The Bayport Heritage Association was formed in 1983 and is dedicated to the preservation of the history of Bayport. The association has an extensive collection of archival photographs, vintage clothing, artifacts and books. Through the years, the group has been particularly active in the restoration of Meadow Croft, a John Ellis Roosevelt summer home and now a historical museum on the border of Bayport and Sayville. The association provides lectures and resources- educational, historical, environmental and social programs and services for the community and interested public. In June 2018, Blue Point joined the Association to include both communities.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

September 2020 Newsletter

September...

Christmas at Meadow Croft....
Plans are currently in the works to celebrate Christmas at Meadow Croft. Mark your calendars and save the dates for the first weekend in December. If you are interested in volunteering some time to help decorate, collect items for our raffle baskets, make phone calls, or if you have an unusual display that we might use, please call our chairperson; Leanne Berg at 631-235-1702.

Updated Lighting at Meadow Croft.... 

The Heritage is happy to announce that the first phase of lighting restoration has begun at Meadow Croft. Under the guidance of antique lighting expert and member Erich Haesche, a number of period pieces have been acquired and are ready to be installed. Funding for the project was obtained through our annual grant from Suffolk County.

Period gas wall sconces were purchased from Orleans Lighting of Freeport. The fixtures were wire brushed and electrified, and are ready to take their places in the upstairs bedrooms. An oil lamp was purchased for the master bedroom ceiling, similar to the one that hangs in the dining room. Erich has generously donated most of the parts for restoration and lighting, including oil lamps for bedside tables and an early brass desk light.

The association would like to thank Erich for his great generosity. Upon completion of the project, a special evening lighting tour will be hosted at Meadow Croft, hopefully in the Spring of 2021. Until then, enjoy a few preview pictures!

Main Street, Bayport... Many years ago

A new feature in the monthly newsletter. These short articles were first printed in the monthly Bayport Blue Point Gazette. They were written by Gene Horton and reprinted with permission.

September 2015

Here's a rare postcard view of "Main Street, Bayport, L.I." taken over one hundred years ago. The view is looking west on what today is called Middle Road just west of Bayport Avenue.

On the right can be seen part of Snedecor & Squires General Store (later Shands) and the original Bayport Fire House which was built in 1892. Of course, the roadway is unpaved. The horse is tied to a hitching post.

This postcard was mailed out of Bayport and was sent to Brooklyn. It is postmarked "August 22, 1910." Postage: one-cent; a Ben Franklin postage stamp is affixed.

Those were the days....

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Guests visit Meadow Croft...

It was Star Wars Day for the 8 AM club, a local group of bicycle enthusiasts, as they rode their bikes from Gillette Ave in Bayport to Meadow Croft. This is a group of local folks, who because of the restrictions of gym closures wanted to get some exercise, meet new people and enjoy our lovely communities....all on bikes! The group is open to anyone who would like to ride. They can be found on the corner of Gillette Ave and Middle Road every day starting at, you guessed it, 8 AM. They also have a Facebook page with more information; The 8 AM Club (Bayport).


At MC, they enjoyed a guided tour and a healthy breakfast and then it was back on the bikes, to hit the rode again! Thanks for stopping by.

I scream, you scream, we all scream, for Ice Cream!

Historic Home Spotlight: 564 Middle Road Bayport NY

Gladly researched and written by John Amato.

Did Bayport ever have an ice cream shop? Why, yes it did. The house currently located at 564 Middle Road was once the locally famous Weeks Ice Cream shop and later became the Rogers Ice Cream shop. Both businesses made and provided ice cream to the local summer hotels, restaurants and families in Bayport, Blue Point, Sayville and Patchogue. The Rogers company shipped their ice cream by train along the east coast.

The house, just west of Bayport Avenue on the south side of Middle Road at the corner of Morgan Lane, has had a varied and interesting past. This little house began as a residence and served the community as a shoe repair, barber shop, bakery, horse and buggy rental, and an ice cream parlor.

In 1873 Luther Gerard sold this vacant parcel to Edgar Gillette as Gillette set out to add to what was becoming Bayport's business and community center on this stretch of Middle Road which would include Snedecor's General Store (Shand's), the firehouse, Methodist church and

Manhattan Hotel and West's butcher shop. Gillette built a store with a residence upstairs. In 1888, Gillette sold the building to Mr. J. Wagner, a shoe maker or cobbler who briefly ran his business there supplying and repairing shoes and boots.

From 1890 through 1915, multiple local business men provided goods and services from the building. By 1890, the building was owned by Edward Edwards who rented the store to Charles Smith of Patchogue as a barber shop inside while Wallace Homan operated a horse and carriage rental and livery stable out of the barn on the property. Henry and James Weeks bought the property from Edward Edwards sometime between 1894 and 1902. The Weeks brothers ran their ice cream parlor for several years but later sold the ice cream business to the Rogers family who expanded the wholesale manufacturing operations as the population and summer business boomed along the south shore. The bakery and ice cream shop continued from 1894 to 1910.

