Friends, neighbors, elected officials and more came together on Wednesday, Dec. 7, to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the incorporation of the Village of Baxter Estates.
From its earliest days as a Native American wigwam village nestled next to what is now Baxter’s Pond, to providing sand for some of New York City’s greatest buildings, to
the bustling village of today with about 1,000 residents, Baxter Estates has always mixed the simple beauty of nature with the diverse energy of purpose in the buildings that make up the enclave. The name “Baxter Estates” stems from Oliver Baxter, who purchased the land where the Baxter House sits at 15 Shore Rd., in 1743. His descendants remained in the homestead until the early 20th century.
According to Village Historian Steve Howley, “In May of 1931, 39 residents of the development known as Baxter Estates walked into their neighbor’s garage. It was a make-shift polling station, but one that was conveniently located in the neighborhood. All 39 voters cast their ballots for incorporating into a village. There was no opposition, so with that, the Development of Baxter Estates became The Village of Baxter Estates.
“The village was incorporated officially on June 10, 1931. The village boundaries are essentially the land that was once owned by the Baxter Family, but also includes the oldest commercial buildings in town, on the north side of Main Street, from village hall to just west of Irma Avenue.
“It is a small place of 300 homes and 1,000 residents, but far from sleepy.” Howley said. “If you have ever driven on Shore Road, eaten at Shish Kebab, attended a lecture at the library, or shopped at Dolphin Books, then you have visited Baxter Estates.”
Over 85 years, 14 mayors and 20 clerks have served the village. Of the celebration, current treasurer Chrissy Kiernan said “The Village of Baxter Estates is very grateful for the wonderful community that we are a part of and we are proud to celebrate our 85th anniversary and look forward to the friendship among neighbors for many years.”
Village resident Charlene Berkman spearheaded the efforts. She was delighted at how “spectacular the evening turned out. It is even better than I expected. It is wonderful how all the neighbors get to meet each other. There should be more events like this.” Berkman coordinated with restaurants to donate food for the evening and it was a delicious feast. Local restaurants like Toscanini, Harbor Deli, Mojito, Le Bleu Bird Cafe, New Garden and more sent trays of their best dishes for partygoers to enjoy.
A very busy Mayor Nora Haagenson paused in the midst of the happy occasion to reflect, “I am so grateful to all of the people who are here tonight. It shows how much the village is appreciated. It was great to be acknowledged by all of the public officials, as well,” she said with a smile before running off to help with the festivities.