This page is dedicated to remembering those in the tri-hamlet area who have either played a major role as a community member or as an advocate for preserving our past. I will be adding names in the coming months and I appreciate any suggestions.
Remembering…..Paul Breschard (1949 – 2016)
Paul Breschard was born in Queens on November 24, 1949. He was the oldest of four children, Karen, Laura and Michelle. His family moved to Mastic Beach when he was three years old and at five years, he started first grade at the “Little Red School House” on Montauk Highway. At that time William Floyd School District was very new and there weren’t many children, therefore not many schools.
As the district grew the building of schools began but it was still a small community. Everyone knew each other, their family members and their relatives that lived on the next block. In 1967, Paul was the first graduating class of 400 students of the new William Floyd High School. He was the class Valedictorian and enjoyed being a honor student for most of his life.
Even at an early age, Paul knew the importance of learning and higher education. He also knew that family and community were important and that giving back to the community that supported him through scholarships was very important. Without those scholarships, Paul would not have been able to advance his education. He attended West Point, then CW Post and went on to earn a degree at Hofstra.
He returned to his home town after college and accepted a teaching position at the William Floyd School District for which he taught for 34 years. He married, built his home in Mastic Beach, had two children, Jayme and David, and continued to enjoy his life in Mastic Beach.
Mastic Beach held so many wonderful childhood memories for him but the community was changing. The population was growing, some homes that where once bungalows where in need of repair and there was garbage on the streets and in vacant property. The changes where not good changes.
Paul retired from his teaching position in 2005 at age 55. He was sure he would miss the interaction with the kids at Floyd. He knew he now had time to put his energies elsewhere. He thought that the community could pull together and start taking action on changes they would like to have happen. And so the idea of Incorporating into a Village was born.
With the support, effort and ideas of so many people the journey began. For Paul it was easy standing in front of large crowds explaining what this journey would entail. He united the community. People came in large crowds to here him speak of the possibilities of a Village. He answered questions, calmed those against the village and promoted healthy discussions. He was a true leader and people respected and trust him and that trust and respect was well earned. Many hours of hard work went into the process. Many many people where involved and Paul was their inspiration. His skills as an organizer was instrumental in making the incorporation a dream come true.
On August 3, 2010 Mastic Beach became an Incorporated Village. It was the largest number of voters in the history of the community. I believe it was Paul’s proudest day… a small group of people could accomplish such a large task. Paul inspired the community, made them interested in one common goal, pulled them together in numbers never seen before with his words, his heart and his soul. His life made a unforgettable difference in the Mastic Beach community. His legacy will live on…
Written by Jerri Breschard….2019
Remembering…..Samuel Carmen (1740 – 1821)
Carmen’s Inn & Tavern Carmen’s Mill
In Spring of 1781, Samuel Carman Sr. became a part ownership of the mills along the lower Carmen’s River and later opened a store, tavern and Inn. Over the course of the next century the Carman family became quite wealthy and influential, and, by the mid-1800s, owned much of the land on the west side of Carmen’s River. The Carmen’s River (known prior as the Connecticut River) was named for Hannah Carmen, daughter of Samuel Carmen, by her husband, William “Point Billy” Smith of the Tangier Smith Family who claimed ownership of the waterway.
Remembering…..Eugenie A. T. Smith (1866 – 1954)
Last living descendent of the Manor of St. George, she bequeathed the property as a museum and public park to the Town of Brookhaven in 1954. As noted by Ms. Elizabeth Curran, a close companion of Eugenie in a newspaper article from the Long Island Advance, “She lived quietly, tending her flowers and seeing a few friends. She was very charitable and helped particularly those funds which aided the blind.”
Remembering…..Chester G. Osborne (1915-1987)
Chester G. Osborne, born in Portsmouth New Hampshire, played a significant role in the communities of the Mastics and Moriches area. He was a professional musician who taught music instruction at the Center Moriches School district. Mr. Osborne came to the Moriches in 1938 and also went on to serve in World War II for 4 years. In addition, he was a composer and children’s book author, as well as curator for the Manor of St. George Historical site beginning in the 1950s and holding that position for 20 years.
Remembering…..Francis Landau – First Shirley Postmaster (1915 – 1960)
Francis Landau served as the first Shirley Postmaster at the newly opened building in June of 1952. Known for being a tireless civic leader, he headed the Mastic Beach American Legion Post as well as being a member of the Shirley Taxpayers Association. He began his career in the United States Postal Service around 1937. His life came to a tragic end during an automobile accident on the Sunrise Highway extension in October of 1960. The community subsequently named the road which passes by the Nathaniel Woodhull Elementary and William Floyd High School Francis Landau Place in February 1961.
Remembering…..Joseph Allen Titmus (1889 – 1949)
Joseph A. Titmus was the owner of the Swift Stream Duck Farm as well as a community civic leader and Trustee of the Town of Brookhaven. He came to the area around 1907 and played a prominent role in many community civic organizations. Mr. Titmus was an avid musician who headed the 8-piece Joseph A. Titmus Orchestra and also created the Mastic Recreation Field, the areas first playground for children.
