August Hawkins and his sister Prudence around 1900


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Building 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.   Since most of the surveys were conducted in the late 1970's and early 1980's, much of the information reflects that time period. 

Corrections to obvious typographical and spelling errors have been made.  Corrections to factual errors in the original surveys, and updates or comments on the information are either enclosed in [square brackets], or are clearly indicated as updated material from the context of the comments. 

Sites which have a suffix of "S" are supplemental sites not included in the original surveys.

Building-Structure Inventory Form

St. James Episcopal Church

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

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Inventory Code: Br28A
Prepared Date: 3/10/1975
Last modified: 6/21/2011
Original Submitter
Submitter Name: Mrs. Paul W. Bigelow
Submitter Address: 7 Thornhedge Road

Organization: Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society
1-Building/Site Name:  
2a-County:   Suffolk 2b-Town:  Brookhaven 2c-Village:  Hamlet of Brookhaven
3-Street Location:   260 Beaver Dam Road at Bay Road

 If checked, this site is within the Fire Place (Brookhaven Hamlet) Historic District

   4a-Public     4b-Private
5a-Owner  (at original survey date):    church 5b-Address:   

6a-Original:    chapel

6b-Present:    church

 7a-Visible From Road

 7b-Interior Accessible:
7b-Interior Comment:     
Building Materials 
   8a-Clapboard    8b-Stone    8c-Brick
   8d-Board & Batten    8e-Cobblestone    8f-Shingles
8-Other:   shingles "over siding"  
Structural System
   9a-Wood Frame Interlocking Joints    9b-Wood Frame Light Members:    9c-Masonry:
9d-Metal Comment:     
9e-Other Comment:     
    10a-Excellent   10b-Good   10c-Fair     10d-Deteriorated
   11a-Original Site  11b-Moved   If so, when?  
11c-Alterations:  steeple added (bell tower) 1961 [or 1960, see below]. "gingerbread" removed 1908.  
Photo & Map
12-Photo Photos and images
View Larger Map
  14a-None Known:    14b-Zoning   14c-Roads
  14d-Developers :   14e-Deterioration
Related Outbuildings
and Property

  15a-Barn   15b-Carriage House  15c-Garage
  15d-Privy   15e-Shed   15f-Greenhouse
  15g-Shop   15h-Gardens   15i-Landscape Features
15i-Landscape Features:   
Surroundings of the Building
  16a-Open Land   16b-Woodland   16c-Scattered Bldgs.
  16d-Densely Built-up   16e-Commercial  16f-Industrial
  16g-Residential 16h-Other:   
Interrelationship of Building and Surroundings
Other Notable Features of Building and Site
18-Notable Features:       
19-Initial Const Date:   1872/75, on land given by Mr. And Mrs. John L. Ireland.
Historic and Architectural Importance
20-Importance:   St. James' Mission had its beginnings some time prior to 1872, when the Rev. Charles Douglas held services in the home of Charles Swezey (Historic Site ID Br27A.1-S), which stood on the northeast corner of Beaver Dam and Fire Place Neck Roads. A lady who boarded with Mr. Swezey wrote to Bishop Littlejohn asking him to establish an Episcopal Church in Brookhaven, It wasn't until the third appeal that the Bishop commanded Mr. Cook to build a church.

On July 22, 1872, John L. Ireland and Mary Floyd, his wife, deeded to the Trustees of the Diocese a plot of land on the northeast corner of his farm. The deed provided that the ground was to be used for an Episcopal Church and Rectory. The foundation was laid and in 1874 the chapel was built in Brookhaven at a cost of $1800. St. James was chosen as the patron saint. The first regular priest was the Rev. Ingraham N. W. Irvine.

Throughout the years, St. James' has had an interesting and varried ministry. In 1918, the local Red Cross used the church as a sewing room and storehouse. The organ and baptismal font as well as many of the windows were gifts from residents of Brookhaven Hamlet, Mr. Malcolm Frazer, a local artist, painted the window over the altar which made it look much like "stained glass." Throughout the years, St. James' has been served by many clergy. At the 1998 Annual Meeting, Norman Nelson told the members that his grandfather and grand uncle kept St. James' alive during World War I by being the only members attending service. One would read the prayers, etc., and the other would respond. "If no one attended church, the church did not exist.

Excerpted from a 2007 pamphlet prepared by the Church.
21-Sources:      "Bellport-Brookhaven" published 1968 by Bellport Brookhaven Historical Society.
2007 Pamphlet prepared by St. James Church.
South Side Signal (Babylon), 24 Aug 1872.
Prepared By:
Supplemental Material: 
  South Side Signal (Babylon), 30 Jan 1875, p. 3:
"Brookhaven has an elegant new Episcopal church. A new union school house two story and other improvements will soon be added. Old Fire Place is warming up."

Long Island Advance, 4 February 2010, From the Archives of the Long Island Advance, 50 Years Ago: [Feb 1960]
"The Rev. Richard W. Gray, vicar of St. James Episcopal Church in Brookhaven hamlet, has announced plans to build a bell tower on the front of the church this summer. Ever since the old belfry was removed a number of years ago, due to lack of funds when the new roof was put on the church, members have hoped to see the day that the bell would once again be able to ring out on Sunday mornings, as it had for so many years. The bell, which stands over 30 inches high, was cast especially for the church in 1879, a gift of the late John P. Ireland."