Knoll Farm

Knoll Farm The history of the land where Knoll farm is today goes back more than 150 years ago. Dr Edgar Peck had a medical practice in New York City and after the death of his young daughter he and his family moved to Long Island to start afresh. Dr Peck was interested in horticulture. He tested the soil in this area in what was considered unproductive land with its scrub oaks and history of charcoal pits. Contrary to rumored opinion, Dr Peck found that the land was good for agricultural development. He bought a few hundred acres including 68 acres that was part of the original Wicks farm. He built a home and started an experimental peach orchard there. This land is where Knoll Farm is today. The property changed hands several times until the late eighteen nineties when Dr. Ross purchased it for the purpose of building Ross Sanitarium. The Ross Sanitarium was a Brentwood landmark for many years. Interestingly, some horses were stabled where Knoll Farm is now. Dr. Ross rode his horse traveling to visit patients in out lying areas. The doctor developed a deep interest in horses and owned several pedigreed horses one of which set speed records in many races. Tragically the Ross barns burned down in 1920 killing three of his horses. Before and after World War Two the farm continued to supply the Sanitarium with produce. In 1945 Norman Gribbons of Central Islip bought the property. He continued the operation of the farm and sanitarium until 1961 when the sanitarium was closed down. Although the farm was not in use, a local horseman boarded 3 of his horses there. David Gribbons son of Norman Gribbons married Anne Gribbons in 1967. Anne, who had horses in her homeland of Sweden, was an accomplished rider. David and Anne bought horses to ride on their farm as a hobby. They named the farm Knoll Farm after a rise in one of the fields on the property which was otherwise flat land. The horse farm gradually became a business offering horseback riding lessons, boarding, training and later breeding of horses. The horse farm became incorporated in 1969 under the name Knoll Farm of Suffolk County. Knoll Farm became and still is one of the leading equestrian centers on Long Island. --A. Bennett--Local History Newsletter--November 2008

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