Home | Feedback | Contents | Online Shop | Search

 Cosden Films  

Cosden Video

Sign Up for News & Events


~ The Cosden Family Films ~

(c. 1928-1930)

The home movies taken by the Cosden family during the very late 1920's and early 1930's are among the earliest known existing films made on Long Island's North Fork.  They were taken by Edward D. Cosden Sr. (1913-1978).  Cosden was a keen movie enthusiast and he used his camera to take many of the family's home movies during his youth.  The films, which are primarily black & white, document life on the family's estate, Eastward, which was located on the bluffs overlooking Long Island Sound.

The estate was built by Edward's father, Alfred H. Cosden (1873-1962), a noted pharmaceutical executive and horse racer and breeder.  The three-stroy Georgian mansion stood overlooking Long Island Sound and from the house there was an elaborate ninety-eight step staircase down to the private beach below.  Designed by noted architect James Burley, it was the largest and most highly planned estate ever built in Southold.  The house was demolished in 1940 and the remaining portions of the property were sold.

The following list describes the scenes (in order) present in this group of films:

1.   Sunset on Long Island Sound
2.   Long Island Sound Beach - Cosden changing rooms - Swimming
3.   Sheet ice on Long Island Sound 4. Snowball fight on the Cosden golf course
          (Mount Beulah Avenue & Soundview Avenue)
5.   Horse show competition - We have now confirmed (2012) that this is the Southold
           Horse Show, which took place in 1930.
6.   Edward Cosden riding and in a cart
7.   Caddies and golfers on the golf course
8.   Unusual snow on the golf course
9.   Edward & Carol Cosden in a rowboat - Long Island Sound beach
10. Grandpa William Cosden and Edward Cosden
11. Alfred Cosden and friends at the mansion
12. Orchard & grounds - Watering - Grounds
13. Fish catch (Edward & Curtis Cosden & Ambrose Terp)
14. Snowbound - mansion and grounds
15. Bird on mansion sidewalk
16. Grounds in summer with chairs
17. Beach at Founders Landing - Southold Pier
18. Ant and turtle in (color)
19. Three-masted ship on the Sound (color)
20. Flowers (color)

Among those individuals featured in the films are:  Alfred H. Cosden (father), Loraine B. Cosden (mother), Edward D. Cosden (son), Curtis C. Cosden (son), Carol Cosden (daughter), and Ambrose Terp (son of the chaffeur).

The few color images that are present exist because of Edward Cosden's intense interest in film.  He had one of the few commercially available color film cameras at a time when color film was extremely rare.  The films were passed down to Edward D. Cosden Jr. after his parents death.  We are happy to feature them here on our website. 

Click HERE to watch the Cosden Films (21 minutes)



Southold Historical Society

P.O. Box 1, Southold, NY 11971  /  631-765-5500 / Fax  631-765-8510    

Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site. Copyright 2003 Southold Historical Society   Last modified: 07/01/08

Website by Schuyler Horton & North Fork Internet