Tour the rooms of the Massapequa Hotel
The Massapequa Hotel was probobly the best known resort on Long Island from the late 1800 until it burned down in the early 1900s. At any one time up to 300 guests could be found playing tennis, fishing, horeseback riding, bowling, golfing or gambling. It was common for the affluent upper class to vacation at the hotel and its hsitory includes high profile visits by dignataries, actors and politicians.
The hotel was owned by the Snedelker family who managed it until it burned to the ground in 1913. At the time there were news reports of the family's interest in selling the hotel, and then multiple reports of thier attempts to lobby the US Congree to turn the Massapequa Bay into an active shipping port. While there was never an investigation, the hotel fire that ended this hotels storied past has always been considered suspicious.
What many guests never realized was the number of mysterious deaths and unexplained murders that occured at the hotel and around the grounds during the late 1800's. While noone was ever charged with murder there were numerous acusations that a hotel groundskeeper Leo Vanzetti was involved or responsible for some of the crimes. This was never proved but in 1904 Leo Vanzetti was found in a hotel outbuilding hanging from a loading beam. His 12 year old daughter was found in her dead in her bed. Her death appeared to be a strangulation and the way the body was found laying face down with the head turned to the right was the consistent with how 4 victims were found. Leo Vanzetti's other daughter Valerie was missing and although the local police mounted a massive search up and down the massapequa river, they never located her body.
For a time there were stories about the killings and the other strange events that occured. Most of the history seemed to end with the fire, Many of the out buildings were converted into homes and there was lot of conversation about strange noises and hauntings. The most common reveolved around Valerie Vanzetti who supposedly wanders around the massapequa river area at night. As with many historic communities, subdivision and delelopment has changed the landscape of thier area dramatically. The sprawling open area that housed the gold and tennis court has been replaced with streets and houses, the marsh and river has been geometrically reconfigured into canals by the Army Corps of Engineers. Little of this history remains in tact and the only way to determine where the Massapequa Hotel was located is to follow the instructions on a historic marker located at the corner of Ocean Avenue and Merrick Road. There are still a number of the original hotels outbuildings that remain on the east side of ocean avenue. Most have been converted to Carraige Houses or Gararges. Since exact records were not kept, noone can be sure if one of these existing gararges was the building that Leo Vanzetti hung himself in after killing at least one of his daughters. !"
Archival photographs of the hotel and surrounding areas :
See Pictures of Massapequa Hotel