Remembering…. Paul Schulte, the original “Mayor of Mastic Beach” (1876 – 1956)
Paul Schulte came to Mastic Beach back in 1921 and was the builder and owner of the original Mastic Beach Hotel constructed in 1924. He was also first to open a business and ran the Grocery Store and Delicatessen at the 5 corners section of town. A civic leader and volunteer fireman, he became known as the original “Mayor of Mastic Beach” for his service to the community. With his continuing success, he then opened Schulte’s Tavern in 1933, also known later as Schulte’’ Stable, a meeting place for area residents through the 1930s, 40s and 50s.
CAROL A BISSONETTE
Carol A Bissonette; Never a politician, always a public servant.
by Maureen Getchell, SouthShore Press
June 23, 2014 Mastic Beach, New York: Former Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman Carol Ann Bissonette of Mastic Beach, New York, lost her fight to cancer on June 20th, 2014, at home surrounded by friends and family. She was 56 years old. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Babylon, New York by her parents Ronald and Herta Wagner (both deceased) with her sisters Helen Treu (deceased) and Susan Schultz of Wyoming.
She attended Babylon High School in 1975 and achieved a Bachelor of Science in Educational Administration & Interpersonal Management at the State University of New York at Brockport in 1978 and married Michael Bissonette in 1994.
She worked as a trainer for the Suffolk County Board of Elections. Was a former Trustee in the Village of Mastic Beach; former Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman for the 6th district; former Deputy Commissioner for the Town of Brookhaven of Parks Department. She was a member of the Town of Brookhaven Historic Committee and the Mastic Beach Property Owners Association.
Link here: http://www.southshorepress.net/2014/06/25/obituaries-12/
PHYLLIS CALLAHAN POTTS
Local resident Tami Southard, has always been a big history fan and knows that there is so much to learn about our communities past that she asked Tri Hamlet News, “Do you guys know that the first female letter carrier is from Mastic Beach? Mrs. Potts?”
We didn’t know this information so we decided to do a little research.
We found on spoonercentral.com, that Phyllis Callahan Potts had lived mainly in Mastic Beach on Daisy Drive since 1937. In 1985, she retired from a very long career at the Mastic Beach Post Office. It is stated, “that she truly made history when she became the first female mail carrier in New York State.”
Before we could post this historical finding, we needed to dig a little deeper on the internet to see if other websites or blogs had any information on the first New York female letter carrier.
Wikipedia notes that Susanna A. Brunner from New York, was known to be a mail carrier in the 1880’s. It doesn’t state if she was the “first” female to take on this position. Miss Brunner carried the mail from Port Washington to Great Neck, Long Island, from 1881 to 1885, while in her early 20’s.
After the introduction of rural free delivery in October 1896, more women joined the ranks of carriers delivering mail to customers. At least 11 women are listed as substitute rural carriers in the 1899 Official Register of the United States, filling in for husbands or family members when the need arose. In the 1901 Official Register of the United States, it listed Mrs. Allie M. Merville of Bliss, New York, as a full-time rural carrier. It doesn’t imply that she was the “first” female carrier in New York.
Other than spoonercentral.com, there are no specific findings that would prove Phyllis Callahan Potts of Mastic Beach, to be the first female mail carrier of New York. On the contrary, it doesn’t prove that she wasn’t the first either.
“For 35 years, she has always been the first in my eyes,” said Tami Southard. “You never know who your neighbors are unless you treat them like family.”
….courtesy of the Tri Hamlet News
Rita Rech was a resident of Mastic since 1952. She moved to the tri-hamlet community with her husband and two children from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Rita was a past retired Brookhaven Lab employee for 17 years in the purchasing and contracting department.
Rita will be remembered by newer residents as the founder of the Mastic Peninsula Historical Society. For years she worked and was successful in making the Petty House on Montauk Hwy in Shirley a historical landmark. She loved our community; felt we had a great deal to offer if only we could bring out our history and good points. She dedicated an enormous amount of time serving the community while being a loving mother and community activist. Rita was the William Floyd board president from 1962 until 1969 and again in 1980 through 1989. She bought the NJROTC program to our school district. She also did volunteer work at Brookhaven Hospital, the William Floyd Estate, and for Meals on Wheels. Also to be remembered in 1995, as Citizen of the year by the Chamber of Commerce, Brookhaven Town Board, Bay Area Civic Association and the Mastic Park Civic Association. Rita was a member and very hard worker of numerous civic associations including William Floyd Community Summit, Bay Area Civic, Mastic Park Civic Association are just a few of the groups she was so helpful too.
She was also known for her letters to the editor, usually short and to the point. She challenged disparaging remarks about William Floyd students and received a reply from Captain Cassagne in 1995. She also took on Chauncey Howell, an NBC television reporter who also made snide remarks about Mastic and Shirley, even writing to Grant Tinker, President of NBC to reprimand Mr Howell. She was a tiny woman, always very polite, but always managing to get her point across. Rita truly lived a life of community service. Next to the Mastic Post office is a clock donated by Rita. She has done so much more for our community, too much to list. Rita Rech passed away on May 14, 2013. Many, especially her daughters, Susan Ragone and Gladys Rech, four grandchildren and their spouses and nine great grandchildren, will miss her.