BBP Heritage Association

~ July 2023 Newsletter ~

Happy Independence Day!

Welcome to July! Meadow Croft house tours are happening each weekend from 2:00-4:00, stop by and check out what life was like in the early 1900s. Lots of updates and improvements to view including the new nursery and a historic glass bottle exhibit.

The BBPHA has many exciting things happening this summer. We have our second FREE concert happening in July featuring Ed Travers. See more info below.

Our historic sunset boat cruise is back! Last year was so much fun and a gorgeous night plus we learned so much about the history of homes and happenings on the Great South Bay. We hope you can join us this year, check out the details below.

Seasons of Meadow Croft

In the summer of 2021, The BBPHA was asked to be involved in an amazing art & music exhibit in conjunction with the Islip Arts Council, made possible by a grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. Artists were asked to reflect on the seasons of Meadow Croft and their work, displayed throughout the historic Meadow Croft Estate, was outstanding. Below is the video the IAC put together that also features music by Elinor Zayas and Yeou-Cheng Ma.

We thank director Frank Giebfried, Erich Haesche and MaryLou Cohalan for thier valuable contributions to this video. We also thank the IAC and the RDLG foundation for partnering with us for this incredible event. Enjoy!

History, Music and Art at The Roosevelt's Meadow Croft Estates with Ellie Zayas and Yeou-Cheng Ma

78 South Ocean Avenue Bayport NY

This sad occurrence, the demolition of 78 South Ocean Avenue in Bayport, happened on June 19th, 2023. This house was once a glorious mansion and the summer estate of John Morgan, his wife Sarah, and their four daughters. They called the estate Idle Hour, like the Vanderbilt Estate in Oakdale that became Dowling College. The house was built in 1879 by Arnold and Weeks for Garret and Charlotte Martense and was owned by the Morgans by 1886. It was later enlarged by Isaac Green as the Morgan family had more children.

John Morgan was born in Ireland in 1837 and moved to the US when he was 7 years old. He began a business bottling mineral water, and later expanded into soft drinks, especially ginger ale. His company became very successful and was the largest mineral water establishment in NYC by 1903.

Sarah Morgan sponsored a dancing class for the young people of Bayport, including her two daughters Sadie and Gertrude. At the end of the summer, she would hold a tea dance at Idle Hour and all would be invited. The family took full advantage of the bay, enjoying sailing, fishing, and ice skating and ice scootering in the winter.

In 1911, John & Sarah celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a party at their Ocean Ave. estate. Mr. Morgan died of pneumonia four years later while in NYC. Mrs. Morgan passed away in 1934 at the age of 91. A mass was said for her at St. Lawrence Church in Sayville, as the Morgans were devout Catholics who attended mass there. They didn't attend Our Lady of the Snow because it wasn't built until 1917.

Morgan beverages merged with White Rock Soda in 1952. The company is run today by the great, great grandson of John & Sarah Morgan.

This magnificent estate slowly started to deteriorate many years ago. As the owner paid taxes on the property, there was nothing the county, state or the BBPHA could do (even though many requests were made). It's a sad day for our community to lose such a historical and beautiful piece of our town's history.

The photos below show how the estate looked in different stages of its existence.

BBP Scholarship Winner

Congratulations to Sean Druckenmiller who is the recipient of the 2023 Gene Horton Memorial Scholarship! 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.

Congratulations to Sean and best wishes in all that you do!

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Historic Sunset Boat Tour

August 2, 2023

$40.00 per person


Rain date August 3rd.

No refunds.

The Great South Bay is not only a beautiful part of our communities summer fun but it has amazing homes and landmarks located on the bay as well as a tremendous history to share!

We will set sail on August 2nd from the Sayville Fire Island ferry terminal (41 River Rd, Sayville NY) at 6:00 PM and head out onto the bay. You must be on the ferry by 5:45 to check in.

With the sun setting we will cruise out onto the bay as Local Historian, Frank Giebfried highlights the historic sites along the shores of Bayport, Blue Point and Sayville. The boat will then head up the Connetquot River and make a stop at the Snapper Inn for cocktails. We will then cruise back to the Brown's River under the beautiful full moon and dock at 9:30.

