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Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society
Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society

The Society was founded in 1958 by a small group of Bellport residents and in 1964 received its full state charter. It is a not-for-profit organization devoted to the preservation and interpretation of Long Island's past, and particularly the history of the Bellport, Brookhaven and East Patchogue area. The Society pursues this goal through its museum, the historic Post-Crowell House and the buildings that make up the Museum Complex.

The Society provides gallery exhibitions, museum exhibits and educational programs to the community. Its publication of studies on local history and culture provide knowledge and insight into the cultural inheritance of the area. A major purpose of the Society is the preservation of Long Island antiquities and historic documents and the extensive collection of books, manuscripts, maps, postcards and other memorabilia is on permanent display and available to historians, researchers and local schools for class visits.


About the Historical Society
Current and Upcoming Events
Recent Events
 "Bellport Revisited"
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Upcoming Events

Yasmine Ergas






About the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society

The Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society is located at 31 Bellport Lane, right next to the Bellport Village Hall. In 1967 Miss Florence Crowell deeded her property and house at 31 Bellport Lane to the Society. The house was built in 1833 by Hiram Post, a master ship builder and cost $800. He built for the ages...the house foundation is made of ship ballast stone, there are extra heavy floor beams and the older sections of the house contain square nails and wood pegs. The flagpole is a ship mast and the fish on top is a replica of the trout carved to celebrate Daniel Webster's 1827 trout catch on Carman's River.

The Barn Museum, originally a livery stable built in 1904 is climate controlled and has two floors of exhibits, including the "Pigskin Book" a rare 1696 account ledger of whaling expeditions in this area; early craftsmen's tools and ship models; Capt Wilbut Corwin's extensive decoy collection; an early Sperry gyroscope and a copy of its 1914 patent and an ever changing display of local artifacts.

The Museum complex includes the Brown Building at 12 Bell street, which was bequeathed to the historical society by its last owner, Ralph Brown. and renamed in his honor. It houses the Barn Museum Exchange Shop.

The Shaw Blacksmith Shop, The John Chester Memorial Boathouse, the Milk House and the Gazebo.

The museum is open every Saturday during the summer and Monday, Labor Day, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Recent Events

Fashion Photography

Dog Show




Born in Brookhaven


Old Souls




Food Drive




John Baker


Anna Goddard




Yard Sale


Holiday tour




Dream House


Bike Tour


Attic Sale


Gale Collins


Black History Month


Moeisha McGill




Cara Wall






Summer dinner



Bill Cunningham



Bike Tour






Brookhaven Artists



Jessie Harland



Art Show









Art Walk






Francs Toms



Robin Starbuck



Mary Booth



Alonzo Chappel



Holiday Party



Oyster Dinner






Final Portrait



House Tour


Bike Tour



Fashion and Media



7th Avenue



Isabella and Ingrid



Garden Book









The Manhattan Project:
From Los Alamos to Brookhaven National Lab

Manhattan Project

Manhattan Project

A Conversation with Tom Williams and Friends
Moderated by David Tereshchuk

Saturday, March 31st at 4:00pm

The Brown Building
Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society



Camp Upton

Please Join Us for a Talk and Book Signing with Suzanne Johnson

Co-Author of Camp Upton

Saturday, February 24th at 4:00pm

The Brown Building
Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society



Holiday Party



Steven Gaines



Mac Griswold



Bike Hunt



House Tour

Victor Talk



Fire Lecture




The BBHS kicks off the summer season with our annual Cocktail Party and Exhibition Preview on Saturday, June 3rd. Please join us for an evening of lively music, cocktails, passed and stationary hors d'oeuvres, silent and live auctions.

This exciting and colorful exhibit highlights the rich 125 year history of the Bellport Volunteer Fire Dept. We'll explore the incredibly varied aspects of community service provided by individual members, who all made personal decisions to help their neighbors every time an alarm is sounded - at great risk to their health and safety. You'll discover local stories of a mysterious arsonist, infamous fires, and the evolution of firefighting thru historic articles, photos and the display of artifacts and equipment used throughout the years.




