A last goodbye for Camp Molloy

BETH YOUNG PHOTO The decaying dock at Laurel Lake's Camp Malloy.

The last decaying pieces of Laurel Lake’s Camp Malloy will be demolished this fall, as Southold Town continues to make the Laurel Lake Preserve accessible and safe for the public.
Camp Molloy, a former Catholic boys’ summer camp on the edge of the lake, operated from 1928 until the mid-1970s. In 1985, it was purchased from the Diocese of Rockville Centre by Jack and Mary McFeely. The couple sold the 31-acre property to the town in 2005 for use as a park and nature preserve, in a deal brokered by the Peconic Land Trust.
Soon after, the town began demolishing buildings on the site. Now, only an old wooden dock and a foundation remain and they, along with the remains of a garage that has already been razed, are slated to be torn down and removed this fall.
Camp Molloy once was a bustling complex, with cabins, a mess hall, an infirmary, a chapel and athletic fields surrounding the kettle hole lake. The lake is at least 45 feet deep and is stocked by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation with brown and rainbow trout.
Jim McMahon, director of Southold’s department of public works, told the Town Board at its Oct. 5 work session that the remaining foundation is cracked and decaying with trees growing through it.
“This site appears on no survey. You’d have to be walking off the trail to find this foundation,” said Mr. McMahon.
The town issued a request for proposals for the demolition on Oct. 5 and expects the work to be completed within 60 days after the contract is awarded. It’s not certain how much the project will cost, in part because it’s not known if the remaining foundation connects to a cesspool,
Land preservation committee chairman John Sepenoski told the board Oct. 5 that it’s possible that the building may just have a pipe that goes into a ravine beneath it, and may never have had a cesspool at all.
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