Memory Lane



Oakdale Lawns

During the 1950s, there was a housing boom in our south shore area.  Oakdale Lawns, Oakdale Greens, and Gramercy Gardens are the names of some of the developments that sprung up in Oakdale at the time.  Back in the 1950s and ‘60s, the local newspapers would often state the name of the development in which a person resided as part of his address.  Some of these housing developments even had their own civic associations, such as the Gramercy Gardens Homeowner’s Association.  

We visited with Michael and Josephine Caccavano, who were the original owners of an Oakdale Lawns home situated on Berard Boulevard in Oakdale.  We learned that in 1956, Oakdale Lawns homes were advertised in Suffolk County News for $12,290. (1) The Caccavanos were able to make a down payment of just $10 on their house, unimaginable by today’s standards. Josephine recalled how the developer, Vincent Passavia, saw them, his first buyers, as his lucky charm and accommodated their request for changes to be made on the original plans.

During the first few years, the Caccavano’s house was surrounded only by LaSalle Military Academy, St. John’s Episcopal Church, and empty fields.  A shopping center, where Wendy’s currently is situated, was later constructed.  Josephine told us about a nearby dairy in the vicinity of Westbrook that made home deliveries.  Although residents could have milk delivered to their homes, there was no home postal service. People had to walk to the post office, which then was located near the Oakdale train station, to pick up mail.
Listen to Josephine telling us about many of her memories of those days.  Regrettably both Michael and Josephine Caccavano have passed away since our interview with them.  We are grateful we had the opportunity to speak with them and preserve some of their memories of Oakdale.

  1. Builders plan another big year. (1956, Feb 21). Newsday (1940-1987) Retrieved from

Josephine Caccavano Interview