July 8, 2018
Address: 2610 NY-35, Katonah, NY 10536
Lasdon Park Brochure and map
The Lasdon estate, originally called Cobbling Rock Farm, was acquired by William and Mildred Lasdon in 1939. The Lasdon estate was simply used as a country retreat. In 1976, William Lasdon created the Mildred D. Lasdon Bird and Nature Sanctuary. This is a twenty-two acre preserve which was donated to the county. There is an intricate system of trails that run through an array of wildlife habitats. Many different species of birds, and up to twenty different types of warblers can be observed there during migration.
When William Lasdon died in 1986, Westchester County purchased the estate for $4.2 million. Several companies were interested in using the 234 acres to put up condominiums. The county wanted to obtain this land in order to preserve the land and history of the area. For the most part, the formal grounds remain as they were designed initially. Westchester County has been continuously developing and embellishing the collections on the property.
The William and Lasdon Memorial Garden site was donated by their daughter, Mrs. Nanette Laitman. This is the main garden present at the front of the estate. It is a one-acre garden created in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Lasdon.
The Famous and Historic Tree Trail features trees and other species that honor historic events and famous Americans, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., and John F. Kennedy, from our country’s past. Each station features a panel describing the famous person or even to which the original parent tree was witness.
Lasdon Park also features the Westchester County Veterans Museum, with exhibits of photographs, historical documents, artifacts and memorabilia about Westchester County residents who served in the United States armed forces in time of war, from the Revolutionary War to the present. There is no admission charge to the museum.
The Trail of Honor is dedicated to the veterans of Westchester County, from The American Revolution to Desert Storm. On this trail you will walk among the natural surroundings and wildlife featured in Lasdon Park as you journey through our nation’s past.
At the entrance to the trail, you are welcomed by the flags of the six branches of the military: the Merchant Marines, Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Air Force, arranged by date of organization.
The Trail of Honor features 12 stone cairns that display the busts of combat soldiers from the American Revolution through Operation Desert Storm; the Korean War Memorial; and the Westchester Vietnam Veterans Memorial, a sculpture of three seven-foot bronze statues that depict a soldier carrying a wounded comrade, with a nurse reaching out to assist them. Nearby, an obelisk with inscriptions of Westchester County servicemen and eight women nurses killed in Vietnam.
As you proceed on the path into the woods, there are a series of 12 stone cairns that display the busts of combat soldiers from every major American conflict, dating from the American Revolution through Operation Desert Storm.
The cairns are covered with stones from the 44 towns in Westchester County.
At the end of the Trail of Honor is the Westchester Vietnam Veterans Memorial, a sculpture that is comprised of three seven-foot bronze statues that depict a soldier carrying a wounded comrade, with a nurse reaching out to assist them.
The Westchester-Putnam chapter of the Vietnam Veterans commissioned local artist Julia Cohen to design the sculpture.
The sculpture design and casting, took a year to complete. A Sikorsky Sky Crane flown by the 169 Aviation Regiment of the Connecticut National Guard was used to put the statues in their place on Tuesday October 12, 1987.
Nearby, a black obelisk featuring 217 names of natives of Westchester County that were killed serving in the Southeast Asia conflict. Surrounding the obelisk is a path made up of 5,900 paving stones, each one representing ten soldiers who were killed in the Vietnam War.
The area in front of the monument is used for memorial ceremonies done by the Vietnam Veterans of America chapter 49.
Also located along the trail is the Korean War Memorial. This memorial is the largest in the park, and was built shortly after the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It was erected with the intention of giving special recognition to veterans of Korea, a war that some feel has been overlooked by the American people. The monument is a massive black obelisk inscribed with the names of all the servicemen from Westchester County who died serving in Korea.
The Combat Infantryman’s Memorial represents the award given to soldiers who have been under fire while serving their country. The badge commands a great deal of respect, and is awarded for the extreme bravery the recipient has demonstrated. Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained to fight on the front lines while on land, and make up the majority of the armed forces.
As you continue to the end of the trail and witness each of the fifteen memorials you will remember that our freedom truly is not free. These brave men and women from Westchester paid the ultimate price to ensure the freedom of our great nation, and we owe them our deepest respect and gratitude.
“You silent tents of green, We deck with fragrant flowers; Yours has the suffering been, The memory shall be ours” ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
- Vietnam Veterans of America
- Westchester County Vietnam Veterans Memorial
- Lasdon Park History
- The Trail of Honor at Lasdon Park