BBP Heritage Association

~ June 2021 Newsletter ~

Hello June!

Welcome Summer! An exciting time for those of us on the BBPHA! Our weekend tours will begin on June 5th and continue every Saturday and Sunday through October. Meadow Croft has gone through some extensive renovations throughout the Covid shut down including new exhibits, repairs, painting, and new room displays, including some of the previously unseen servant's quarters. Check out the article below on the recent installation of authentic period light fixtures as well as a display now on exhibit.

We also have a few other events including The Islip Arts Council performance on June 19th (see more information below). We are awaiting on approval for others so stay tuned for more announcements in the near future!

A special Shout Out to local Boy Scout Riley Clare who, along with 2 other scouts, recently helped with some garbage removal and general clean-up at Meadow Croft. Thank you! Our heirloom garden is all planted and looking wonderful! Thank you to Ann Soper who always does such an amazing job. The Sayville Food Pantry has also done a fabulous job on their garden and all vegetables harvested will go directly to those in need. Stop by Meadow Croft and check them out!

The BBPHA is pleased once again to be awarding a $1000.00 scholarship to a deserving HS student from the BBP HIgh School. This award is given in the name of our dear friend, local historian, and former director, Gene Horton. More information in the July newsletter after the award has been presented later in June.

While there was no Memorial Day Parade again this year, the BBPHA presented wreaths in honor of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Thank you to Jerry McCloskey for doing the honor of presenting the wreaths at Bayport Memorial Park and Blue Point Cemetery in Blue Point. As John F. Kennedy had so eloquently expressed, "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them." .

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Lighting Restoration at Meadow Croft

We are excited to announce the first phase of lighting restoration at Meadow Croft is nearing completion. Using money from our annual county grant, Erich Haesche and Frank Giebfried purchased numerous period gas and electric fixtures, focusing mainly on the upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms. The lighting dates from 1891 through 1915, and reflects what the Roosevelts would have had. Lenny at Orleans Lighting in Freeport electrified and converted the fixtures to allow for installation at Meadow Croft. The wall sconces have been mounted where the original gas fixtures were, so visitors will be able to see what the mansion was like when the Roosevelts lived here. The BBPHA would like to thank Richard Martin, the Director of Historic Services for Suffolk County Parks, for arranging for county electricians to install the fixtures. And a very special thank you to Erich for his knowledge and expertise. This project could not have been completed without his guidance, not to mention the generosity he showed in donating many pieces from his own collection to the restoration.

Let There Be Light!

Let There Be Light! Exhibit:

To celebrate the lighting restoration at Meadow Croft, Erich Haesche has curated not one, but two exhibits. The first exhibit focuses on early electric lighting, spanning the years 1879 to 1899. The displays consist of authentic period pieces and the history of the Edison Electric Light Company and the Bergmann Electric Company, as well as the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company’s lighting of the 1893 Columbia Exposition in Chicago. Early lightbulbs, lamps, switches, and a circuit break box are just a fraction of artifacts on display. There is even a section of the Edison Tube, a three wire cable that was installed in 1883 to deliver electricity from Thomas Edison’s first power plant located at Pearl Street in Manhattan!

The second exhibit highlights three forms of lighting at Meadow Croft from 1900 to 1915: kerosene, gas, and electricity. The display showcases Tirrill’s Equalizing Machine, the powerplant that supplied gas to the house, and includes period examples of the unique Tirrill sconces that would have lit the rooms. In addition, fans, toy trains, toasters and many more early electric items are included.

Erich will be at Meadow Croft on the first Sunday of every month to discuss the exhibit and answer your questions. So come down for a tour and enjoy these wonderful displays!

Cleaning Day at Meadow Croft

Thank you to all the volunteers who came out to Meadow Croft, on Saturday, May 22. The BBPHA board members and other volunteers came with dust rags, polishes and their own vacuums to chip in and shine up the beautiful old home too to get it ready for opening day on June 5.
Without volunteers like these we would be sunk. Thank you to everyone who helped out. Meadow Croft is now clean and ready for tours every weekend from 2:00-4:00. Hope to see you all there this summer.

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Concert at Meadow Croft

As part of the Islip Arts Council program – Art and Music in Historic Houses, there will be a concert on Saturday, June 19th, from 2-3 pm, featuring the violinist Yeou-Cheng Ma and pianist Elinor Zayas, at historic Meadow Croft. The duo will feature works by Bach, Handel, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Faure, Fritz Kreisler,Carlos Gardel, Gluck, Astor Piazzolla, Vecsey, Viardot, and Von Paradis ( the latter two being female composers whose works were published and performed during the time period of the occupancy of Meadow Croft by the Roosevelt family).

The program concludes with the lively Czardas by Monti.

The program is made possible through a grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. Islip Arts Council will cover 10 historic houses in the Town of Islip. The presentations will be videotaped docent led tours of the homes along with musical accompaniment. Some of the historic homes, Meadow Croft included, will be subjects of virtual art exhibitions. The tour of the home, the musical performance and the art exhibitions will be featured on IslipArts Live – Islip Arts YouTube channel and Islip Arts Council website. Each home will also be given a videotape for visitors to view. Enjoy this exciting event!

Meadowcroft will be open for tours on the day of the concert. Enjoy!

If you would like information on the other homes or about the programs of the Islip Arts Council, please visit or call or email Lynda Moran, Executive Director at, 631-566-4179.

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 Your membership dues goes a long way to support and maintain our mission of preserving our hamlet's heritage. Thank you to all of our generous members! New members welcome!

Membership Type

Annual $25.00

Senior $10.00

Corporate $100.00

Donation $___

Bayport Memorial Park

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.

February 2010

Bayport's Memorial Park is located on Middle Road and the Esplanade just west of the downtown village of Bayport. Today it is the site of Bayport's Memorial Day ceremonies. Memorial Park is dominated by a pretty Victorian-style gazebo and a massive flagpole (possibly the tallest flagpole in Bayport). The Park is also site for Bayport's Veteran's Memorial listing the names of all of Bayport's war veterans from the American Revolution through the Vietnam War.

Memorial Park traces history back to the years immediately following World War II. It was dedicated as a community park on Memorial Day, 1947. Ernest Stoll served as the first president of the Bayport Memorial Park Association. Besides Mr. Stoll, the members of the Memorial Park Committee were James Alvarez, chairman, Charles Bogel, Edward J. Frieman and James Wilson Young.

In the 1947 Dedication Ceremonies, a boulder bearing a bronze plaque with the names of Bayport victims of World War I and World War II was unveiled by Girl Scout Norma Auwaerter and Boy Scout George Ruse. The inscription on the stone read: This Park was established by the people of Bayport in grateful memory of our young men who gave their lives for us and the Nation. It lists the names of the brave men who paid the ultimate sacrifice during World War I and World War II.

The Bayport HS band, its four drum majors and color guard led the 1947 Memorial Day parade along Middle Road and into the new Memorial Park. The Bayport Fire Department and Ladies Auxiliary participated as did the various corps of Bayport's Red Cross division. Bayport's Girl Scouts ad Brownies as well as the local Boy Scouts also marched int he parade. In 1947, Rev. Theodore Bennett offered a prayer, James Wilson Young, President of the Bayport School Board addressed the crowd as well as James V. Fallon and former Congressman John J. O'Connor.

At the conclusion of the 1947 dedication, Bayport Boy Scout Richard Bernhard sounded "Taps."


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