New York Lore: Two More Tales of Brewster Urban Legends

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New York Lore: Two More Tales of Brewster Urban Legends

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Morefar Golf Course
Sometimes the greatest mysteries can be manufactured by a small collective of individuals. This is the case with the Morefar Back O’Beyond Golf Course, an exclusive golf club within the town of Brewster.

Only members and staff are allowed on its premises. Membership can be obtained only through an invitation from its owner, Starr International (founded by Cornelius Starr, the same individual C.V. Starr Intermediate School is named after). Starr International used to be a part of American Insurance Group (AIG), but when the CEO, Maurice R. Greenburg, left his position and became the leader of Starr International, he brought the golf course with him.

Mr. Greenburg’s page on the Starr Insurance Companies’ webpage (owned by Starr International) says he retired from AIG, but the Post Gazette suggests that Mr. Greenburg was, “deposed as chairman and chief executive of the massive insurer in March [of 2005] after state and federal regulations began examining the company’s accounting practices” (Turner).

This course is most famous for its seclusion. Large walls and a tree-lined border surround the park to prevent outsiders from entering the grounds or even peering in. Guests are expected not to bring their phones. If a company makes a reservation, it is required that only the invited individuals attend.

Throughout the park are bronze sculptures which include: nymphs, children, animals, and nudes. These odd statues create a museum-like environment in the park. But the mysteries tied into the legend of Morefar go back to its founder, Corneilius Vander Starr. He used his wealth and connections in Asia to construct the course with Chinese laborers. The origin of the name is said to be from these immigrant workers, when asked where they were working, “More far, more far.”

Starr gave the course to Greenburg, who still owns it. The secrecy of the park is ultimately its main money-making quality. Its cloudy history, though, is what makes it one of the more interesting Brewster legends. Morefar is no typical golf course. Although the myths and questions about Morefar are rooted in artificial mystery, the questions asked are still mostly unanswered. This well-guarded property will most likely remain shrouded in mystery for a long time.

 

The Stone Chambers of Putnam County
Stumbling through the woods, the night embraces the trees and chill permeates the air. You hold your breath as the dark harmony is pierced by the screech of an owl. You finally burst through a thicket of brambles to come across a large arched stonework entrance.

Upon entering under the cool chamber leading to middle earth, you find yourself shrouded in darkness: you wait for some light to relieve you.

These stone chambers exist throughout Putnam County; their purpose forgotten by time.

The Hudson River Valley Society has proposed a few theories as to how these chambers came to be. They have theorized it was possible that the structures were “colonial root cellars” used by European settlers in North America to store food. This hypothesis is based on similar stone structures built in Vermont that are proven to have been built for this expressed purpose.

Another considered theory is that these chambers were constructed by Native Americans who used the structures for religious or ceremonial purposes. A member of the Hudson River Valley Society cites ideas from the book Manitou (a name meaning “Great Spirit” in Algonquin that refers to the spiritual presence that resides throughout the world) which states that the stone chambers were used for astrological purposes: to observe signs in the heavens.

 

Still another theory proposed – one shared by Patch.com for Southeast-Brewster – is that pre-Imperialism travelers from Northern Europe or the Mediterranean civilizations had came to the Americas and built the structures. This theory, however, seems based more in fiction than in fact. But there are architectural similarities between constructs found in the United States and those within Old World civilizations like the Celts and Romans.

Stranger still are those that look to the stars, seeking visitors from beyond that constructed them, basing their ideas on supposed magnetic anomalies, observed flashes of light and floating orbs, believing these chambers to be inter-dimensional gateways.

There is little known about archaeological digging in the area of the stone structures. There is always the possibility of something, anything, hiding within the earth of these complexly-structured stone dwellings.

The only way to know for sure is to start digging.