Udalls Cove Park & Preserve

Text courtesy of Walter Mugdan, president of the Udalls Cove Preservation Committee.

The name “Udalls Cove” is a bit of a misnomer. In 1833 Richard Udall bought from the Allen family a grist mill, located about a mile north of the Douglaston peninsula in a much smaller cove on the eastern shore of Little Neck Bay where a stream enters. The stream had been dammed up at its mouth to create a mill pond. When the tide was low, Udall let water flow from the pond to the bay to turn his mill wheel. When the pond was drained empty he would close the dam gate and wait for the tide to rise. When the tide was high he would open the gate and let the sea water from the bay flow into the pond. This would turn his mill wheel again, but in the opposite direction. Gears and belts inside enabled the mill machinery to run in the correct direction regardless of which way the mill wheel was turning.

Udall’s mill, now a museum, still stands on the little cove in front of the mill pond. But his name was eventually assigned to the larger cove a mile south that lies between the Douglaston peninsula and the Village of Great Neck Estates. Strangely, the correct name of the cove is Udalls – without an apostrophe.


Udalls Cove Preservation Committee, https://www.udallscove.org/