On page 81 of the Bayport Heritage book, you can see the Weeks Ice Cream Shop on a summer day with four men proudly out front. While we cannot confirm their identities, they are most likely the Weeks brothers, Homan or Smith the barber and a baker (unknown name). A great photo with many adults and children in front. There is a buggy on the right, which appears to be a delivery buggy. Take a drive by this great old house and wonder what it might have been like as an ice cream shop long ago.

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Saturday, August 1, 2020

August 2020 Newsletter

Sunday, July 5, 2020

July 2020 Newsletter

Happy Independence Day! 
 
 As our country still struggles with the effects of this COVID-19 pandemic, we await direction from our state and local officials about the opening of Meadow Croft. The many events we had planned are also on hold. As of now, we have not received written permission to open Meadow Croft for weekend tours. Our July Summer Concert has been cancelled. Our Moonlight ferry cruise is also on hold as well as other summer events.
The good news is that planning is still happening, grants are being written and hope is always alive and well. All of us at the BBPHA are confident that with time and patience, things will get back to normal and we will see you soon. In the meantime, be safe, be smart and stay healthy! Enjoy your 4th of July and the start of summer in Bayport and Blue Point!
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Summer Solstice Walking Tour...

The Summer Solstice Walking Tour that was to take place on June 20, 2020, was cancelled by the Library but has gone virtual! Thanks to all who joined the tour at the library’s Facebook page.

Here are some of the highlights that Frank Giebfried, director at large for the BBPHA showcased on his virtual walking tour:

For over a decade, local historian and friend Gene Horton has guided us on the evening stroll that marks the beginning of summer. Before we lost him last year, Gene expressed his wish for this tradition to continue. We’ll stroll up Blue Point Avenue, stopping by many beautiful homes and visiting sites like Avery’s Five Mile Look, Joe’s Step Inn, the Nelson Danes house, the Hallett House, and Bob Brown’s Food Market. Of course, we’ll also pay a visit to the John Danes house, Gene Horton’s home for many years. A special thanks to Wendy Bennett at the library for putting the video together!

Big Change in Bayport 60 years ago....

A new feature in the monthly newsletter. These short articles were first printed in the monthly Bayport Blue Point Gazette. They were written by Gene Horton and reprinted with permission.
June 2017
Before 1957, if you lived in Bayport, you had to go to the post office to pick up your mail. There was no home delivery (or "city delivery") of mail in Bayport or other small local L.I. communities in the 1950's.

A Bayport resident before 1957 could have a post office box in the post office or a post office clerk would hand you your mail over the counter through general delivery. Before 1957, houses in Bayport did not have house numbers. You had to go to the post office to mail a letter; there were no drop boxes in town. And a first class stamp in 1957 cost 3 cents.

George Dedrick was postmaster in Bayport from 1948 until he retired in 1967. Starting in 1956, Bayport residents ere notified of what their house number would be. Homeowners would then have to display that number on the front of their home so it could be clearly seen from the street. Residents were also informed that they would have to get a mail box (or mail receptacle) or door slot for their house. Home delivery of mail officially started in Bayport on June 27, 1957.

Residents were also asked to notify those families, friends and businesses that regularly sent them mail of their new house number address. No zip codes sixty years ago either; not until 1963 did zip codes begin. Blue Point also initiated home delivery of mail in the mid-50's. Maria Goodwin was the post master of Blue Point then.

In the "good old days" before home delivery of mail, the post office was a genuine community meeting place. Everyone met everyone there. Now, with home delivery, you didn't have to go to the post office everyday or so. Sort of a loss for home towns togetherness.
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Gene Horton Memorial Scholarship....

Congratulations to Dylan Duffy, a recent graduate from BBP HS who is this years winner of the Gene Horton Memorial Scholarship. Every year the BBPHA proudly awards a $1000.00 Scholarship to a graduating senior who is pursuing a career in History. We wish Dylan all the best as he heads off to study at the University of Maryland in the Fall.
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Monday, June 1, 2020

June 2020 Newsletter

June 2020 Newsletter 
 
 Hope you all are well!
Until we get approval from NY State,  our June tours of the Meadow Croft Estate are on hold. Please note that an application has been filed and we await their response.
In the meantime, please feel free to stop by the grounds as Meadow Croft is a Suffolk County Park and is open.  As soon as we are allowed, we will make an announcement that the tours are open again.

Memorial Day
While the annual Memorial Day parade was cancelled this year, BBPHA did place a wreath in remembrance of those who proudly served our community. Thank you!

