It’s been a while since I have written a historical corner, and I am so excited to be back! This week, I did the self-guided Bellport Lane walking tour that was put together by the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society.
The Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society has three walking tours available for individuals to try. The one I chose starts at Porters on Bellport Lane, goes down to the marina, and comes back up Bellport Lane. The self-guided tour is done by calling a phone number and entering tour stop numbers into your phone. (I put one of my headphones in as I meandered, so I could listen to the tour and not disturb anyone.) The Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society has an adorable and helpful map on their website that will help you keep track of where you are and what numbers to punch in at each spot. There are 14 total stops along the tour.
Nineteen Bellport Lane, formerly the site of the Bellport Hotel, is now home to the restaurant Porters. The audio tour informed me that the building, which was built in 1898, is the last remnant of Bellport’s time as a fashionable resort town with many hotels.
A couple stops later is the Post-Crowell House, at 31 Bellport Lane. According to the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society website, the house has been the “showpiece of the historical society since 1974” and is owned by the society. The house was built in 1833 by shipbuilder Hiram Post.
Getting to the marina is a real treat on a beautiful day, as it was for me when I did the tour. There are plenty of benches and tables to stop and rest, or have lunch. The tour will teach you about the Bellport Yacht Club, which was established in 1906 for boating races on the bay. The original yacht club building was destroyed by the 1938 hurricane, but the new one was built to look exactly like the first.
After turning to go back north up Bellport Lane, there are six more stops for visitors to enjoy. A great one asks visitors to admire the “Bellport gates,” the sweeping wrought-iron gates outside homes that were originally created by a local blacksmith and his son.
A fun stop on the tour is the house where American painter William Glackens and his family spent five summers. The original part of the home was built around 1837. Glackens painted many scenes of Bellport before moving to Brookhaven in 1916.
The final stop of the tour is 18 Bellport Lane, built in the early 1840s, and the former home of photographer Frances H. Toms. Toms was a photographer in the 1920s who recorded changes to the village.
The other two audio tours offered by the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society are the Brookhaven Hamlet Tour and the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society Tour. Maps and stop numbers for the tour are available for free at bbhsmusuem.com. The society’s next event is the South Bay Art Association show at the Post-Crowell House’s front lawn on Sunday, Sept. 18.
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