Councilman Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld sponsored a resolution at the Dec. 3 Brookhaven Town Board meeting to authorize the acquisition of land for the property known as Gentlemen’s Driving Park in Port Jefferson Station which was unanimously supported by the Town Board.
Gentlemen’s Driving Park is located on the west side of Morgan Avenue, north of Canal Road and is the last Victorian era harness racing track on Long Island. There's an aerial photo taken in 1957 snapped by an unknown person that shows the area centered around Routes 112 and 347. In the image, a traffic circle that once was at the intersection in Port Jefferson Station is clearly visible. To the right of the circle is a horseracing track used in the late 1800s once known as the Gentlemen’s Driving Park.
Fiore-Rosenfeld has been working hard to make sure this area remained preserved.“Full acquisition of Gentlemen’s Driving Park, a perfect historical site, will provide a location for Port Jefferson Station/Terryville residents, particularly those seniors in the abutting Woodcrest Estates, to enjoy a safe and healthful walking track," said Fiore-Rosenfeld in a statement.
"Working in conjunction with the local historical society, I am excited that this vital piece of history will be kept for future generations to enjoy as both tranquil open space and as a glimpse into Long Island’s past."
In a 2011 Fiore-Rosenfeld Spring newsletter, he said he has been getting help from the Cumsewogue Historical Society president Jack Smith to help make this area a priority and keep it saved.
"The Cumsewogue Historical Society has been looking forward to the acquisition of the remaining parcels of land that encompass the Gentlemen's Driving Park in the hopes that this unique and colorful part of Brookhaven's history is preserved forever," said Smith in a statement.
"It has been a major goal of the Society to have this beautiful and historical open space acquired by the Town of Brookhaven. We are grateful that through the consistent and diligent efforts of Councilman Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld, that goal has been achieved.”