Summer Solstice Walking Tour

The Summer Solstice Walking Tour that was to take place on June 20, 2020, was cancelled by the Library and will now be going virtual! Be on the lookout for a posting on their Facebook page and included in a future newsletter. Here are some of the highlights that Frank Giebfried will showcase on his virtual walking tour:

For over a decade, local historian and friend Gene Horton has guided us on the evening stroll that marks the beginning of summer. Before we lost him last year, Gene expressed his wish for this tradition to continue. We’ll stroll up Blue Point Avenue, stopping by many beautiful homes and visiting sites like Avery’s Five Mile Look, Joe’s Step Inn, the Nelson Danes house, the Hallett House, and Bob Brown’s Food Market. Of course, we’ll also pay a visit to the John Danes house, Gene Horton’s home for many years.

Osprey's in Bayport!

A new feature in the monthly newsletter. These short articles were first printed in the monthly Bayport Blue Point Gazette. They were written by Gene Horton and reprinted with permission.
July 2015
My daily 4 mile-walk takes me on Middle Road and by Bayport Commons and the "Never Forget Garden" opposite Bayview Avenue in Bayport and right there is located one of the Bayport Fire Department's high poles with a siren on top. It turns out that Bayport Fire Department has three sirens throughout this community; one on Middle Road, one atop the firehouse on Railroad Ave and the other one on Church Street between the Montauk and Sunrise Highways.

Anyway, lo' and behold, in Bayport, atop the Middle Road siren pole is a large Osprey nest. I don't know how the osprey can stand the high pitch and screech of the siren. Apparently, when the siren is triggered, they fly out of the nest. (At least the siren is not sounded during the night hours). The osprey nest on Middle Road is apparently an active one as this morning on my walk i saw at least one of the birds up there.

Adult ospreys are very large birds indeed. They're at least 2 feet long with an average wingspan of about 5 feet. It is a bird of prey. 98% of an osprey's diet is fish so Bayport is a good location for them with the Great South Bay also on its coast. Ospreys nests are generally near water, near its food supply. Someday, take a look at this osprey nest: it's large and it's made up of sticks, driftwood, seaweed, beach debris, and even plastic bags! An osprey's lifespan is about 10 years. And ospreys do migrate south in winter often returning to the same nest in the spring!

Ahhhh....ospreys in Bayport!!! Nature is beautiful!!!

In the 5 years since this article appeared in the monthly Gazette, there have been more nests built including one on a property on South Ocean Avenue and one across the street from the Meadow Croft Estate on Middle Road. Keep looking!
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Membership now due...

It's that time of year! The BBPHA is now requesting your membership dues. If you would like to pay for this year, please mail payment to Bayport Blue Point Heritage Association PO Box 4 Bayport NY 11705. Please include your name, address and email on all correspondence. Make checks payable to Bayport Blue Point Heritage Association. You can also make payment directly from our webpage which can be found here . Any questions can be directed to bbphistorical@gmail.com. Thank you to all of our generous members! New members welcome!

Membership Type
Annual $25.00
Senior $10.00
Corporate $100.00
Donation $___

Friday, May 1, 2020

May 2020 Newsletter

Dear community,
Hoping you and your loved ones are healthy and safe. 
As we try to adjust to a new "normal" please know the BBPHA is adjusting as well. 
Our hope is that we will have a full summer season with activities, events and house tours at Meadow Croft. 
We have done some much needed improvements on the interior of Meadow Croft and are excited to show them off to our many friends and followers.
However, we must do our part now to stay healthy and safe. 
We know you are. We are too. 
We are all in this together!
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Summer Solstice Walking Tour

As of now:
The Summer Solstice Walking Tour will take place on June 20, 2020. It will begin at 6:30pm at the Blue Point Avenue dock and conclude at the Bayport Blue Point Library. For over a decade, local historian and friend Gene Horton has guided us on the evening stroll that marks the beginning of summer. Before we lost him last year, Gene expressed his wish for this tradition to continue. Please join Bayport Blue Point Heritage Association’s Frank Giebfried as we honor Gene with a Summer Solstice walking tour; “Blue Point Avenue: Yesterday and Today.” We’ll stroll up Blue Point Avenue, stopping by many beautiful homes and visiting sites like Avery’s Five Mile Look, Joe’s Step Inn, the Nelson Danes house, the Hallett House, and Bob Brown’s Food Market. Of course, we’ll also pay a visit to the John Danes house, Gene Horton’s home for many years. Please be sure to sign up on the BBP Library website!

An update will be included in the June newsletter!

Frank Geibfried shares some local history...

