Bellmore Historical Society Calls It Quits

Longtime Bellmore attorney Dave Weiss didn’t know it was coming, and said he was not happy when he first heard about it.

“I’ve lived in Bellmore my whole life, and I have always been interested in Bellmore’s history,” he told this magazine after hearing the Bellmore Historical Society of the Bellmores had dissolved the name and entity. He had been a long-time member of the society because “they did some pretty decent things for the community.”

Society curator Bill Wood said, “So far as I know, all the membership was told” the society would dissolve if no one else could be found to run the organization on a voluntary basis.

So after decades as the Bellmores’ record-keeping guardian of the town’s rich and storied past, the Bellmore Historical Society formally dissolved as of January 1.

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An old hardware store whose building became Albert Bros on Bellmore Avenue, now just a parking lot for LIRR riders.

In a letter dated January 5, to the membership – which counts tens, if not more – it noted that President Clarence Anspake, Jr., Vice-President Ron Nelson and Secretary/Treasurer Grace R. Anspake would not seek re-election to any posts in the society for a two-year term ending December 31, 2016.

“At the final meeting of the society on December 16, 2014, it was decided that since there was no one willing to take the reins of the society, it was voted that the society would cease to exist on December 31, 2014, at midnight,” said the letter. The letter also requested all correspondence to its post office box be closed.

The discussion now turns on what to do with the thousands of artifacts, documents and other historical items in the society’s possession, as archived by member Bill Wood. “We could see if there is interest in consolidating the Merrick, Bellmore and Wantagh” for example, he told this magazine.

But Your NewsMag has learned there are other interested parties within the community who would like to keep the historical society intact, and perhaps even increase its visibility. In a phone call to Your NewMag, Martha DeVittorio of the Bellmore Memorial Library – which received a grant to record the stories of many of the Bellmores’ first residents – expressed interest in developing interactive historical displays, and also developing programs that would bring elementary schoolchildren into the library displays to learn of Bellmore’s history.

Meanwhile, a never-before-seen turn-of-the-century postcard collection of Bellmore structures will be presented soon at the Wantagh Public Library, by a Wantagh Preservation Society member.

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