BBP Heritage Association
~ October 2021 Newsletter ~
Last month for house tours!
Tours run every weekend from 2:00-4:00 so come by now before it's too late!
The Auto Barn
The auto barn was constructed in 1903. It was built in 3 sections and the final section was built in 1905. Mr. Roosevelt also had a chauffeur to drive him to important business meetings and such. There is a trench on the floor, pitched into the cement, that was used for oil changes. The oil was drained and flowed directly into Brown's River.
Recently, the BBPHA has restored the auto barn to accurately reflect the turn of the century. It also houses Gene Horton's 1916 Maxwell that has been donated to the Association by a generous member of Gene's family. The Maxwell is just an example of a car of that time period and was not owned by the Roosevelt family. Photographs of Mr. Roosevelt racing his cars along with other artifacts can be found upstairs in Meadow Croft, located in Mr. Roosevelt's dressing room. Dusters, coats that helped keep the dust off of clothing while riding in open cars, can be found there as well.
Special thanks to Eric Haesche and Jerry McCloskey for their work on the auto barn this month and creating another excellent visual exhibit at Meadow Croft.
Visitors at Meadow Croft!
Erich will be available on the first weekend of October to answer any questions guests may have as tours are open every weekend through the month of October. Thank you to the Yaphank Historical Society for stopping by and we hope you enjoyed your tour!
On September 5, family and friends gathered at Meadow Croft to celebrate the life of our wonderful Blue Point historian, Gene Horton. Gene’s husband Erich did a magnificent job setting up the event. Gene’s books, a photo album, and his boater, the hat he always wore when giving tours of Meadow Croft, were on display. Of course, Erich had Blue Point’s own Flo’s cater the party (would Gene have wanted it any other way?!). It was a wonderful day to celebrate a great historian and an even better man.
At the end of his book, Blue Point Remembered, Gene wrote, “To preserve our past is to enrich our future.” Family, friends, former students, neighbors, and our community are all the more rich for having had Gene Horton in our lives. Thank you, Gene.
The BBP P-H-A-N-T-O-M-S
These articles were first printed in the Bayport Blue Point Gazette and written by Gene Horton. They are reprinted with permission.
Our High School has a very interesting name for its athletic teams: The Bayport-Blue Point Phantoms. The dictionary defines a "phantom" as an "apparition, a specter, an illusion, ghost-like, a dream image.'" With Halloween this month, ghosts and phantoms fit right in.
The Bayport-Blue Point Library has a collection of our high school's "Stepping Stone" yearbooks. So, I began to leaf through them in chronological order, especially the "Athletics" section, looking for the key team word, "Phantoms." Originally, the teams were just know as "Bayport HIgh School" team before consolidation with Blue Point. The 1953 Bayport HIgh School 'Stepping Stone' yearbook is the first yearbook to use the team word "phantom." And it wasn't until 1970 that the word, "PHANTOM" appeared on the shirts of the varsity basketball team yearbook photo.
In February 18th 1999 issue of the 'Suffolk County NEWS,' Marie Weiss wrote an article about how the Bayport-Blue Point teams got their name "Phantom:"
Bayport-Blue Point's team name has a most interesting history. According to Cara DeSimone, reference librarian at the village's public library, there used to be a ghost in the high school tower. "It was said that the tower was haunted," she noted.
My interest peaked. I followed a trail that included talking with Charlie Bogel, his daughter, Barbara Ackermann, Florence Olsen and Dave Brewer. Those discussions led to another theory which was presented by Don Porter. He contacted Tim Mazzei and they determined that the name originated in the late 1930's when the second team (junior varsity) did better than the first team (varsity). Someone made the comment "Where did these kids come from?' and the reply came back, 'Are they a bunch of phantoms?'
Mr. Porter noted that the name Phantoms was not allowed to be used at the time. They were to be called the Bayport High School Basketball Team. Any more theories/stories about how the PHANTOMS got their name??? Let us know....
Historic Autumn House Tour: Unfortunately this year, we were not able to properly plan for the Autumn House Tour due to restrictions and guidelines as a result of the pandemic. We are beginning our planning NOW for 2022. If you have a historic, unusual or architecturally significant home in the Bayport Blue Point community and would consider allowing us to showcase your home in October of 2022, please give us a call. This has always been a great event for our organizations as well as the community and we would like to bring it back but WE NEED YOUR HELP! If you have any questions or would like more information, please call us at 631-472-4625.
Psychic night is back!
*Please note: all the latest guidelines from the CDC and DOH will be followed for this event.
The Digitizing Project
In a partnership with L.I. University under a Robert Lion Gardiner grant, the BBPHA has submitted all of our newsletters dating back to the first one in 1983. These documents provide a look back in time and details the hard work that the founding members undertook to make the association what it is today. The next item to be digitized and made available is the diary of Libby Homan. Libby Homan lived at Eureka House with her family located on the northeast corner of Oakwood and Middle Roads. As a young adult, LIbby recorded each day's events from 1867 to 1875. This diary is one of our treasured archives. The original, hand-written diary is in our possession given to the Association by a descendent of Ms. Homan. It was painstakingly transcribed into typed text for easy reading. Gene Horton did an investigative read of the text 20 years ago and commented that it is an excellent look back into the real-life events of the day.
The items are not quite ready for viewing. When they are, all members will be notified with the specifics on how to access these items from the web. We are excited to bring these historical documents to the community.
Islip Arts Council Presents: Seasons at Meadow Croft
Book Reading at Meadow Croft
The Bayman's Daughter is a time-slip novel that takes place in the quaint seaside hamlet of Sayville, Long Island which was once the playground of rich and famous families like the Roosevelts and Vanderbilts. Parts of the novel are set at Meadow Croft, home of John Ellis Roosevelt.
James Bertsch will host the event and it is open to the public. The author will be there as well and there will be a question and answer session with Ms. Dodaro. This event is rain or shine. Hope you can join us for this fun event!