St. John's University acquired the Oakdale campus in 1999. This campus was the former estate of Frederick Bourne, President of Singer Sewing Machine Company from 1889 to 1905. Mr. Bourne purchased the property to use as a summer estate and constructed his mansion in 1900.
The mansion houses over 100 uniquely designed rooms, most with working fireplaces. In addition to his corporate duties, Mr. Bourne was Commodore of the New York Yacht Club and had as many as seven of his yachts docked in the basin in front of the existing boathouse.
In 1926 the property was purchased by the De LaSalle Congregation of Brothers who transformed it into the La Salle Military Academy which they ran successfully for over 75 years.