I shared a lovely meal with my family at One North Mediterranean Soul in Jericho, NY not too long ago. Approaching the restaurant, it obviously displayed a historical facade. I asked my father if he knew anything about the history? He responded, "yes, it's a preserved historical landmark through the Town of Oyster Bay and is known for being part of the Underground Railroad. It used to be called, the Maine Maid Inn." I was like WHAT! That IS amazing!!!
Once we stepped inside, I was eager to learn more and asked one of the staff members if they could share additional historical insights. They told me they didn't know much and in general if asked, not to say anything. That's an unfortunate responses because these are Long Island's grass roots.
To be fair, its not the job of the restaurant to teach local Long Islanders about the history, though it is nice from an energetic perceptive to acknowledge it. I found it to be an even more enriching experience dining in at One North having some awaress of the historical lineage connected to the building.
With that said, I did some research to delve a bit deeper into the history. The building dates back to the 1800's and was home to Valentine Hicks, an abolitionist and station master on the Underground Railroad. Quakers and other abolitionist provided a series of passageways, land and sea routes and safe houses to shuttle runaway slaves northward and, ultimately, to Canada." [Joe Dowed, The Patch, 2011]
The Hicks provided refuge in Jericho, NY and then advance those whom they were helping toward Westchester, NY by carriage and boat. This was not the most popular route, but it was the safest because people didn't suspect it. Another interesting fact includes the Vanderbilt's. In the early 1900's, the Inn at the old Hicks homestead served as the primary grandstand viewing area for the Vanderbilt Cup races.
How was the food and service? AMAZING! The image you see above is of homemade cheesecake with fresh blueberries and whipped cream.
Wishing North One all the best!
Leading Photo by Nimajus Bagdonavicius
Sources: Joe Dowed, The Patch, 2011