James Abercrombie Burden Jr. married Florence Adele Vanderbilt Sloane in June 1895. James was President of The Burden Iron Company in Troy, New York. Florence was a great-granddaughter of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. Their first home on East 91st Street in Manhattan still stands today and is presently operating as The Convent of the Sacred Heart.
To escape the bustle of the city, Mrs. Burden wanted a country home on Long Island. In 1916, the Burdens purchased this property, which was the Lewis Dairy Farm. Mr. William Adams Delano (Delano & Aldrich) was contracted to design an English Georgian Manor House for the Burden family. Mrs. Burden traveled to England and selected paneling, molding and doors from old English castles for their living room (the Fireside Room.)
The family enjoyed dining in the Phoenix Room. The inside door of the dining room still houses the “peek-through” windows the servants used to keep watch of the families dining needs. There were 45 servants plus chauffeurs.
Many notable guests frequented the famed Burden Estate. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor were guests while the Prince of Wales stayed here during his trip to America in 1924. It was here he played polo and joined in the family fox hunts. The Polo Field was located between the current 2nd and 7th greens.
James Burden passed away in the winter of 1932, but Florence remarried in 1936 and became Mrs. Richard Tobin. Mr. Tobin was proprietor of a dairy conglomerate, financial banker and philanthropist. Mr. and Mrs. Tobin raised prize cattle and bottled milk. They grew prize roses in their rose garden – which is now the 16th green.