August 10, 2022


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Mary Bell Dwelling Earns New York Preservation Award For Website link To One Of Long Island’s Very first Black Church buildings

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Middle MORICHES, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The Mary Bell Dwelling in Centre Moriches holds the background of Long Island’s early Black leaders.


The house was in jeopardy of getting demolished, but it received a condition preservation award, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff described Friday.

Open the door to this modest picket victorian and consider a step again to a time of freed slaves in the middle of Long Island.

“Long Island was a incredibly distinguished place for slavery,” claimed heritage librarian Melonie Cardone-Leathers.

The little residence of Railroad Avenue in Middle Moriches was household to Mary Bell, a pillar of the group, in 1872.

In the mid 1800’s, Bell led freed slaves, with what minor they experienced, to develop a single of Very long Island’s first Black church buildings – the Bell AME Zion Church.

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Bell’s residence held services whilst the church was becoming created.

It modified hands a single century later on.

“It was slipping apart,” mentioned preservationist Bertam Seides.

Seides, from the Ketcham Inn Basis, rallied to help save it from the wrecking ball.

“Most of what was accomplished listed here was donated services. We experienced no cash precise for the restoration,” Seides explained.

The Town of Brookhaven purchased the land to rescue the house.

“It’s significant. At the time you shed historical past, you just cannot get it back again all over again,” reported town supervisor Ed Romaine.

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A decade later, it is a registered historic web-site. It was honored this week with a prestigious New York Historic Preservation Award.

Bell’s daughter Alice, also a church pioneer, lived there right up until the 1980’s. The residence has no working h2o, central warmth or electrical power.

“If you acquired a snowstorm, or you will need a grass cutter, everything, you go to Pass up Bell’s home and get care of what she wants finished, and you take no revenue from her,” explained Stanley Sneed of Bell AME Zion Church.

Many thanks to determined volunteers, the story of emancipated slaves and their priorities life one particular.

“They established a community middle very first for all these family members to appear alongside one another,” stated Cardone-Leathers. “It’s a good results story of ladies, African American lady who thrived and became pillars of their neighborhood.”

The state award is not monetary. It is an honor bestowed for excellence in the preserving of history.

The residence is open up for excursions by reservation.


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