BBP Heritage Association
~ August 2020 Newsletter ~
8AM Club Historic Bike Tour
On Friday, July 17, BBPHA Board member Frank Giebfried guided the 8am Club on a historic tour of our twin communities of Bayport and Blue Point. The 8am Club is a friendly group of local cyclists who meet every morning on the corner of Gillette Avenue and Middle Road to go for a ride. They were recently featured on the cover of the Suffolk County News. For more information and to get involved with this very open and welcoming group, check out their Facebook page.
During the tour, we visited the homes and former estates of some of our local residents from the past: artist Roselle Osk, stage actress Effie Shannon, Nobel prize winner Raymond Davis, Rheingold president Julius Liebmann, and many others. We also stopped by the locations of a few entertainment hotspots of days of yore: the Moon Rise Restaurant, the South Bay House, Avery’s Five Mile Look Hotel, and, of course, Flo’s Famous Luncheonette. Despite the rain, a good time was had by all!
A special thanks to Bill Bailey for helping to coordinate the tour, planning our route, and ensuring everyone’s safety. Also, thank you to Jennifer Economos for helping guide everyone to our many stops. Finally, the Heritage would like to thank the members of the 8am Club for their enthusiasm, generous donations, and interest in our local history. See you on the road!
Stay posted for a future Heritage sponsored bike tour!
St. Ann's Cemetery Walking Tour and Picnic
A St. Ann's Cemetery walking tour is being planned for October 4th followed by a picnic at Meadow Croft. (Plans are subject to change based on current regulations due to COVID-19 restrictions)
We are in need of volunteers to ensure a successful BBP Heritage event. If you are interested in helping and wish further details, please contact Sandra Iden at 631 472-1528. More information about St. Ann's Cemetery can be found below. Save the date!
St. Ann's Cemetery was organized at the suggestion of John Suydam. At that time, a portion of the church property was set aside for the burial of the dead. The Suydams and other original communicants reserved plots along the main road through the cemetery. The year 1877 is marked on the posts of the Suydam plot.
The Smiths, who lived on North Main Street, owned several large parcels of land in Sayville at the time St. Ann's was organized. They owned the land from their home to the western border of what is now St. Ann's Cemetery. Foster Avenue was later extended through their property. Two burials - L. Smith, 3/5/1852, and M. Smith, 3/5/1868 - are probably theirs. The 1852 burial is the only pre-Civil War interment.
In September, 1895, the grounds between St. Ann's Cemetery and the older Union Cemetery were purchased by the Vestry, and the two cemeteries virtually became one. It was the Reverend John H. Prescott's plan to create a lake as part of the creek area.
The creek area of the cemetery grounds and the church land that borders Brown's River are now a Suffolk County Nature Preserve and Watershed. The county park, Meadowcroft, previously the John Ellis Roosevelt estate, forms the eastern border of Brown's River. This assures the integrity of the wetlands in this particular area.
By January, 1932, the Vestry of St. Ann's had awarded contracts to open up all the roads from the Suydam Memorial Gateway, to the exit road on the east side of the cemetery. The road at the entrance was to have a bead of oystershells overlaid with cinders, and the trees south of the south avenue were to be thinned out sufficiently to make lots salable in that section.
St. Ann's Cemetery is the final resting place of many denominations. Episcopalians account for a good percentage of the burials, particularly the earliest. There are wealthy and poor alike. A Civil War general, a United States diplomat, and a noted East Coast architect lie next to physicians, lawyers, musicians, sea folk, clergy, and just plain people.
SPOTLIGHT: Historic homes in our community
You've past it a thousand times. Two-eighty-two Snedecor is located on the north-west side of the railroad tracks across from Furci's and the firehouse-see picture below. Well, this little farmhouse started its life down on Middle Road. Sadly, though, the house will be lost forever when they begin building the Quick-check station on that location - disappointing.
Isaac Snedecor, a retired sea captain, came to Bayport from Oakdale in 1849 and bought a farm on Middle Road from John and Jennie Hawkins and decided it was time to settle on the land and raise a family. The little red house on the property was located at 515 Middle Road.
Snedecor and his wife raised their family at this location in that little red house for over 20 years.
In 1867, Isaac Snedecor bought the general store from Warren Hawkins located at the north-west corner of Middle Road and Bayport Ave. In 1879, life was good and Snedecor made plans to build his family a new home at 515 Middle Road. It was a big, beautiful colonial with tall columns and a big front porch, which is still there today, thankfully. The little red farmhouse was cut it two pieces and moved. The back part was moved south of Middle Road to East Lane as a rental home. The front part was moved to its current location, 282 Snedecor Ave north of the tracks. The exact date it was built originally is not in our records, but it is likely one of the oldest farmhouses in Bayport. By 1902 Edward Gillette and family lived there- see picture from the Bayport History book page 23. The other families who lived there were the Stolls and the Josts, according to our records.
Bridges in Blue Point
Here's an unusual topic about Blue Point: bridges! Offhand, there are at least four bridges in our quaint little hamlet. The most famous bridge would have to be the LIRR trestle spanning Blue Point Ave. That was put in place in 1920. Another Blue Point bridge is on Park Street and engraved on it are the words "Roe Park." A third bridge is on Grandview Drive in Blue Point under which a small stream flows into the bay.
The fourth bridge in Blue Point that is very well-known is on Middle Road and it spans Corey Creek. It is located west of Flo's Luncheonette. Large boats can pass under it. It is the history of this bridge that this article is about. One hundred years ago, Dr. Joseph A. Hays, a dentist, was a large land-owner in Blue Point. Dr. Hays owned a great deal of land that bordered the stream or rivulet that is today's Corey Creek. Around 1914, Dr. Hays was responsible for having a canal dredged along Corey Creek from the Great South Bay to Madison Street. It was a major project. Dr. Hays had the channel dredged to a depth of seven or eight feet and a width of about 30 feet.
In 1914, with the cooperation of the Brookhaven Town, Dr. Hays also had a bridge built on Middle Road spanning Corey Creek. See a photo of an old postcard of the 1914 bridge. This bridge was the width of Middle Road (thirty-five feet) with a twenty-foot span and a clearance of seven feet over the high water mark. This bridge would serve until 1947 when Suffolk County dedicated the present day bridge that now spans Corey Creek at Middle Road.