Bayswater Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"Bayswater’s identity is, of course, important to those who have lived here, but many outsiders do not know it as a place discrete from Far Rockaway. In the 1870s William Trist Bailey, a British-born mogul, created a community named Bayswater, where those of Bailey’s social stratum would have their summer estates. Bayswater introduced foxhunting and yacht clubs to the Rockaways. Bailey built a hotel, but Bayswater was designed primarily for individual homes, and it stayed noncommercial while the Far Rockaway area began to fill with hotels and other businesses catering to vacationers. Eventually, as Rockaway opened up to the middle and working classes and as transportation improved and farther-flung locales were developed, Bayswater was usurped by destinations like the Hamptons. But it managed to elude the worst of the urban decay that overtook the Rockaways, and zoning laws kept out huge apartment complexes like those that went up in nearby Edgemere, Arverne, and Far Rockaway. The mansions that remain from Bayswater’s heyday are not its only well-kept secret: There’s also a state nature preserve."