John Freeman Gill

Gish Lecture

Small World

Small World

Small World

BBHS Artists and Authors


BBHS 2016 Gala, "Fowl Play"

On Saturday, June 4, 2016, the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society held its 2016 Gala, "Fowl Play." The chicks from Isabella Rossellini’s Long Island farm inspired the event this year. The international actress and filmmaker collaborated with Brookhaven photographer Patrice Casanova in a series of portraits capturing her Heritage Breed of chickens in all their fine-feathered glory.

The BBHS Gala highlighting the exhibit began with a Cocktail Party which included cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, live and silent auctions, live music, and an opportunity to meet Isabella Rossellini, Patrice Casanova, Francisco Costa and John DeStefano. Naturally, was their capturing video of the event for you to enjoy.


Annual Gala

The chicks at Isabella Rossellini’s Long Island farm are ready for their close-up. The international actress and filmmaker has collaborated with Brookhaven photographer Patrice Casanova in a series of portraits capturing her Heritage Breed of chickens in all their fine-feathered glory. The photographs will be on exhibit at the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society (BBHS), beginning with the nonprofit’s annual Gala on Saturday, June 4th, and on view through July 31, 2016.

A night of festivities on Saturday, June 4, 2016 will launch the exhibition. The annual BBHS fundraiser is 6:00-9:00 PM and includes cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, live and silent auctions, live music, and the opportunity to meet Isabella Rossellini, Patrice Casanova, Francisco Costa and John DeStefano. Tickets are $150 pp and can be purchased at the Bellport Brookhaven Historical Society website.

“The Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society is fortunate to be able to draw on the creativity and talent of area residents to offer such unique presentations to the public,” said BBHS president Kate Carmel. “Not only is this exhibit great fun for all ages, but reminds us to treasure and conserve our agricultural history, from farmland to livestock.”

Isabella’s Farm is part of the Peconic Land Trust, a nonprofit organization established to ensure the protection of Long Island’s agricultural heritage. The farm produces organic crops, natural honey, and is home to many breeds of chicken, including Blue and Silver Cochin, Barred Rock, and Wyandotte. Others, including Golden Campine, Egyptian Fayoumi, White Crested Black Polish, and Silver Spangled Hamburg, are quite rare and distinctive. Neighbors Francisco Costa, Creative Director and Chief Designer, Calvin Klein Women’s Wear; and John DeStefano, Executive-in-Charge, Black Swan Stables; are the “proud parents of the flock,” having paid for the chicks, the hen house, and the chicken run. As recognized by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, artisanal farms are increasingly critical to the global protection of old seeds, heirloom vegetables, and rare breeds of farm animals.

"I’m raising chickens for the first time, and was surprised to discover they have personalities – one, calm and docile; another, dominant and aggressive,” explains Ms. Rossellini, known for her modeling career as well as acting. "These personality traits give them distinct postures and expressions often too fleeting and subtle to register with the naked eye. But Casanova’s photographs capture these expressions, revealing real ‘chick appeal’ and, as presented on stark white background, might well spring from the pages of Vogue.”

According to Mr. Casanova who visited Isabella’s Farm every week, the photography project started as a record of the chickens’ passage to maturity, from ‘peeps to full grown,’ but ultimately, revealed the feathered flock as “fashion plates.”

“I was astonished by how the varieties of chicken began to differentiate over time, some with a topnotch of feathers, others with finely detailed, jewel-like heads, and others with personalities just made for the camera,” said Mr. Casanova. “The BBHS exhibit is a chance for viewers to see farm animals in a new light, and with fashion’s sense of flair.”

Patrice Casanova, who comes from Aix en Provence, started his U.S. career specializing in portrait studies of men and women, often celebrities, from Jessica Lange to Lorraine Bracco. Today, he is equally recognized for his landscape and nature studies.

