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

Valentine's Corner (Memorial & Fire Place Parks)

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

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Inventory Code:   Br06A.1-S  
Prepared Date:   5/23/2004  
Last Modified:   6/6/2015  
Submitter
Submitter Name:   John Deitz
Submitter Address:   7 Locust Rd.

Brookhaven, NY 11719  
Organization:  
Identification
1-Site Name:   Valentine's Corner (Memorial & Fire Place Parks)  
2a-County:   Suffolk     2b-Town:   Brookhaven     2c-Village:   Hamlet of Brookhaven
Address:   South Country Rd. and Fire Place Neck Rd.  
3-Description
Valentine's Corner is at the intersection of South Country Road and Fire Place Neck Road. It contains a small "Memorial Park" containing a late 19th century cannon, and a small vest-pocket park.  
4-Significance

Valentine's corner was long the "center" of the small hamlet of Fire Place, later known as Brookhaven.  In the 18th century, there may have been a mill here on Beaver Dam Creek.  This mill apparently was not very successful as little record can be found of it.  In the 19th and much of the early 20th century, a general store (now called the Brook Store, see Br07) was located near the intersection (first on the north side of South Country Rd, later moved to the south side west of Beaver Dam Creek) , as well as the post office.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, the site was commonly known as Valentine's Corner, taking it's name from Charles Valentine who became the proprietor of the general store in the late 19th century.  Beaver Dam Creek was also known as Valentine's Creek for a while.  The Town of Brookhaven has deeded the triangular portion of the site to the Brookhaven Fire District who was entrusted responsibility for its maintenance.  A vest pocket park (known as Fire Place Park, Brookhaven Hamlet Park or Zimmer's Park after the Brookhaven Town councilperson Donald W. Zimmer who advocated for its developmen) occupies the southwest corner of the site.  In the late 19th and early 20th centuries there was a trout pond there (as well as another on the north side of South Country Rd.) where trout were raised commercially.  Debris from the Bellport High School fire of 1963 is said to have been used as fill for the abandoned pond.  The vest pocket park is maintained by the Town of Brookhaven.

About 1920, a surplus 1887 cannon was place in the triangle formed by the intersection of South Country and Fire Place Neck Roads commemorating the Great War (WW I)  (for its history, see "documents" links).  During the protests to the Vietnam War, this cannon was "exorcized" by the Elders and Pastor (the Rev. Charles Kellogg) of the South Haven Presbyterian Church, which created considerable controversy in reaction, not unlike the many community divisions that were occurring throughout the country.

A plaque honoring those who participated in WWI was added about 1920/23.  A chain from the "Bessie A. White" which sank off Smith Point in 1922 was added as a fence in 1932-1933 (see "document" links).  After World War II and subsequent military actions—Korea, Vietnam, Iraq/Afghanistan—additional plaques honoring local veterans were erected.  In 2014, a project sponsored by the Fire Place History Club, Brookhaven Village Association, Brookhaven Fire Department, and the Post Morrow Foundation was added to honor community veterans of four earlier wars—the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, and the Spanish-American War; this plaque was dedicated Memorial Day, 2015 (see document links). 

The site is now the location of the Hamlet's annual Memorial Day ceremonies sponsored by the Brookhaven Fire Department.

 

 

 
5-Map
Google  
 
6-Sources
 
7-Threats to Area
 By Zoning    By Roads
 By Developers  By Deterioration
 Other  No known threats. The sites are well maintained by the Town of Brookhaven and the Brookhaven Fire District.  
8-Local Attitudes Toward the Area
Highly favorable.  
9-Photos
  Photos and images  
Prepared By:
  J. Deitz  
Supplemental Material

Long Island Boating World (May 2004): “The Bessie White Story” by maritime historian/writer Van R. Field brings you to the grounding of the four-masted coal schooner on a freezing day in February, 1922. The ship went hard aground a half-mile from Smith’s Point Coast Guard Station, where she was filled with eight to 10 feet of seawater through her suddenly opened seams.

LI Advance, 28 May 2009, From the Archives of the Long Island Advance, 75 Years Ago: (May 1934) "An accident occurred at the intersection of the Fireplace and Old Merrick roads near the World War monument in Brookhaven. Commander Edward K. Lang, U.S.N., retired, of Bellport, was driving west and failed to make the turn. His car left the road and ripped up some concrete posts surrounding the monument. The damaged car was taken to Brown's Garage. James Finlayson, aged 52, also of Bellport, Lang's landlord, was a passenger in the car. Both men received lacerations of the face and scalp."