Tuesday, October 21, 2014

She who climbs to the Sphinx's head a millionaire shall surely wed

Location:   Montauk Highway, New York
Year:   1899

In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, the Long Island village of Bayport was a fashionable resort area spotted with hotels and summer homes. South of Montauk Highway (Route 27A) and adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean, large comfortable-looking clapboard houses are still the norm, while north of Montauk Highway, the area is impoverished.

A remnant of the resort days, a rather surprised-looking cement Sphinx stands on the grounds of the Fontana Cement Company along Route 27A. 

The Sphinx once stood in front of the now-vanished Anchorage Hotel. Emblazoned with the inscription:  "She who climbs to the Sphinx's head a millionaire shall surely wed," it's said that the owner of the Anchorage used to sit on a strategically-placed park bench nearby so that he could catch a glimpse of ladies' unmentionables as the daring young maidens of the area made the ascent. 

After the Anchorage burned down, the Fontana family bought the land and built a service station there. In 1972, the Fontanas moved the Sphinx to the family's cement company property as a unique business sign.    

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