BBHS will offer special programs tied to the exhibition, including “Mimosa with Bagel and a Schmear” on Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 10:30 AM when Ms. Rossellini will present a 20-minute film segment “The Chicken” featuring her mother, Ingrid Bergman, and directed by her father, Roberto Rossellini. “The Chicken” is one of four episodes from a 1953 Italian film, We The Women, a cinematic homage to well-known actresses of the time. It provides an intimate, affectionate portrait, capturing Ms. Bergman at home in a private, if fictional, scenario.

Following the BBHS Gala, Fowl Play will be on public view at the BBHS at 12 Bell Street, each Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm beginning Sunday, June 5th and concluding Sunday, July 31st. Admission is $5.00; free to BBHS members. For more information or to purchase tickets for the BBHS Gala or ”Mimosa with Bagel and a Schmear,” visit the Bellport Brookhaven Historical Society website.



Breakfast Movie



BBHS Annual Holiday Party
Sunday, December 13, 2015

Honoring designer/author Tricia Foley with a book signing of her recently published book, Life/Style: Elegant Simplicity at Home. Free to members.



Creeping Presentation



Fern Mallis Lecture


The Great Duck Dinner

Duck DinnerOn Friday, August 28, 2015, the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society held their season finale, "The Great Duck Dinner." It was an “al fresco” dinner on the grounds of the BBHS. There were cocktails under the great Candelabra Pine followed by a specially prepared three course farm-to-table dinner featuring Crescent Farms Long Island Duck. Over 100 people attended and had a wonderful, relaxing, time. Click here to see photos from the event.


Kate Betts Lecture


Bicycle Hunt

Click here to see photos from the Bicycle Scavenger Hunt.


The Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society's “Old-Time Country Crafts"

BBHS Craft FairOn Saturday, July 18, 2015, the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society held an “Old-Time Country Crafts Fair” entitled, “How Things Were Made.” There were live demonstrations and live Hands-On Lessons with craft specialists in the Historical Society’s traditional workshops which are still maintained on the grounds of the Historical Society. There was Blacksmithing & Ironworking, Quilting, Decoy Carving, Wool Spinning, and Live Old Timey Music. Click here to see photos from the event.


An Evening with Maira Kalman: Author and Illustrator

Maira KalmanOn Friday, July 17, 2015, Author and Illustrator Maira Kalman talked about her life and work, from her covers for The New Yorker to her books for children and grown-ups. She is as wise as she is funny, quirky as she is soulful. She has given a TED Talk, been an Academy in Rome Fellow, curated a show at the Cooper Hewitt and has had a retrospective at the Jewish Museum.


What's Special about Antique Bellport Decoys?

On Friday, July 10, 2015, Dick Richardson, VP of the Long Island Decoy Collectors Association, and past President of the Pattersquash Gunners Club, demonstrated the distinguishing features of works by the great Bellport Bay decoy carvers.


Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society Presentation: Bob Morris and His New Memoir, Bobby Wonderful: An Imperfect Son Buries His Parents

Bob MorrisBob Morris

On Friday, June 26, 2015, the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society hosted a presentation by Bellport resident, author, playwright, frequent New York Times contributor and Town and Country columnist, Bob Morris, about saying goodbye to the people who gave us our beginning in life in the best way possible. It was a packed house for this uplifting and humorous talk about something as emotional as it is universal. This was the first in a series of special presentations the BBHS will be hosting this summer. Click here to listen to Bob Morris' presentation.


Duck Tales!

DucksOn Saturday, June 20, 2015, The Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society held a very special event for children and families. Called the “Duck Tales: Learn and Paint Program,” it was designed to educate the participants about the many ducks in our area and give them an opportunity to paint their own personal ducks!

The program was presented by Tom Lerner, expert on waterfowl of all types, and John DiNaro, art educator, sportsman, and environmentalist. The program began with a short film and presentation on the ducks which can be found locally and then moved on to instruction on how to realistically paint the ducks provided for the participants. After painting their ducks realistically, everyone was given an opportunity to paint a second duck as outrageously as they could. The program was finished off with duck shaped cookies and lemonade provided by Joan Kaelin. Click here to see photos from the event.


