Photo of the Week
—– Week of June 27th —–
FROM THE SCHS LIBRARY ARCHIVES
“How shall we know it is us without our past?”
– John Steinbeck
Summertime at Avery’s Beach, Blue Point, c. 1912
by Wendy Polhemus-Annibell, Head Librarian
Summertime at Avery’s Beach, Great South Bay, Blue Point, circa 1912. (Image from the Brookhaven Pictorial Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library Archives. Copyright © Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved.) Avery’s Dock, also known as Five Mile Look, was built in the early twentieth century and was destroyed by fire in 1939.
The name “Blue Point” may have been first used by seventeenth-century baymen who noticed a distinct blue haze over this point of land that juts out into the Great South Bay. Some claim that the name dates back to when local Native Americans made wampum from the blue chips of the seashells found here.
In 1752, Humphrey Avery of Connecticut purchased the Blue Point and Patchogue areas from John Still Winthrop for £2600. In the early nineteenth century, Blue Point was rural and sparsely populated; most residents were farmers or baymen. There was no schoolhouse, post office, railroad, fire department, or churches at this time. Robust wild oysters were found in the local waters. As everywhere else, Blue Point oysters didn’t last long as New York City quickly devoured them. In 1824, the Gazetteer of NY State was referring to “Bluepoints” in the past tense.
By the turn of the twentieth century, Blue Point underwent major changes – two churches were built, the railroad added a depot, and the resort era began.
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