BBP Heritage Association

~ September 2020 Newsletter ~


We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer's wreckage.

We will welcome summer's ghost. ~ Henry Rollins

Welcome to Autumn! Our house tours are still happening every weekend throughout the month of October. Meadow Croft is open from 2:00-4:00 for visitors and guests. Social distancing guidelines and masks are mandatory.

Information on General Membership meetings may be delayed due to restrictions associated with the regulations as a result of COVID-19. The library will keep us updated on when they have availability. More information to come. Hope everyone is staying safe!

Our cemetery tour and picnic that was included in last month's newsletter will be pushed-back until the spring. More info to come!

Late in August, Tropical storm Isaias came barreling through Long Island. Many lost power, trees and had extensive damage to their homes and property. Meadow Croft did lose some trees and sustained some damage and road flooding but nothing serious. We know that the Suffolk County Parks Department will continue working to clean up and repair the damage to the Meadow Croft Estate shortly. Thank you for the efforts! Pictures can be found below.

Christmas at Meadow Croft....

Plans are currently in the works to celebrate Christmas at Meadow Croft. Mark your calendars and save the dates for the first weekend in December. If you are interested in volunteering some time to help decorate, collect items for our raffle baskets, make phone calls, or if you have an unusual display that we might use, please call our chairperson; Leanne Berg at 631-235-1702.

Updated Lighting at Meadow Croft....

The Heritage is happy to announce that the first phase of lighting restoration has begun at Meadow Croft. Under the guidance of antique lighting expert and member Erich Haesche, a number of period pieces have been acquired and are ready to be installed. Funding for the project was obtained through our annual grant from Suffolk County.

Period gas wall sconces were purchased from Orleans Lighting of Freeport. The fixtures were wire brushed and electrified, and are ready to take their places in the upstairs bedrooms. An oil lamp was purchased for the master bedroom ceiling, similar to the one that hangs in the dining room. Erich has generously donated most of the parts for restoration and lighting, including oil lamps for bedside tables and an early brass desk light.

The association would like to thank Erich for his great generosity. Upon completion of the project, a special evening lighting tour will be hosted at Meadow Croft, hopefully in the Spring of 2021. Until then, enjoy a few preview pictures!

Main Street, Bayport....Many years ago

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.

September 2015

Here's a rare postcard view of "Main Street, Bayport, L.I." taken over one hundred years ago. The view is looking west on what today is called Middle Road just west of Bayport Avenue.

On the right can be seen part of Snedecor & Squires General Store (later Shands) and the original Bayport Fire House which was built in 1892. Of course, the roadway is unpaved. The horse is tied to a hitching post.

This postcard was mailed out of Bayport and was sent to Brooklyn. It is postmarked "August 22, 1910." Postage: one-cent; a Ben Franklin postage stamp is affixed.

Those were the days....

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Guests visit Meadow Croft...

It was Star Wars Day for the 8 AM club, a local group of bicycle enthusiasts, as they rode their bikes from Gillette Ave in Bayport to Meadow Croft. This is a group of local folks, who because of the restrictions of gym closures wanted to get some exercise, meet new people and enjoy our lovely communities....all on bikes! The group is open to anyone who would like to ride. They can be found on the corner of Gillette Ave and Middle Road every day starting at, you guessed it, 8 AM. They also have a Facebook page with more information; The 8 AM Club (Bayport).

At MC, they enjoyed a guided tour and a healthy breakfast and then it was back on the bikes, to hit the rode again! Thanks for stopping by.

I scream, you scream, we all scream, for Ice Cream!

Historic Home Spotlight: 564 Middle Road Bayport NY

Gladly researched and written by John Amato.

Did Bayport ever have an ice cream shop? Why, yes it did. The house currently located at 564 Middle Road was once the locally famous Weeks Ice Cream shop and later became the Rogers Ice Cream shop. Both businesses made and provided ice cream to the local summer hotels, restaurants and families in Bayport, Blue Point, Sayville and Patchogue. The Rogers company shipped their ice cream by train along the east coast.

The house, just west of Bayport Avenue on the south side of Middle Road at the corner of Morgan Lane, has had a varied and interesting past. This little house began as a residence and served the community as a shoe repair, barber shop, bakery, horse and buggy rental, and an ice cream parlor.

In 1873 Luther Gerard sold this vacant parcel to Edgar Gillette as Gillette set out to add to what was becoming Bayport's business and community center on this stretch of Middle Road which would include Snedecor's General Store (Shand's), the firehouse, Methodist church and

Manhattan Hotel and West's butcher shop. Gillette built a store with a residence upstairs. In 1888, Gillette sold the building to Mr. J. Wagner, a shoe maker or cobbler who briefly ran his business there supplying and repairing shoes and boots.

From 1890 through 1915, multiple local business men provided goods and services from the building. By 1890, the building was owned by Edward Edwards who rented the store to Charles Smith of Patchogue as a barber shop inside while Wallace Homan operated a horse and carriage rental and livery stable out of the barn on the property. Henry and James Weeks bought the property from Edward Edwards sometime between 1894 and 1902. The Weeks brothers ran their ice cream parlor for several years but later sold the ice cream business to the Rogers family who expanded the wholesale manufacturing operations as the population and summer business boomed along the south shore. The bakery and ice cream shop continued from 1894 to 1910.

On page 81 of the Bayport Heritage book, you can see the Weeks Ice Cream Shop on a summer day with four men proudly out front. While we cannot confirm their identities, they are most likely the Weeks brothers, Homan or Smith the barber and a baker (unknown name). A great photo with many adults and children in front. There is a buggy on the right, which appears to be a delivery buggy. Take a drive by this great old house and wonder what it might have been like as an ice cream shop long ago.

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