Genealogy 101: The Basics for Tracing your Family History

On Saturday, June 13, 2015, The Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society held "Genealogy 101: The Basics for Tracing your Family History" presented by professional genealogist, Laura Murphy DeGrazia. Do you need proof of a family connection to be a potential heir? Are family stories true? Are you really related to someone famous? Do you just want to know who your ancestors were and where they came from? Participants learned the basics of genealogy research with Laura Murphy DeGrazia, board certified genealogist specializing in 19th and 20th-century research in the New York City area, including Brooklyn and Long Island.


The Way It Was: The Old-Time Sporting Life on Long Island

Sporting Life PresentationOn June 12, 2015, the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society held a very special presentation, “The Way It Was: The Old-Time Sporting Life on Long Island.” The program featured local sportsmen Tom Lerner and Joe Pendergast, Jr. speaking about the history of hunting in this area of Long Island. It was a wonderful evening enjoyed by all who attended and if you’d like to listen to the presentations, Please Click Here.




Holiday Party


Photos from the 2014 BBHS Members' Holiday Party

BBHS Holiday PartyThe Bellport Brookhaven Historical Society held their Annual Holiday Party on Sunday, December 7, 2014 for members of the Historical Society and their guests. Click here to see photos from the party.


Audio Recording of "Bellport Lane, a Serendipitous Masterpiece" by Victor Principe

Principe Lecture

On Saturday, November 15, 2014, author, former president, and ten-year trustee of the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society, Victor Principe, gave a wonderfully informative presentation about the people, architecture, and goings-on since the creation of Bellport Lane.

Often referred to as Bellport’s “signature” street and regarded as a masterpiece of 19th century American village design, the oldest street in Bellport has many tales to tell. Home to the village’s early residents and later its summer people, it was- and remains- the heart of Bellport. Village history began here when a dock was added to a spit of land jutting into the bay by Captain Thomas Bell, who then connected it to higher ground by building a road going north, Dock Road. The land on either side of the road was cleared and divided into lots that proved instantly desirable.

Please Click Here to listen to this wonderful presentation.


Rawlins Lecture


Bellport Day


Gala this Saturday

The Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society hosted its annual fundraising gala, “Down on the Farm: selections from the Bush Farm Museum,” honoring founder Ron Bush at 6pm on June 7, 2014 at 12 Bell Street, the official BBHS Gallery. Ron Bush has been an impassioned preservationist of Long Island farms: their histories, their tools and machinery used to work the land. He’s also been a champion of saving Long Island’s working farmland itself.

This being the largest fundraiser of the year it is held to sustain preservation of the Society’s historic structures and enable us to present exhibits and programs that encourage the conservation and enjoyment of the Bellport- Brookhaven cultural legacy. The event included an opening exhibit preview, gala cocktail reception, live music and a tribute to Mr. Bush in the form of a video presentation of the estate and collections. A raffle and auction were also on hand for guests to support the society.

Pamela Lerner and Patrice Casanova made the following wonderful photos from the Gala available to us. Click here to see the photos.


Photos from the 2013 BBHS Members' Holiday Party

Historical SocietyThe Bellport Brookhaven Historical Society held their Annual Holiday Party with Illustrated Reminiscences on Sunday, December 8th for members of the Historical Society and their guests. Click here to see photos from the party.


Quilt Submissions for the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society's Quilt Exhibit

The Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society recently asked for submissions from the community for its upcoming exhibit, "American Quilts made between 1850 and 1950." 23 quilts were submitted from all over LI- Massapequa to Southold! The exhibition will open on October 27th, and runs through November 30th. The exhibition is organized by the Eastern Long Island Quilters Guild, with the participation of quilt historian and appraiser, Joyce Fischer. Below are five of the submissions that will be featured in the exhibit, along with some words from the quilt owners.

