Harrison and Linda Hunt aren’t residents of Roslyn, but they have researched and written so much about the village, you’d almost have to make them honorary ones.
Indeed, the talk that the Hunts gave last week at Trinity Episcopal on their new book, William Cullen Bryant’s Cedarmere Estate, had the feel of a genuine homecoming to it. On April 6, several dozen people attended the book signing and talk. The Hunts emphasized the work that had been done to restore the Cedarmere museum by Nassau County staff and volunteers prior to its closing in 2009 and also by the Landmark Society, the Gerry Charitable Trust and the Friends of Cedarmere since then. The Hunts also said how important it is to get Cedarmere reopened to the public as the museum and memorial to William Cullen Bryant that his family intended when they left the seven-acre site to Nassau County.
“It was great to be back in Roslyn to see friends and supporters of Cedarmere. We’re hoping that our book will bring added attention to this historic site and generate renewed community interest in its continued restoration” said Linda Hunt.
“We want to thank Trinity Episcopal Church for providing us with a wonderful place to hold our book release, and for the members of the Friends of Cedarmere, the Roslyn Landmark Society, North Hempstead Town Historian Howard Kroplick and the Roslyn community for coming out to support our history of Cedarmere. And a special thanks to The Roslyn News for publicizing the book’s release,” Harrison Hunt added.
The publication of William Cullen Bryant’s Cedarmere Estate is part of a revival of the poet’s fortunes. In 2012, the Roslyn Viaduct was renamed in his honor. The next year, a plaque was placed outside of Cedarmere, his Roslyn Harbor estate. The book, Hunt said, is not a biography of Bryant, but instead a look at his estate. He added that the book has a total of 212 images, many of which have never been printed before.
Renovation on Cedarmere includes the completion of the front porch, courtesy of a New York state grant given to Nassau County. However, Cedarmere is not open as a museum yet, a goal that so far has eluded Hunt and other preservationists. From 1994 to 2008, Hunt served as supervisor of the restoration efforts at Cedarmere. In Roslyn, Hunt served on the Historic District Board and as president of the Roslyn Landmark Society. Along with Linda Hunt, Harrison Hunt is one of the founders of Friends of Cedarmere. Hunt was the first president of the organization, while Linda Hunt served as the first treasurer. Now they hope that their handsome new volume will give Cedarmere restoration another boost forward.