McKeown sisters at Beaver Dam Creek and South Country road

Brookhaven & South Haven Hamlets

Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County, New York

Brookhaven/South Haven Hamlets Study

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The following is a breakdown of preserved lands within our study area:

Federal 1,000 (approximately half of the 2400-acre Wertheim Refuge)
 State 234  acres
County 154  acres
Town 28  acres
Foundation 62  acres
Total 1,688  acres

Additionally, there are a number of acres acquired mostly through tax defaults. In the headwaters of Beaver Dam Creek, this land includes about 35 acres of mostly Suffolk County land, as well as some New York State and Brookhaven Town land, while another 35 to 40 acres of County land is found near the Oaklawn Cemetery. In other parts of the Hamlet, the Town also owns four acres used for three recharge basins and a small park. See Plate 4.

4. Preservation along Beaver Dam Creek: Post Morrow Foundation

The Post family’s ties with the Brookhaven and South Haven community extend back to Revolutionary times. The records of the Old South Haven Church indicate that James Post, who came from Southampton after the Revolution, was a trustee of the church in the late 1700s.

It was his descendant, James Howell Post, whose philanthropy gave us our beautiful library, the land for our churches and cemetery, and who, through his leadership in the BVA, created our Fire Department and Ambulance Company. After his death, his heirs deeded the 13-acre site along the Carmans River known as Squassux Landing, to the BVA.

The concept of establishing a perpetual organization to preserve the Hamlet was planned by his daughter, Elisabeth Post Morrow, and her husband Thomas Morrow, but it was not until after Thomas Morrow’s death that his wife formed the Post Morrow Foundation in 1969. The purpose of the foundation is "… to preserve and conserve the historic, rural countryside of Brookhaven, South Haven and Bellport …."

The Foundation owns about 60 acres, of which 50 acres are adjacent to the Beaver Dam Creek. Plans are under way for a wetlands restoration project on foundation property, to be conducted jointly with the U.S. Department of Interior’s Fish & Wildlife Service. A nature trail has been built to the south of the Morrow home and a joint effort is now under way between the PMF, Bellport High School Students for Environmental Quality, the Town of Brookhaven DEP and the BVA to create a management plan for the 18-acre Fire Place Nature Preserve on the Great South Bay near the mouth of the Beaver Dam Creek, with an eye toward having a trail system connecting the preserve to the PMF land.