This spring an estate on east Hampton’s tony Further Lane sold to hedge fund manager Barry Rosenstein for $147 million— making it the most expensive home ever sold in America. Those nine digits buy 18 acres with oceanfront dunes, a seaside mansion, a water lily pond and a history dotted with billionaires, politicians and corporate chieftains dating back to the 17th century.
Several months after Gordon dies of cancer at age 52, Barry Rosenstein of hedge fund Jana Partners buys Further Lane property for
Browne, 62, dies of a heart attack, leaving the property to boyfriend Andrew S Gordon, prompting a legal battle; Gordon ultimately prevails.1996
Weicker’s widow—now Elizabeth Fondaras, the wife of Anastassios Fondaras, who worked for shipping billionaire Stavros Niarchos—begins selling off the land in chunks. Christopher H Browne, managing director of New York investment firm Tweedy, Browne, pays a total of $13.4 million to acquire them all.1950
The owners sell the property for $43,000 to Theodore Weicker Jr, whose father co-founded pharma giant Merck. Fourteen years later, Weicker deeds the property to his wife, Elizabeth R Weicker.
Winthrop Gardiner and his wife, Isabel, sell the property to Pan Am founder Juan T Trippe (above); insurance salesman and tennis promoter Julian S Myrick; grandfather of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis James T Lee; Howard B Dean, grandfather of the former presidential candidate; and one A Wallace Chauncey, for $20,000.1924
David J Gardiner dies and leaves the Further Lane property to his nephew Winthrop Gardiner.1922
Gardiner and the Maidstone Club sign a lease for $2,000 annually for using “the Gardiner Peninsula of Land” for “club purposes and particularly for the purposes of a golf links.” Today the Maidstone Club is a private country club with a Willie Park Jr-designed 18-hole golf course.
The “trustees of the Freeholders and commonality of the town of East Hampton” sell the Further Lane land to Lion Gardiner’s descendant David J Gardiner for $120.
Townspeople in East Hampton build the Maidstone Club, a gathering spot for dinners and parties, one mile from the Further Lane property.1639
Lion Gardiner settles “Gardiners Island” off Long Island’s South Fork, buying it from the Montaukett Indians for “one large dog, one gun, some powder and shot, some rum and several blankets, worth in all about Five Pounds sterling.”Images from top: Doug Kuntz / Splash News / Corbis; Xtreambar; The East Hampton Star; Mcmullan Co / Newscom; Eric Striffler / The New York Times; Daniel Acker / Bloomberg; Magnolia Abstract Services
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(This story appears in the 25 July, 2014 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)