The Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society


  Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society

PO BOX 47 TEL 631.776.7640

December 1, 2008

Dear Fellow Society Members and Friends,

I write to you on behalf of the Board of Trustees and extend a personal thank you to all of you who have been so very supportive and helpful to me during my first term as President of the Society. If you are not currently a member of the Society, you are receiving this letter because you have supported us in one of our fundraising efforts this past year or you have indicated an interest in becoming a member of the Society.

The year 2008 has certainly been one full of action at the museum complex, and one of interesting economics. My first year as president has been one of rather expansive learning and accommodation. Do you have any idea how much it costs to air condition, heat, light, and insure eight structures to keep our artifacts in good condition? Neither did I. Nor did I fully understand the curious machinations of the State of New York and their grants process. I am an avid reader, writer, and learner…and learn I have

Financially, I have learned that you are very generous people and that we depend upon your generosity to pay the heating, cooling, electric, and insurance bills. We also depend upon you to donate above and beyond basic membership dues to enable us to move forward with archival work, curatorial expenses, printing and mailing, overall building maintenance, and to move forward in restoring our buildings. This past year we continued work (insulation, heat, AC) on 12 Bell Street and are in the process of planning for the restoration of the front doorway, windows, and side entrance. The exterior painting and roofing are also on our “to do” list for 12 Bell Street, as is work on the driveway and parking area to the south of the building. We are continuing our efforts at corporate fundraising. Our annual gala, honoring the internationally famed Brookhaven resident, Dennis Puleston, followed by a three week exhibit at out Bell Street gallery brought in revenues that enable us to be fiscally sound during these times of great financial upheaval.

Historically, I have learned that people do remember us in their wills and bequeath to the Society lovely works of art, fine antique furniture, and historical papers and documents. This year we were given 2 fine 19th century oil portraits of Civil War & Bellport resident Gen. McLean and a Pelletreau wedding dress. We were able to purchase a few artifacts of local historical value and add them to our collections this year. You will see some of the images in future newsletters. I have also learned that Curators come and go, and that we benefit from the time they spend with the Society.

In terms of membership, I have learned that we add new members every month and we urge you to continue your membership or become a member for the first time and join us in accomplishing our goal of preserving local history. Our membership lists have been computerized in a new manner and we hope to be able to mail out only ‘one per member’ of anything. I am sure you will appreciate the end result of less paper in your mailbox and we will all reap the cost benefit of more efficient printings and mailings.

I have also learned that volunteerism is alive and well; embodied in the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society. At a time when other organizations such as ours are forced to sell off properties and/or let employees go, we stand strong in our ability to carry on the mission of the Society. We are a volunteer organization; paying a salary only to our curator. This fact has provided us great security these past few months as we have all watched the financial world crumble. We, like everyone else, have been hit by losses in our investment portfolio, but we have managed our finances responsibly and our endowment fund will grow as the market rebounds.

As we bid farewell to 2008, our archivist is hard at work updating our files, the docents are enjoying a well earned respite before gearing up for a new season of tours, the caretakers are keeping watch over the complex, the Trustees are still hard at work, and the Museum Exchange Shop (new location at 12 Bell Street) remains open and available for your holiday shopping. Our plans for 2009 have begun and the annual fundraising gala is set to be a fabulously historical and intriguing event August 15; we hope you will attend.

Our pledge to you for the coming year is to be proactive in our conservation efforts and to use the monies wisely that you donate to the cause of preservation of our local history. Please consider including the Society in your gift giving this holiday season, all donations are 100% tax deductible and go 100% toward the mission of the Society.

We wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year, and look forward to seeing you at our holiday brunch, 12:30-3:30 PM on Sunday, December 14th in the Brown Building.

This is our annual gift to our members. We will sing carols, mingle with our friends, eat and drink seasonal fare, and auction off our holiday tree.


Jan Harting-McChesney, President

Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society is a 501-c-3 tax exempt organization


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