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Suffolk Historical Society spotlights Bellport Village

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For local history buffs and would-be history buffs:

Suffolk County Historical Society librarian Wendy Polhemus-Annibell runs an historic photo of the week feature you could sign up for by visiting the historical society’s website and giving them your email address.

This week’s image was that of Main Street in Bellport, as it appeared in 1927.

Polhemus-Annibell also provides some text and suggested reading.

See below

Bellport Village, located along the Great South Bay on the South Shore of Suffolk County, is sixty-five miles east of Manhattan, about halfway between New York City and Montauk Point. Founded as a seaport by Captains Thomas Bell and John Bell during the early nineteenth century, the village began as a modest outpost of farmers and seafarers. Most of the houses that still line Bellport Lane were built by sea captains; in fact, dozen of homes in the village are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The village was named after the Bell brothers. By 1829, the brothers were building a deck into the bay and a shipyard, and carving out the streets of the village.

Bellport’s South Shore location was ideal for clamming and fishing, and for many years residents made a living off of the sea. With the eventual closure of the inlet, Bellport grew as a place for leisure and recreation. Enjoyed for both its beauty and recreational opportunities, visitors from New York City began to make Bellport Village their summer retreat. Among its visitors and admirers were some of the most prominent people in the social, business, and artistic worlds. E. B. White, inspired by his summer vacations in Bellport, wrote: “how well I know the bay and the way the wind blows, the tide ebbs, and the tide flows.”

Suggested Reading: Bellport: A Historic Community, by the Village of Bellport, 1976. 

About the author: Michael White

Michael White is a Bellport resident, longtime newspaper reporter and editor, and the owner of greaterpatchogue.com. Email him your story ideas or tips: mike@greaterpatchogue.com