August Hawkins and his sister Prudence around 1900

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Historic and Natural Districts Inventory Form

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Unless indicated below, this is a transcript of the original Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities/Town of Brookhaven survey form.  Corrections to obvious typographical and spelling errors have been made.  Corrections to factual errors, updates or comments on the information are either enclosed in [square brackets], or will be clearly indicated as updated material.  Since most of the surveys were conducted in the late 1970's and early 1980's, much of the information reflects that time period. 

Sites with an Inventory Code suffix of "S" are supplemental sites not included in the original surveys.


Historic and Natural Districts Inventory Form

Beaver Dam Creek

 If checked, this is a Supplemental Form, not in the original surveys.

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Inventory Code:   Br01.1-S  
Prepared Date:   7/21/2003  
Last Modified:   7/21/2003  
Submitter
Submitter Name:   John Deitz
Submitter Address:   7 Locust Rd.

Brookhaven, NY 11719  
Organization:  
Identification
1-Site Name:   Beaver Dam Creek  
2a-County:   Suffolk     2b-Town:   Brookhaven     2c-Village:   Hamlet of Brookhaven
Address:    
3-Description
Beaver Dam Creek has it's headwaters in marshy land to the north of Montauk Highway, and flows south to the Great South Bay. It was also known as Fireplace Creek/River and Valentine's Brook. It has been the subject of many photographs and post cards.  
4-Significance
Traditionally the Creek has served as a protected estuary for boating and fishing. Today, stocked with Brown Trout, the Creek is one of the few remaining unpolluted streams of the South Shore Estuary. In the 18th century, it was apparently the site of an unsuccessful mill. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, several ponds provided a "farmed" source of trout for commercial enterprises. Upper Beaver Dam Creek North of Beaver Dam Road to the south side of Montauk Highway the creek is surrounded by houses and developed land. The headwaters North of Montauk Highway where the Creek originates is critical to the health of Beaver Dam Creek. Fireplace Boat Basin A small boat basin on Beaver Dam Creek provides summer dockage for approximately 40 boats.  
5-Map
 
 
6-Sources
 
7-Threats to Area
 By Zoning    By Roads
 By Developers  By Deterioration
 Other  The Post-Morrow Foundation has placed the conservation of the creek as one of it's higher priorities.  
8-Local Attitudes Toward the Area
Very positive for conservation  
9-Photos
  Photos and images  
Prepared By:
  J. Deitz  
Supplemental Material
August 1907: Through the generosity of Mr. [Malcolm] Fraser and Mr. [James] Post, Fire Place Creek is being cleared out from Beaver Dam [Road] to the bay.
Patchogue Advance, 1 Oct 1929, p.4:
The land owners on each side of Beaver Dam creek held a meeting Saturday evening for the purpose of dredging the creek from the Beaver Dam bridge to the bay. Those present at the meeting were August L. Starke, Sr., James H. Post, Raymond Storb, Thomas Morrow, Jr., Preston Smith, and Mr. Cross. This will be a great improvement for Brookhaven as it will be a fine harbor for motorboats to run into for winter as neither Brookhaven nor Bellport have a harbor. Several other land owners, who live in the city, are interested in the dredging but were unable to attend the meeting.
It is interesting to note the simpler age. Today, such ad hoc dredging likely could not be done today without many governmental reviews and permits, and perhaps not allowed at all. While the Town of Brookhaven likely "owned" the creek bottom (at least the tidal portion), they appear not to have been at all involved in the project.
Patchogue Advance, 12 November 1929, p. 2.
For several weeks the property owners along Bay Avenue and Beaver Dam Road in Brookhaven have met Saturday evenings to discuss and plan on having the creek known as Beaver Dam creek dredged out from the bay to Beaver Dam Road, a distance of one and one-half miles, and they plan to build a breakwater in the bay. Frank Corwin has been appointed overseer.
. Plans are not yet complete, though bids have been received from various dredging companies. This will make a fine stream and enhance the beauty of Brookhaven. The property owners along the stream are Messrs. Raymound Staub, Thomas Morrow, Jr., James H. Post, Clinton Smith, Preston Smith, George Miller, John Reddall, Messrs. Frudenthall Cross and August L. Starke. The improvements will also provide winter quarters for many boats.
Half of the creek has been dredged out and boat owners are getting their craft ready to sail up and down the creek which no one has been able to do for 30 years. The creek is to be made 40 feet wide and six feet deep. (Advance, 2 May 1930, p. 9)
[Abt 1953: Plane Crashes into Great South Bay off Fireplace Creek.
From the Archives of the Long Island Advance, 30 August 2007.

About 1953: "A big plane took a nosedive into the bay off Fireplace Creek; the two aviators escaped serious injury. Next day their comrades from Montauk came up and salvaged the machine."
From the Archives of the Long Island Advance - 50 Years Ago. July 31, 2003.