The Historical Society of Bellport-Brookhaven is a nonprofit local organization in Long Island, New York, that is devoted to preserving and interpreting the important historical past of Long Island in general and the Bellport, Brookhaven, and East Patchogue region in particular.
In this article, we take a closer look at Bellport-Brookhaven’s history and the Historical Society while in other posts on this website, we’ll review and highlight other important moments, locations, and events in the rich history and cultural heritage of the United States.
The Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society is pursuing its important quest through the organization’s museum with its fine collections and exhibitions, the historic house where they are located, exchange shop, educational programs, publishing historically important material, and outreach programs to engage the local community. Continue reading “Review of The Historical Society of Bellport-Brookhaven”
Saratoga Springs is both historic as well as alive today with tourism and culture. Once recognized by the Native Americans for its abundant mineral springs, which were thought to hold many curative powers, became a hotbed of the tourism industry before such things as tourism were even thought of.
The Native Americans brought Sir William Johnson to the springs to help his injuries as early and the mid-1700s and later even George Washington visited this mineral wonderland.
The man who actually put the springs on the map was its first entrepreneur, Gideon Putnam. Putman developed the land he owned putting up a hotel and baths for visitors who soon were arriving at the spa in great numbers. By the mid-1830s hotels and spas had sprung up all over as rail transportation allowed easier access. With the addition of train service, visitors from New York City thronged to the spa.
My wife and I took a wonderful day-trip to Fort Blakeley, Alabama, last weekend. the weather was still nice and over the coming days, it will only get colder. Much colder! Located a few miles north of Spanish Fort, Fort Blakeley, in conjunction with Spanish Fort, was built to defend Mobile from a land attack from the east. Mobile lies across the bay to the west.
The Battle of Fort Blakeley was in 1865, from April second to April ninth in Alabama’s Baldwin County, some 6 miles from Spanish Fort.
Remarkably, after 142 years, the earthen works of the fort are still in very good condition. The first remnant we came upon was a Confederate trench line a few hundred yards beyond where the pavement ends and where the American flag flies inside the park.
From the flag, the road curves around and passes a monument on the right side of the road. The monument is to the Missouri troops—from both sides—that fought at Blakeley. On the opposite side of the road from the Missouri monument is a cemetery where some of the original settlers of Blakeley are buried.
Today, November 11, is Veterans Day. Truth is, no one really knows why we celebrate Veterans Day every year. Is it for the veterans? Probably not, that doesn’t make sense. I was going to research online and ended up on the Bestgedclasses website. It has a lot of dedication to US History social studies pages, and I found something super interesting. My attention was demanded by one specific veteran:
Before he was a Sarge in WORLD WAR I, Mr. Stubby attended Yale University. He mostly wandered around campus, eating garbage and sniffing dirty underwear. Until one fine sunny afternoon, he came across a group of soldiers during their infantry training session. Being his usual beloved self, he befriended some of the soldiers.
They happened to be training for the great war and thought that Stubby could be a valuable member of their team. So they decided he should come with them to fight (hands down, the best decision they ever made). Problem was, Mr. Stubby wasn’t in the military and so was not technically invited. Stubby technically didn’t give a damn about any of that, so when it was time to head overseas, Stubs snuck on a ship to France, then snuck back off.
My oh my, how time flies! It seems like only yesterday when only 6% of all Americans graduated from high school, the average salary was 22 cents per hour, and the average age was 47. On the home front, only 14% of homes had a bathtub and 8% of homes had a telephone. Sugar cost four cents a pound, eggs were fourteen cents a dozen, and coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
There were 8000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads. The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph. The leading cause of death was pneumonia and influenza. Considering how far we’ve advanced in 100 years, I wonder what it will be like in 2119?
DEITZ – BROOKHAVEN HAMLET TALK
John Deitz, Brookhaven Hamlet historian, spoke to a standing-room-only crowd on Sunday. Before John began, he announced: “this is my third and final presentation of ‘Brookhaven Hamlet Cultural Heritage 101’.” Luckily, the event was filmed and will be available on www.bellport.com. John generously donated his slides and slide board to the Society for use in a future exhibit.
He was sent by the royalty of Spain to find gold in Asia. Instead, he found the Bahamas, which is not gold, but still pretty awesome. Well, tomorrow is Columbus Day, so let’s dig a little deeper into how Columbus did his tricks…
His crew consisted of three ships full of Popeyes, and the first person to spot land was supposed to win a yearly boat-load of Spanish moolah for life. Some nobody named Rodrigo supposedly spotted the beach first, but screw that guy. Columbus just said that he already saw it last night, and claimed the prize. Teamwork!