Quilt ExhibitAbraham Lincolns' History
Submitted by: Margaret Cavaliere, Patchogue

My Aunt Annie was born in 1897 and died in 1996. At age 99 in Newark, Maryland. She left this quilt to me. She was well known for her many home made quilts and many she gave as gifts. She is the Sister of the Late Bessie Richardson of Bellport (1929-2002).


Quilt ExhibitApplique Quilt
Submitted by: Pauline Hazard, East Patchogue

I purchased this quilt at the BHS curio shop. The former owner was contacted and asked where she got the quilt and if she knew it's story. She informed me that her parents were quilt collectors and had an antique shop for many years. They frequently went to auctions Upstate and in New Jersey. It was appraised and determined it was probably made Upstate New York.


Quilt ExhibitLone Star Quilt
Submitted by: Ann Duncan, Blue Point

Purchased "on the green" in Eagle Merc, Pennsylvania, no history given.


Quilt ExhibitApplique Flower Quilt
Submitted by: Susan Olsen, Setauket

Purchased in 2000 at the Mountain Top Quilt Shop in Leadville, Colorado. I was told the pattern came from a newspaper ad. Patterns were sold for very little money and there were many designs to choose from. I loved the colors, placement of flowers and the scalloped border.


Quilt ExhibitMariners Compass Quilt
Submitted by: Barbara Jamison, Eastport

This quilt was gifted to my family by a friend who cared for a handicapped niece in Patchogue. It was gifted to me when my Aunt Barbara Keck passed away a few years ago. I do not know the name of the quilter, only that the care givers' Mother made it.



Photos from Gala Celebration Night

Annual GalaThe Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society has planned many exciting events for 2013. They kicked off the year with their Annual Gala and Exhibition featuring "Bellport: Summer 1900" - a look at the iconic summer style and social life of our seaside resort in the late 19th century. Click here for photos by Patrice Casanova from the Gala. also attended the Gala. Click here for more photos from this year’s BBHS “Gala.”


"Bellport Revisited"

Bellport RevisitedAccording to the book’s publisher, “Bellport Revisited” chronicles the history of Bellport Village through a wealth of historic images, most never published before, from several private collections and from the extensive archives of the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society Museum. Victor is donating all royalties from the book to the Historical Society. 

Book Description (courtesy Arcadia Publishing):
Bellport Village, with its beautiful historic homes and sweeping views of the Great South Bay, has remained a thriving community through the years, retaining its strong sense of place. The Bellport streetscape is alive with diverse architecture that has enriched the lives of its residents and visitors for generations. One knows immediately when one is in the Bellport area. It is a place apart, where the monotony of contemporary suburbia gives way to the charming eccentricities of history. Through a wealth of historic images, most never published before, from several private collections and from the extensive archives of the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society Museum, Bellport Revisited chronicles the history of a village that has resisted development and remained a charming and unique place.

Author Bio (courtesy Arcadia Publishing):
In his second volume on Bellport’s history, Victor Principe introduces the people and explores the architectural richness of Bellport and the surrounding communities through vintage images from the 19th through the mid-20th century. He is a member of the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society and serves on the board of the Bellport Village Historic Preservation Commission. A resident of Bellport for more than 25 years, he is also a real estate broker and antiques dealer.

Below is a short video featuring Victor Principe discussing the concept behind his book.


Historical Society Elected Officers:

President: Joan Kaelin
Treasurer: Jonathan Pokorny
Secretary: Jamie Papandrea
Director of Programming: Tricia Foley

Alexander Chapman
David Cleaves
Tom Cornell
Howie Guja
Judy Hester
Mike Kaelin
Tom Lerner
Linda Leuzzi
Marian Marshall
Zach Motl
Jean Pokorny
Joe Varsalona



Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society

31 Bellport Lane
Bellport, NY  11713
Exchange Shop 631-286-0888