For an 1810 Dominy Windmill

For a change of scenery, you might want to ferry over to Shelter Island on Friday, Aug. 18, for a cocktail party from 6 to 8 p.m. benefiting the restoration of the windmill at Sylvester Manor.

It was built around 1810 in Southold by the East Hampton craftsman Nathaniel Dominy V. Transported by barge to Shelter Island in 1840, the windmill was placed in the center of town. It was operated there by Joseph Congdon until 1855 but was then neglected. In 1879, Lillian Horsford bought it and preserved it. It was later put briefly back into use during World War I. 


The windmill stayed in the family, and in 1926 Cornelia Horsford moved it again, to Sylvester Manor, where it stands today. It is one of 11 surviving 18th and early-19th-century wind-powered gristmills on Long Island, and the only surviving one from the North Fork. It was built by hand over the course of 186 days.

The cocktail party will take place on the lawn by the windmill and feature an open bar courtesy of the Rolling in Dough bar truck, drinks made especially with herbs from Sylvester Manor, and hors d'oeuvres from the North Fork Shack in Southold. Guests will be able to look inside the windmill, too.

The manor has raised half of the money needed to pay for the windmill's restoration, with an ultimate goal of $230,000. Once the work is complete, the windmill will turn its sails for the first time since the 1960s. Flour and bread made locally from grain grown at Sylvester Manor and ground at the mill will be sold at the manor's farm stand.

Tickets, which cost $125 each, are selling quickly. They can be purchased on, at the Sylvester Manor gatehouse, at the manor's farm stand, or by calling 631-749-0626.