BBP Heritage Association
~ April 2022 Newsletter ~
General Membership Meeting
General Membership Meeting:
Sunday, April 24th, 2:00-4:00pm
Join us at our next general membership meeting at the new Bayport-Blue Point Library on Sunday, April 24th at 2 o’clock. We will learn about prominent Long Island shipwrecks in a lecture by historian, author, and retired Newsday reporter Bill Bleyer. The PowerPoint presentation will include maritime disasters from the Prins Maurits carrying colonists to what would become Delaware, HMS Culloden wrecked at Montauk during the American Revolution, the Mexico and Bristol carrying immigrants during the early 1800s, the fire that destroyed the steamship Lexington in 1840 – Long Island Sound’s worst calamity – to the sinking of the USS San Diego in World War I, and the loss of the tugboat Gwendoline Steers in a 1962 winter storm.
We look forward to seeing everyone!
Mark your calendars for the May meeting:
May 22, 2-4:00 at the library!
Don loved history and in the early 1980's was instrumental in the restoration of Meadow Croft, saving it from the wrecking ball. He worked diligently with Suffolk County to preserve the J.E. Roosevelt's estate, and through his vision and determination, the Bayport Heritage Association was born.
Don remained involved in historical organizations throughout his life. When Don and his wife Carol moved to Massachusetts in the mid 90's, he volunteered for over 10 years at Old Sturbridge Village in their library and became President of the Charlton Historical Society.
The community and the BBPHA are grateful for Don's passion and dedication to preserving local history. A suitable memorial is being planned to be placed at the Meadow Croft estate. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.
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 a payment directly from our web-page which can be found here . Just scroll down to the membership section on the home page. Any questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. All membership fees go toward the upkeep and restoration of the Meadow Croft Estate. Thank you to all of our generous members! New members welcome!
Spring Clean-up at Meadow Croft
Behind the Carriage House, buried under many layers of leaves and intertwined with invasive vines, is some antique farm equipment that has been lost in the foliage. This group would like to extract the equipment to preserve the history of the once working farm.
If you are interested, please wear long pants, gloves and long sleeves (there may be poison ivy) and bring any gardening tools (rakes, cutting tools, plastic bags, etc). The group is meeting at 9:00 AM. Hope to see you there!
Lecture at the Sayville Rotary
The lecture was well received and they granted the BBPHA with a Certificate of Appreciation and a $250.00 donation. Thank you Sayville Rotary and Thank You to Mary Bailey for sharing our local history!
What Came Before; A Brief History of the St. Ursula Center
Blue Point Library. Enjoy the presentation!
Refreshment Stand at the Blue Point Ave. Beach
These stories were first published in the Bayport Blue Point Gazette and were written by Gene Horton. They are reprinted here by permission.
This postcard view was of the refreshment stand at the Blue Point Ave. beach was probably taken around 1910. The remains of those cement pillars can still be seen today at the foot of Blue Point Avenue. The wall once stood around the property of the Five-Mile-Look Hotel. The Hotel burned down in 1939. The refreshment stand was located just inside one of the gateways to the Hotel property. For a number of years it was know as "Mary Bumstead's Shack." A "shack" was another name for a seasonal refreshment stand. In this old postcard view, the imprinted label says: "Otto's Refreshment Shack, Blue Point Beach, L.I."
Grape Arbor at Meadow Croft
Unfortunately, last month a wind storm took down the old arbor and snapped the grape vines. While unsalvageable, an Eagle Scout has plans to construct a new arbor. More information to follow so stay tuned!
Counterfeit Ring in Bayport? ...No...Yes!
By John Amato
While doing research on several homes on Middle Road in Bayport, I came across this story from 1924 related to #693 Middle Road. The file contained a photocopy of a news article without reference to the name of the newspaper or author. The entire article is rewritten here for ease of reading.
APRIL 11, 1924- “SEIZE COUNTERFEITING PLANT AT BAYPORT-$40,000 IN BILLS”
Secret Service men raided one of the most complete counterfeiting outfits ever seen at Bayport at noon yesterday, and arrested five men and two women on the charge of counterfeiting, an offense punishable by a severe penalty under Federal Act.
Raids were conducted throughout Manhattan, Long Island and Connecticut at the same time but the principal one took place at the house owned by Louis Kreyer on the NW corner of Middle Road and Fairview Avenue, in Bayport.
On February 23rd the house was rented to Paul Nessette who gave an Italian bank in the Bronx as a reference and paid cash for the year. When the raid was made Mr. Nessette who was the ring leader of the outfit, Mrs. Nessette, their small son Joseph, and Mike Bicarro, printer, Mrs. Bicarro, Di Palma the printer's devil and Arthur Kahaly of Brightwaters were in the house.
At noon nine men of Sheriff Biggs’ office, the U.S. Secret Service and the District Attorney’s office, surrounded the house and then made the raid. They found the counterfeiters sitting down to lunch. In the work room upstairs bills were strewn about to bleach with chemicals. The process used was one of the cleverest ever employed. New one-dollar bills were taken, bleached with acids, and then reprinted with a $20 bill plate.
The (counterfeit) money was used to buy booze from rum runners. Several trucks were in constant use by the bootleggers working with the gang. Kahaly of Brightwaters, while not implicated in the counterfeiting, was held as a material witness. He had been running liquor for them since their arrival. Money was sold to bootleggers and was guaranteed “undetectable” by rum runners.
Deputy Sheriffs Charles Duryea, Robert Burns, Everett Petty of the District Attorney’s office, James H. Barry of New Haven, chief of this division, James Weitsman of New York and Harry Cooper of Boston, Massachusetts, secret service men, made the raid. The secret service men have been living at Mrs. Hannah Lyman’s house across the street (#701 Middle Rd.) for the past 20 days, watching every movement that was made about the house.
At the time of the raid there was $40,000 in new $20 bills in the house ready for distribution to the bootleggers. Three tall bottles were seized containing money printed on one side which when completed would make $100,000 worth of currency. Two piles of new one-dollar bills, 12 inches each in height were ready for bleaching. The counterfeiting was done in the upstairs apartment in the house. On every side (of the room) jars of highly explosive chemicals, among them nitro glycerin, were placed so that at a moment’s notice the place could be reduced to ruins to destroy evidence. The house was also well armed.
Nessette and Bicarro made an attempt to escape but when they saw the house was completely surrounded, gave themselves up without a word. They were taken to the Ramon Street jail where they were held before Commissioner Hennessey this morning on the charge of violating the federal law.
The raids were the result of three years of careful work throughout the United States. Nessette and Bicarro were working under Bigi Pillona of New York, who is said to be the master mind of many outfits that were seized on the same day. He was named the manufacturer of the plates that were used to print the bogus $20 bills. The presses, plates and inks were seized by the agents. Mrs. Nessette’s child was turned over to the Children’s Society of Brooklyn last night. She is held with the men on the charge of counterfeiting.
Information on #693 (counterfeiters’ house) and #701 Middle Rd. (stakeout house):
#693: Owners include- 1888-1902 G. F. Weeks; 1915 Minnie Owens; McIver; DeGraff
#701: This home is reported to have been built in 1810 but has been renovated from the original design. The home has had many owners but it is reported as the original farmhouse of Clark Smith. Donald and Carole Flanagan were the owners of record from the 1970s into the 80s. Below is a picture of the house today.