Frank Geibfried, a Director at Large for the Bayport Blue Point Heritage Association, says hello from home and shares some of his favorite bits of local history with us. Frank will also be our tour guide for our annual Summer Solstice Walking Tour scheduled for Saturday, June 20. Sign-up for the tour will (hopefully) begin in late May. Stay tuned!

Thanks to the BBP Library for this post.
Click here!

Hello! From Meadow Croft!

President of the Bayport Blue Point Heritage Association, Mary Bailey says hello...from Meadow Croft!! In this extra-special video, Mary gives us a virtual tour of the former summer estate of John Ellis Roosevelt and gives us a sneak peek of some improvements made to the estate over the winter.
To learn more about Meadow Croft or the Heritage Association, you can visit http://bayportbluepointheritage.org/
Thanks to the BBP Library for this post. Click here for video!

Sunday Morning at the Beach...

A new feature in the monthly newsletter. These short articles were first printed in the monthly Bayport Blue Point Gazette. They were written by Gene Horton and reprinted with permission.

This old postcard view was mailed out of Blue Point on June 11, 1918. It shows a number of vintage automobiles parked along the shore and on the dock at the foot of Blue Point Avenue. Looking closely, at least one of the cars in the picture has its steering wheel on the "British" side.
Even now-a-days, Blue Point Avenue dock is a delightful place to enjoy your morning coffee, read the newspaper, and enjoy the bay and its breeze. Times and styles may change, but not the ebb and flow of daily life in beautiful Blue Point.
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Staying safe...

Even though we are apart at this time, the BBPHA board members are still meeting and planning to make sure when this pandemic is over we are able to pick up where we left off! We are looking forward to continuing our important work of preserving the history of the Bayport and Blue Point communities! Hope to see you soon!
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Membership now due!

It's that time of year! The BHA is now requesting your membership dues. If you would like to pay for this year, please mail payment to Bayport Blue Point Heritage Association PO Box 4 Bayport NY 11705. Please include your name, address and email on all correspondence. Make checks payable to Bayport Blue Point Heritage Association. You can also make payment directly from our webpage which can be found here . Any questions can be directed to bbphistorical@gmail.com. Thank you to all of our generous members! New members welcome!

Membership Type
Annual $25.00
Senior $10.00
Corporate $100.00
Donation $___

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April 2020 Newsletter

Dear friends of BBPHA;
We hope this email finds you and your family healthy and safe. As a historical society who is dedicated to the preservation, history and future of Bayport & Blue Point, we recognize that we are living through history right now. An unprecedented time for our communities and the world. Please follow all CDC guidelines so we may have the ability to continue with our mission in the near future.
Our April General Membership meeting is cancelled and as this pandemic seems to evolve each day, we will keep you updated about future events.
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Updates at Meadow Croft

Prior to self-quarantine, work began on transforming two rooms upstairs at Meadow Croft into guest rooms. Two brass beds were donated by Ami & Bob Huttenmeyer. We thank them for this generous gift! Other work was scheduled and we are hoping to have it all ready for the opening of Meadow Croft for tours starting in June.
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The Roosevelt Family Walking Trail

If you want to get outdoors and enjoy a hike, Meadow Croft has a trail; The Roosevelt Family Walking Trail. It begins to the right of the historic home and travels North over the Rail Road tracks, around San Souci Lake, and ends at Montauk Highway. There are several interesting sights along the hike, including a grave stone for Billy. Billy was a Cairn Terrier who was born in Scotland and died in 1924. The Boys Scouts have also provided benches during the trail as part of Eagle Scout projects. The trail is maintained by the Suffolk County Parks Department as the Meadow Croft Estate is a SC Park. If you venture out, please don't litter and no smoking! Enjoy!

Heirloom Garden

Thank you to our Master Gardener, Ann Soper who was recently spotted cleaning up the garden and getting ready for the upcoming Spring season! Thank you Ann for all of your tireless work on behalf of the BBPHA! We can't wait to see what blooms in the garden this year!
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Bayport Florist, Bayport NY

A new feature in the monthly newsletter. These short articles were first printed in the monthly Bayport Blue Point Gazette. They were written by Gene Horton and reprinted with permission.
The florist industry was always important in the 19th and 20th century history of Bayport and Blue Point. This postcard view of the "Bayport Florist" is postmarked September 12, 1912. The roadway in the picture is Montauk Highway, which wasn't even paved yet. This card shows the home and some of the greenhouses of Julius Chevalley. This place was located on the southeast corner of Montauk Hwy and Gillette Ave in Bayport.

According to the Arcidia Press book, "Bayport Heritage," Mr. Chevalley purchased this property more than 100 years ago, in 1906, and developed his plant business there. Today the house, the water tower and the greenhouses in this picture are all gone. Most of his property is now occupied by the Fairview Properties and the Bayport Professional Center.
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