Cocktails at the Snapper are on your own. You are allowed to bring some snacks on the ferry. Cruisers will park at the Sayville Ferry freight parking lot across the road from the ferry for a discounted fee of $5.00 per car.

Tickets are on sale starting today and can be purchased from our website only. The link can be found here. First come first served as there are a limited number of spaces available. Don't wait! Get your tickets today!

Memorial Bench ~ Donald Weinhardt

Back in April of 2022, we shared the sad news that the founding member and past President of the Bayport Heritage Association had passed away. Don Weinhardt worked closely with Suffolk County to secure a partnership and bring back Meadow Croft from the wrecking ball. The BBPHA wanted to acknowledge all of Don's work and support and for being a true champion of our community's heritage.

In honor of Donald Weinhardt, the BBPHA has purchased and installed a memorial bench. It can be found at the entrance of the estate. The plaque installed is pictured below.

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Historic Bike Tour

On Saturday July 22nd, 2023, the Bayport Blue Point Heritage Association will be hosting a Historical Bicycle Tour. The tour will begin at Meadow Croft (299 Middle Rd Sayville NY) at 8:30 AM, and end just east of the BBP Library in Blue Point. (Skill level, easy-beginner) (about 2 hours)

A former summer hot spot for the rich and famous, this locality has been home to Nobel Prize recipients, actors, singers, entrepreneurs, and famous families and leaders. Did we mention the best beer and oysters??

Join us as local historian Frank Giebfried leads the tour throughout Bayport and Blue Point. This will be about a 10 mile tour, with frequent stops, into our South Shore communities past. Highlights include not only stunning water views, but the former homes and playgrounds of the likes of Roosevelt, Morgan, the founder of the Salvation Army, the Noble Prize recipient in Physics, and some famous musicians and actors of years ago.

There is a limited number of riders allowed and a $10 fee. Spots can be reserved and payment made at Please join us for this fun event!

FREE Sumer Concert

Join us for our 2nd FREE Summer Concert of the season. On Thursday, July 20th at Bayport Memorial Park, starring Ed Travers and his band. Please bring lawn chairs or blankets, refreshments and bug spray! This is for families of all ages! Dancing is encouraged! We hope you can join us and enjoy this FREE concert!

FREE Concert in the Park

Thursday, July 20th, 6pm

11 Paulanna Avenue

Bayport, NY

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Academy Street School Tour

On June 9th, 2023, the 4th grade class from Academy Street Elementary School came to Meadow Croft to learn a little bit about our local history. Thanks to Mary Bailey and Sandra Iden who showed the boys and girls the estate and surrounding buildings. The students were clearly excited, well behaved and asked great questions! Each student left with a local history book (written by Gene Horton), a membership form, a ring pop and of course, some knowledge about local history right in their backyard!
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Summer Solstice Walking Tour

On June 21st, 2023, BBPHA director Frank Giebfried guided patrons for an evening stroll that marked the beginning of the summer season. This year's tour found us back in Bayport, exploring the interesting history of Snedecor Avenue. The group started at the Bayport United Methodist Church and ended the tour by the Great South Bay. This tour was so popular that a second tour was added and that tour is now sold out! Thank you to all who have participated and learned more history about our community.
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Sizzlin Steer

These articles first appeared in the Bayport Blue Point Gazette and were written by Gene Horton. They are re-printed here with permission.

December 2006

Many local residents will undoubtedly remember the Sizzlin Steer Charcoal Broil Restaurant on Montauk Highway in Bayport. It was definitely there in the mid-1960's as the business took an ad in "Stepping-Stone, 1965," the yearbook issued by the James Wilson Young High School seniors. Sizzlin Steer was a very popular place with the high school students and local residents. It was also known for a while as the Sugar Bowl.

In the old postcard view (below), notice the tail-fins on the cars of the day. The back of the 1960's postcard is imprinted with the message; "Visit the SIZZLIN STEER CHARCOAL BROIL RESTAURNT, where quality food is the key to your dining pleasure; 765 Montauk Highway at the corner of 3rd Ave. in Bayport, L.I., N.Y. HR 2-9583."

Today, this building is occupied by the Bayport - Blue Point Animal Hospital. The lines of the building haven't changed much at all over the past forty years or so.

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BBP Heritage Association

Hope to see you at one of our many summer events! Tours are every weekend from 2-4:00pm. Follow us on Social Media!