Friends of Olmsted-Beil House Hosts Visit
by Preeminent Olmsted Scholars

Dr. Beveridge and Faye Harwell with FOBH Board members on Eltingville Beach 10-03-2021
FOBH Board members Jeffrey A. Tandul and Sean Ryan, Faye Harwell, Dr. Charles Beveridge, and FOBH Board member Tina Kaasmann-Dunn in front of the Olmsted-Beil House. Photo: Eileen Monreale

On Sunday, October 3, 2021, the Friends of Olmsted-Beil House hosted a visit to Olmsted-Beil House Park by preeminent Frederick Law Olmsted scholars Charles E. Beveridge, PhD, and Faye Harwell, FASLA, RLA. Dr. Beveridge is Series Editor of the Frederick Law Olmsted Papers, an ardent supporter of the preservation of Olmsted landscapes, and one of the founders of the National Association for Olmsted Parks. Ms. Harwell is an award-winning landscape architect and co-founder of the Rhodeside & Harwell landscape architecture and planning firm.

Dr. Beveridge and Faye Harwell with FOBH Board members on Eltingville Beach 10-03-2021
Dr. Beveridge and FOBH Board member Tina Kaasmann-Dunn on the grounds of the Olmsted-Beil House. The large tree on the right is one of the cedars of Lebanon planted by Olmsted that is still thriving on the property. Photo: Eileen Monreale

FOBH President Eileen Monreale and FOBH Board members Tina Kaasmann-Dunn, Jeffrey A. Tandul, and Sean Ryan provided a tour of the park grounds, which were home to Olmsted’s Tosomock Farm when he lived there 1848-1855. They studied the exterior of the house and stopped at each of the Great Trees planted by Olmsted:  black walnut, cedar of Lebanon, ginkgo, horse chestnut, and several Osage orange.  Dr. Beveridge shared his great knowledge of the discussions, often of farming and technique, that Olmsted, his brother John Hull Olmsted, and their friend Charles Brace, had, many of which took place on the porch of, and at the beach in front of, the house at Tosomock.

Next on the tour was the adjoining Kaasmann property, once part of the Olmsted property, where Ms. Kaasmann-Dunn shared her memories of growing up there

The final stop on the tour was Eltingville Beach on Raritan Bay, formerly the southernmost part of Olmsted’s property. Ms. Kaasmann-Dunn pointed out the remnants of a pier that Olmsted may have used when he lived at Tosomock. They admired the view of the boats at nearby Great Kills Harbor and remarked on the close proximity of the beach to Manhattan.  

FOBH was honored to host Dr. Beveridge and Ms. Harwell to add to their extensive knowledge of Olmsted’s legacy and to experience firsthand the enchanting Tosomock Farm that played a transformative role in the development of Olmsted’s career in landscape architecture.

Dr. Beveridge on Eltingville Beach 10-03-2021
Dr. Beveridge on Eltingville Beach taking in the view of Raritan Bay that Olmsted enjoyed when he lived at Tosomock Farm more than a century and a half ago. Photo: Eileen Monreale
Dr. Beveridge and Faye Harwell with FOBH Board members on Eltingville Beach 10-03-2021
Dr. Charles Beveridge, Faye Harwell, and FOBH Board members Tina Kaasmann-Dunn, Jeffrey A. Tandul, and Sean Ryan on Eltingville Beach, formerly part of Olmsted’s property. Photo: Eileen Monreale