Bellport & Yaphank - Some Connections Through the Years
Sharing the Carmans River is the most obvious connection between those of you in Bellport and those of us in Yaphank. In the 1930’s and 40’s students from Yaphank and Bellport forged friendships when they attended Bellport High School together and Yaphank’s old-timers like to talk about the friendly rivalry they enjoyed when they fielded a softball team against Bellport’s team.
A hundred years ago, Yaphank and Bellport also enjoyed many connections. In 1878, Benny Homan, who lived on Main Street in Yaphank, attended the Bellport Academy as did many others from our village. In the late 1880’s the young people of Yaphank and Bellport used to compete in athletic events that were held on the Suffolk County House grounds at Yaphank. The events included the standing high jump, the best hopper, and the two mile run. It was fashionable during those same years for Yaphank’s young people to travel to Bellport by wagon, on a Monday evening, to board Capt. Wilson Higgins’ yacht “Psyche” bound for New York. Many from Bellport came to Yaphank to purchase lumber from Gerard’s Mill and to visit relatives there.
As the Yaphank Historical Society receives the Robert H. Pelletreau Award, those of us from Yaphank cannot help but remember that Yaphank’s most famed eccentric, in the 1940’s and 50’s, was employed by Mr. Pelletreau. Christian Krabbe worked as an assessor when Mr. Pelletreau was Vice President and Trustee of the Union Savings Bank in Patchogue. Christian Krabbe always knew which properties in Yaphank were available. He bought and sold land along the Carman’s River and when he did he always left himself a right of way so that he could walk to the river bank unimpeded. He raised award-winning poppies and bought the first pair of white swans for Yaphank’s lake. He was a great deal maker. During his lifetime his real estate office stood on Trustee Tricia Foley’s front lawn. And coincidentally, after Mr. Krabbe passed, his real estate office was moved to Trustee Jim Hololob’s backyard. With all of these coincidences -- one can’t help but wonder if Mr. Krabbe, from the great beyond, has yet made another great deal -- this time with Mr. Pelletreau himself -- Recognition of the Yaphank Historical Society with the Pelletreau Award!