The Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society


The Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society is a not-for-profit local organization devoted to the preservation and interpretation of Long Island’s past; in particular it is concerned with the history of the Bellport, Brookhaven, East Patchogue area. The Society pursues this goal through its museum, its historic house with its ancillary structures, its museum collections and gallery exhibitions, its educational programs, its outreach to the community, and its publication of studies on local history and material culture. Seeking to provide knowledge and insight into the cultural inheritance of the area, the Society is a resource encouraging and assisting individuals, the public sector, and private organizations concerned with historic preservation.

The Society was founded in 1958, and is governed by a board of trustees. It has over 400 members. The Society’s first president was Robert H. Pelletreau, a direct descendent of the well-known Revolutionary era silversmith Elias Pelletreau. New members and volunteers are always welcome.

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The Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society has, it believes, one of the largest groupings of important historic buildings of any historical society in New York State and perhaps beyond. The Historical Society’s Museum Complex is open much of the year; the Society works with the Town of Brookhaven Bureau of Tourism and several area tour companies in its effort to introduce more citizens to local Long Island history and to the irreplaceable value of Long Island's historic sites and artifacts. The Museum Complex consists of several structures, staffed by volunteers, on over two acres in the heart of Bellport Village, specifically:

  1. The Post-Crowell House, a beautiful 1833 Federal style house, was built by master ship builder Hiram Post. The house contains significant antique furniture, as well as china, art and artifacts donated by local residents.
  2. The Milk House, which sits on its original location behind the main house.
  3. An 1850 Gazebo, one of the last of its style in existence.
  4. The Barn Museum, originally a livery stable built in 1904, is climate controlled and has two floors of exhibits, including:
    a. the original Brookhaven Post Office;
    b. the interior of a shoemaker's shop;
    c. the original cherry wood trout weather vane from the historic South Haven Presbyterian Church, which was hand carved to resemble the large trout caught locally by Daniel Webster in 1823;
    d. Capt. Wilbur Corwin’s extensive decoy collection;
    e. the ‘Pigskin Book’, a rare 1696 account ledger of whaling expeditions in this area.
    f. early craftsman’s tools and ship models;
    g. an 1850 manuscript of fiddle music;
    h. an early Sperry gyroscope and a copy of its 1914 patent.
    i. and an ever changing display of local artifacts.
  5. The Blacksmith Shop, a restored blacksmith and wheelwright shop with related equipment.
  6. The Boathouse, containing one of the first Gil Smith catboats, as well as the “Pumpkin Seed” built in 1883 that is the forerunner of the Bellport Scooter.
  7. The horse stables, now converted to The Museum Exchange Shop, offers antiques and collectibles for sale.
  8. The Brown Building houses the Society’s main meeting room and concert recital hall. Here is the Society's acclaimed painted tinware (tole) collection, an early American stencil collection and a unique collection of glass paperweights. Also housed in the Brown Building is the Pelletreau International Doll Collection of 579 dolls from 62 countries. The northern structure of the Brown Building, Number 12 Bell Street, is currently under restoration. When completed, the structure will look much like it did when first built and will give the Society more exhibit and meeting room space.


The land on which Bellport Village and Brookhaven Hamlet are situated was purchased from the Unkechogue Indians on June 10, 1664. Brookhaven Hamlet was first settled in 1681 and Bellport Village was established in the early 1800's. Part of Brookhaven Hamlet is a designated “historic district” within the Town of Brookhaven. On July 4, 1980, the National Register of Historic Places added to the Register over 80 houses in Bellport Village. In 2001 Bellport Village established a Historic Preservation Commission, which has since designated four historic districts in the village. The Historical Society’s Museum Complex is situated in the center of these districts.

The Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society
31 Bellport Lane, Bellport, NY 11713
Voice mail 631-776-7640
Exchange Shop 631-286-0888


  Kate Carmel

1st Vice President:
  Veronica E. O’Neilll

2nd Vice President:
  Joan Kaelin

Recording / Corporate Secretary:
  David Cleaves

  Jonathan Pokorny

  Anna Lou Fletcher
  Victor Principe
  Jean Pokorny

  Scot Allan
  Thomas Cornell
  Joseph Doran
  Helen Geraghty
  Tom Lerner
  Jamie Papandrea
  Teresa Platt
  Marian Marschall
  Joseph Varsalona


© 2004-2014 The Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society