From The President

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May 2016

The Society has been working on two Yaphank Parks. The Historical Society has spent a lot of time, money and energy on renovating the Swezey-Avey House and adjacent Park. Today the Swezey-Avey House has been totally renovated and restored and, along with the Park, is one of the cornerstones of the entrance to the Yaphank Historic District.

Gone is the 6-foot chain link fence that surrounded the entire property. Gone are the 6-foot chain link gates that were once locked more often than they were open on the weekends. Thanks to Connie Kepert, we have a period-appropriate fence that now surrounds the historic property. The chain link fence that separated the parking area from the Park is also gone, thanks to an Eagle Scout project that replaced the chain link fence with period-appropriate paddock fencing.

The plantings are all new; planted by the Town of Brookhaven with grant money from the Yaphank Historical Society. We also received donations of daylilies as well as many other plants from our friends at the Daylily Society. These plants are planted along the fence and around the House. The Girl Scouts also did a planting project for us. They placed plants at the House as well as at the entrance monument.

Now-a-days at the Swezey Park, the parking lot is always crowded with people going fishing, boating and picnicking or parents with their children enjoying the play area.

At the eastern end of Yaphank, the Society has also invested time, money and energy in improving the park property adjacent to the Homan House. We have a new parking area for visitors coming to enjoy the river by canoe or kayak. And there is an improved boardwalk leading down to the launch site affording beautiful views of the river. If you look to the right you can see the remnants of the old stone walls that the early sawmills rested on. And looking back you can see the partially restored Homan House, where restoration work by the Society and Suffolk County continues.

Access to the Carmans River Nature trail is on the far side of the parking area. There are brochures available at the trail head. This is a beautiful walk in the woods on a well maintained trail. The trail initially leads down to Weeks Pond, once the cranberry bog of William Weeks. About half way along the trail you will see an octagon stone foundation, once the Weeks family home. The trail then continues to the St. Andrews Church parking lot. From there you can go through the historic St. Andrew’s Cemetery and continue on to the Booth House. Following the trail which is located behind the Booth House Museum leads you back to the Homan House parking area. This is a lovely walk at this time of the year.

I hope you all take advantage of both the Swezey Park and our Nature Trail and “Park” adjacent to the Homan House.

- Robert Kessler, President