The photo also contains a secondary subject, the horse in the foreground, which at first glance bears no particular significance. Actually, there is a story behind it. In the mid 1800s, the Long Island Express Company was established by the LIRR as a freight and courier service that served destinations along their rail lines. The company employed a series of horse-drawn wagons that were dispatched from LIRR stations to deliver passengers, baggage and parcels to their final destinations. Below is a photo from the Hempstead Public Library collection that shows the dispatch team from Hempstead Village.
At the turn of the 20th century their stable for resting their horses was located in Long Island City, a considerable distance from Hempstead. As mentioned in a previous post, among the 400-500 acres of WH land bought up by the LIRR in 1891 was the 12 acre triangle bordered by Hempstead Tpke, Hempstead Ave and Westminster Rd. That entire parcel originally comprised a quaint estate occupied by Adrian V. Cortelyou, a War of 1812 veteran who moved out to Hempstead from Brooklyn. The estate was later sold to Henry M. Onderdonk, editor of the Hempstead Inquirer.
In 1904, the LIRR deemed the parcel unsuitable for being subdivided into smaller lots, and so they decided to convert the land into a stable for the LI Express horses.
The picture below, looking NW, approximates the location of the photo at the top of the post.