Nov 13 2019

Garden City Archives: The “Snake Turn” of the 1908-1910 Courses of the Vanderbilt Cup Races

As a follow-up to Mystery Foto #45, my favorite co-author Al Velocci and I visited Garden City historian Bill Bellmer and reviewed the one-of-a kind 1908 Motor Parkway Construction Book. Below is documentation of the "Snake Turn" of the 1908-1910 Vanderbilt Cup Race courses.

Thanks Bill and the Garden City Archives for the wonderful scans.


Howard Kroplick


1926 aerial of the "Snake Turn" which spanned from the Jerusalem Avenue Motor Parkway Bridge to beyond the Bloomingdale Road (Station 80) Motor Parkway Bridge (circled).

1936 aerial.Bloomingdale Road can be seen on the diagonal on the right.

Survey-May 14 1908

This section highlights Section 23 of the Motor Parkway  (Station 105 to Station 70). The "Bloomingdale Road Motor Parkway Bridge" was located at Station 80. The properties to the west and east of the Motor Parkway were owned by the "Stewart Heirs". Al Velocci and I believe that the Station 80 Bridge was likely required by the Stewarts as part of the sale of land to the Motor Parkway,

Note that the highway bridge was referred to as the "Station 80 Bridge" not Bloomingdale Road Bridge.

1928 Motor Parkway Atlas

This designation is further documented in the Motor Parkway Atlas.

Views Looking Northwest

The caption refers to this section "near Station 87 of the course as the "Snake Turn".

The elevated water pumping station was located at Station 87.

View of the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race from the top of the Station 80 Highway Bridge, looking northwest. The #5 Mercedes was driven by William Luttgen and owned by William K. Vanderbilt, Jr.

The pumping station

The Jerusalem Avenue Motor Parkway Bridge can be seen in the far left. Note the autos and spectators on the bridge.

The Jerusalem Avenue Motor Parkway Bridge as seen during the 1908 Motor Parkway Sweepstakes.

Views Looking Southeast

This classic Motor Parkway construction photo was taken from the top of pumping station #87. Note the construction shed on the right.

Three automobiles testing the still not opened Motor Parkway as seen from the pumping station.

Views Looking North

The #G25 Stoddard-Dayton during the 1908 Garden City Sweepstakes.

The #8 Alco Black Beast during the 1909 Vanderbilt Cup Race.


Nov 14 2019 Brian D McCarthy 5:11 PM

Although blurry, this may be in the early stages of the bridge.

Nov 17 2019 frank femenias 4:08 PM

A few years back I was analyzing this same photo (or one similar) to try and make sense of these country farm roads. As it turned out, Farmedge was spared but Old Bloomingdale is long gone after the Levitt Housing occupation.

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