2010-04-15 / Columnists

Babylon News & Muse

by Mary Gallagher

Sunday should be an interesting day! The Babylon Historical Society will be holding a special reception and exhibit about the first black baseball team, which was started right here in Babylon. Mayor Scordino and other village officials will kick off the event by dedicating a special monument to the team at the northwest corner of the park (on Trolleyline Rd.) at 1 p.m. A reception will follow at the Historical Society on West Main Street. Celebrities include pitcher and first baseman Bob Scott who played for the New York Black Yankees from 1946 to 1950, pro baseball scout, Joe DeLucca (a village resident), baseball writer Lee Lowenfish, Town Supervisor Steve Bellone, Suffolk Legislator Wayne Horsley, and a host of others. Mayor Ralph Scordino will emcee the event on behalf of the Village of Babylon.

•Also on Sunday, the Babylon Business and Professional Women will celebrate its 75th Anniversary with their annual cocktail party. This year the party will take place at the clubhouse of the Harbor Club in West Babylon, beginning at 4 p.m. Tickets are $35 and may be purchased at the door. Funds raised will go to the club’s annual scholarship program. Congratulations to these dedicated women on their 75th Anniversary. Thisparty’s always a lot of fun!

•Seatuck…does the name seem a little familiar? It’s been floating around the area for a couple of years, but I suspect that not too many people know exactly what it is. Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge is here on the South Shore in the Town of Islip, at the foot of South Bay Avenue. It is part of the L.I. National Wildlife Refuge Complex. It’s nearly 200 acres, about half of which is tidal marsh which attracts a large number of migratory birds and waterfowl, as well as red fox, white-tailed deer, migratory songbirds and raptors. Seatuck offers a variety of public nature programs across Long Island. These include pre-school outings, family walks, summer camps, adult hikes, lectures and many other activities. The organization was founded years ago with a focus on studying our suburban ecology. It also is engaged in efforts to restore native habitats and local wildlife populations. For information about Seatuck and its programs, call 631-581-6908 or visit www.seatuck.org.

The Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge was established on September 26, 1968 as a land gift from the Peters family under the Migratory Bird Conservation Act. “Windholme Farm” was originally owned by Samuel and Natalie Peters from the late 1880’s until the early 1900’s. Mr. Peters was a coal broker and banker from NYC who liked to spend summers fishing and boating on the Bay. ThePeters eventually gave the estate to their children, Harry and Lousine.

Harry Peters took title to the 200-acres on the east side of South Bay Avenue. It was passed down by the family and has now become Seatuck. Only one of the buildings from the Webster estate remains at Seatuck: an L-shaped or C-barn that is listed on the National Register for Historic Places, due to its architectural style.

Divided by South Bay Avenue in Islip, Lousine took the 70 acres on the west, which became the Scully Sanctuary. Her only child, “Happy” Scully, donated that property to the National Audubon Society in the late1960’s. In June 2004, Suffolk County purchased the 70-acre property from Audubon.

The 70-acre Scully Estate represents a partnership between Suffolk County and Seatuck, called the Suffolk County Interpretive Center, and will celebrate its grand opening on Earth Day, April 24th, with an all-day “Echo Carnival”. The Center includes a variety of habitats and supports a great diversity of wildlife, from great horned owls to box turtles and red fox. Theproperty also boasts a unique historic mansion that will house exhibits, program areas, and a gift shop. The mansion was inspired by a French chateau and deigned by world-renowned architect Grosvenor Atterbury, who designed Forest Hills Gardens. It features castle-like turrets, a dramatic slate roof, and is also listed on the National Register for Historic Places.

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