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.
The Fix-Up Has Begun! Now Let's Wrap It Up!
The crucial restoration of the Bellport-Brookhaven
Historical Society’s jewel, the Post-Crowell House, has started. But we
can't finish what needs to be done without your help!
PHASE 1 - Urgently needed roof replacement and stabilization of front porches was completed November, 2015!
PHASE 2 - Critical repairs, restoration and repainting of exterior. Expected to start Spring, 2016.
Your 100% tax-deductible donation, large or small, will preserve our past for the future.
Please consider making a donation today!
Write your check to:
Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society
And mail to:
BBHS / Post-Crowell House Appeal
PO Box 47
Bellport, NY 11713
Thank you for being part of the progress to save our history!
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.
Other buildings on the property include the Barn Museum holding the Sperry gyroscope exhibit, the Wilbur Corwin decoy collection, the antique tool collection and dolls and toys from the mid 1800's. New to the Barn Museum is the collection of antique wedding gowns donated by Bellport residents.
The Brown Building houses the legendary Pelletreau doll collection of more than 500 miniature dolls from throughout the world and the extensive antique painted tin collection. The Museum Complex also includes the Blacksmith Shop, the Chester Memorial Boathouse; the Milk House and the Gazebo.
The Museum Complex is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday,11:00 am to 4:00 pm from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Admission is free to Society members. For non-member adult admission is $5; $4 for seniors. Children 12 and under free. For more information call 631-776-7640.
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, Bellport.com was their capturing video of the event for you to enjoy.
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
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.
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.
The Great Duck Dinner
On 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.
The Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society's “Old-Time Country Crafts"
On 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
On 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
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.
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
On 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.
Photos from the 2014 BBHS Members' Holiday Party
The 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
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.
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
The 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.
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).
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.
Submitted by: Ann Duncan, Blue Point
Purchased "on the green" in Eagle Merc, Pennsylvania, no history given.
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.
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
The 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.
Bellport.com also attended the Gala. Click here for more photos from this year’s BBHS “Gala.”
Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society announces the seasonal opening of
The Exchange Shop, charmingly known as "The Barn Museum Shop."
The shop will begin accepting consignments of Furniture, Antiques, Decorative
Accessories and Collectibles for the coming season on Wednesday, May 11th and on
subsequent Wednesdays, from 10:00am to 12 noon.
The shop will open Memorial Day weekend on Monday, May 30th, through the middle of December. Following Memorial Day, the Exchange Shop's regular business hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 11:00am-4:00pm, and Sundays from 12:00pm to 3:00pm, until mid December.
Come and visit this old fashioned country store just east of the Bicycle Shop and across from the old Bellport Fire House and catch up on all the local news! New items arrive weekly. They encourage New Consignments. For information call: 631-286-0888. 12 Bell Street, Bellport.
Below are just some of the types of wonderful items you'll find at the Shop!
Below is a slideshow of photos of the types
of items that the Exchange Shop has to offer!
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
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.
President: Kate Carmel
1st Vice President: Veronica E. O'Neill
2nd Vice President: Joan Kaelin
Recording, Corporate Secretary: David Cleaves
Treasurer: Jonathan Pokorny
Anna Lou Fletcher
Thomas P. Lerner
Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society
31 Bellport Lane
Bellport, NY 11713
Exchange Shop 631-286-0888
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