history, the Gamecock is due for some major stabilization and restoration work. Part of the agreement envisions a seasonal resident caretaker in a renovated second-floor apartment, which has long existed but fallen woefully behind modern fire safety, sanitary, and wiring codes. The work will be supervised by the Town, using funds set aside for that purpose from the West Meadow Beach restoration fund. When that work is completed, the Trust’s stewardship agreement will go into full force. The Trust has held several ”Harbor Day Festivals” involving the Gamecock Cottage in that past few years. The Town is moving forward on the renovation after obtaining the Suffolk County DPW permit for a septic system newly installed this spring (2013). Gamecock Cottage’s more than 100-year history, your Trust is moving to ensure a long, safe future for this treasured resource. There could be a limited schedule of events later this season but the Trust anticipates having a summer program during 2014.
The Town of Brookhaven has owned the Gamecock Cottage for over 60 years. The Ward Melville Heritage Organization held a management lease with the Town for some years, but decided to relinquish it sometime shortly after 2004. Soon afterward, the Three Village Community Trust came forward with an offer to the Town to assume stewardship of this beloved and iconic Three Village landmark. While the Trust was in discussions with the Town about a new lease/stewardship agreement, the Town applied for and received a Historic Structure designation for the Gamecock at both State and National levels, affording a much needed level of protection for the building which it had not previously enjoyed. This action seems to be part of a new concern and appreciation by the Town for not only the Gamecock, but several other historic structures now in Town ownership.
Our District Councilman, Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld, was very helpful in securing rapid Town Council approval on July 1, 2010 of a new lease agreement, once terms had been agreed upon. In testimony at the July 1 Town Board meeting, then Parks Commissioner Bissonette characterized the agreement as “the perfect marriage between the Town and a not-for-profit group.”