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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Sept. 4, 2015

We will be closed on Saturday, Sept. 5,
in observance of the Labor Day Holiday.


"How shall we know it is us without our past?"
- John Steinbeck

Main Street, Bellport, 1927

by Wendy Polhemus-Annibell, Librarian

Image copyright Suffolk County Historical Society

Main Street, Bellport, 1927. (Image from the Bellport Postcard Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society. Copyright © Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved.)

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. 


If you've been enjoying our Photo of the Week, please consider becoming a member of SCHS.

From the Civil War to civil rights, revolutions to restorations, spies to Suffragettes, boatbuilders to bootleggers, and whalers to wineries, Long Island's history comes alive at the Suffolk County Historical Society!

The Suffolk County Historical Society, founded in 1886, collects and preserves the rich history of Suffolk County and beyond. We offer a history museum, art galleries, a research library and archives, and a multitude of exhibits, programs, and educational lectures and workshops year-round. Our unique collections reflect more than three centuries of Long Island history.  Click here for Member Benefits!



The Suffolk County Historical Society’s PHOTO OF THE WEEK Series is created by librarian Wendy Polhemus-Annibell using historic primary source materials from our local history library’s extensive archives. To subscribe, visit our website or send an email request to Wendy at wannibell@schs-museum.org

Interested in seeing more historical photos from the Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society? Spend an afternoon at our Local History Library perusing our extensive archival photography collections. We're open Weds. - Sat., 12:30 - 4:30 PM.


Copyright © 2015 Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved. No part of this electronic document may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the Suffolk County Historical Society.