STEP 1: BE SELFISH
In order to lead your team to victory, you must look out for yourself first and foremost. If you are not taken care of, then how can you take care of anyone else? Be the CEO that makes 3000 times as much as everyone in the company combined. Feed those dogs your scraps. Or don’t feed them at all! They’ll live. (or die)
When Columbus and his miscreant goons arrived at the island, the natives awed at his giant wooden boat (not a euphemism) and welcomed his crew with open arms and free gifts. Columbus thought it was hilarious that they had no weapons, and decided that it would be a piece of cake to turn them all into servants.
From 1810 to 1818 the United States actively sought to acquire Spanish Florida as U.S. territory. Several attempts by various adventurous characters were made and since mostly forgotten. The most successful attempts to steal Florida from Spain were conducted by Andrew Jackson in 1814 and 1818. The least-known attempt to take Florida was conducted by Major Uriah Blue in late 1814 and early 1815.
andrew Jackson from an engraving done in France in 1817.
He was very popular with the French after the Battle of New Orleans.
(Note: One of the Muskogee traditions is to spell Andrew Jackson with lower case letters: andrew jackson).
General Andrew Jackson took over Pensacola on November 7, 1814. He soon left to meet the British at New Orleans for the battle that would make him famous. jackson left Major Uriah Blue in Florida to be his rear guard, and to attack Red Sticks that had escaped Jackson’s wrath at Horseshoe Bend. Blue’s regiment of around 1000 troops included a large number of friendly Creek, Chickasaw, and Choctaw Scouts; and the famous frontiersman David Crockett.
This is a reminiscence from George McCall about 1830, in his book, Letters from the Frontiers. Note: Cropping of ears once was a common punishment for marital infidelity.
There was another instance that had previously occurred at this same town of Choko-chattee, of a different character but evincing the determined purpose of the Seminole mind. An Indian, named Beaver, had taken a female orphan child some fifteen years ago and reared it with a parent’s solicitude.
And now as his reward, he proposed to take his protegee to wife. But his hope and expectation of bliss were brief: within a month of the time appointed for the marriage ceremony, a young brave ran off with his betrothed. Before two moons had passed, the youth imprudently brought his stolen treasure back to Choko-chatee.
Unluckily for him, Beaver was at home, and immediately made known the fact of his return to the chief, Alligator. The latter immediately assembled his council. The accused was tried, found guilty, and sentenced to have the law enforced upon him. The law for this offense is “to be flogged till senseless, and to lose his ears.”
Although the first land purchases were transacted in 1681, shortly after William Penn received the charter from King Charles II, the first buildings did not appear in the forested valley until 1700, now known as the Downingtown Log House. In 1716, Thomas Moore established “a water corn mill” and in 1739, Roger Hunt erected a grist mill. During the 18th century, the hamlet acquired the colloquial name of Milltown or sometimes Downings’ Town.
Travel between Philadelphia and Lancaster was a two journey via stagecoach. Since Milltown was the halfway point, several inns were established: The Ship Inn, circa 1730; the King-in-Armes, later known the Washington Inn, in 1761; The Half-Way House in 1790; and The Swan Hotel in 1800.
I had the pleasure of visiting with Emily (EM) Czaja– an extraordinary lady. She knows Bellport like, well, let’s put it this way. She was born and raised here and was the Village historian for more than 20 years. If you want to know anything about Bellport, Em probably has the answer. But there is the other side of Em – the artist. And this was the reason for my visit. Mrs. Czaja very generously donated a large collection of her watercolors, pen and inks, paintings, and artwork to the Bellport Brookhaven Historical Society.
When Did You Begin Painting?
I began drawing as a child but had no formal training. I took lessons from local artists such as Ruth and Jerry Grace and Jody Love. Then it was my turn, and I taught classes to local ladies who met in Olga Roe’s home. What Mediums Do You Like or Dislike? My favorite mediums are pen and ink and watercolors. I now work with markers; they are so handy, and they dry instantaneously.
Bellport’s Fire Department presented their 3rd annual St. Patrick’s Day parade last Saturday, March 17. The festivities kicked off at 11 AM when the parade set off from Station Road and 2nd Street to go through Main Street on its way to the Bellport firehouse. There are more small-town St. Patrick’s Day parades like the one in this video in Westhampton Beach on Long Island:
Shawn Krulder was the Bellport Parade’s organizer and he was looking forward to the third annual parade that started out so humbly. In 2015, fire department personnel started to set up some springtime activities and they were wondering why Bellport Village never had its own St. Patrick’s Day parade while the village was perfect for doing that