Selden Hills History. Part 2.
In 1790 George Washington wrote in his diary that the 7 or 8 farms in the area within two miles of Koram “are on land that is of indifferent quality with much mixed with sand….intolerable hills.”
I guess the Father of Our Country would be cursing up a storm if he took on our hills as a newbie!!
The land survey at the time called this area “the pine barrens” or Bald Hills”. These hills were barren of heavy tree growth and only 5 homes were identified. By 1850 14 families lived in Bald Hills. The town of Farmingville was first called South Koram Hills followed by Bald Hills and finally Mooney Pond. As you head south on Adirondack crossing Mooney Pond Rd Selden become Farmingville. It becomes Selden once again as you head north on Blue Point Rd.
In 1840 the LIRR came to the area as Waverly Station. 19 years later the area was renamed Holtsville after Joseph Holt who was the first US General Postmaster. The children of Holtsville attended Bald Hills Schoolhouse, built in 1850, in Farmingville on Horseblock Road. Scepter Terry, who was a student and later a teacher at the school, related that “as a schoolboy he and a gang of boys would go to the north hill (part of which is now Lidge Drive parallel and just west of Blue Point Rd) during lunch hour and run the mile and be back in time to hear the school bell”. I wonder what he wore on his feet back then to scale those hills?? In 1985 Suffolk County preserved the 1.9 acres of property where the one room Bald Hills Schoolhouse sat.
In 1923 the first home having electricity was completed in Farmingville. In 1928 the Farmingville and Holtsville Fire Departments combine as the Holtsville FD.
In 1965 the Bald Hill Ski Bowl opened for the winter season. It’s highest elevation was 331 feet above sea level. It had a 700′ tow rope featuring an 800′ ski run and 123′ vertical drop. You could buy an all day ticket for $3 in 1965. By 1967 a T Bar had been installed to supplement the now 3 tow ropes for the 5 trails. By 1975, 5000 visitors came to the Ski Bowl every week. Bicycle Path ran directly through the Ski Bowl Site. In January 1980 the Ski Bowl had it’s last season as revenue continued to drop over the years due to lack of snow for the most part. That property is now the Brookhaven Amphitheatre and sits just behind the houses at the top of Rosemont at mile 3 of our course.
It was around this time that some hearty runners from these parts began working their muscles and lungs up and down these ‘intolerable hills’ …charting a course that they could never have dreamed would materialize 30 years later.