From the Outlook|
Vol.1 No. 1, October 2006
Mel Brown came to Point Lookout in 1929, when the streets were unpaved and there was no electric service, the houses at night lit by kerosene lanterns; the community as we know it today was brand new. His family was from Queens; they summered on Freeport Avenue and it was there that he met his future wife, Audrey,“the girl next door”.She was a friend of his sister Virginia’s,and through those summers, and the letters that follow summers, they fell in love and were married in September of 1934.
Mel graduated from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and worked first at Dun & Bradstreet, before joining the US Navy. When he was decommissioned, Mel returned to New York, to work for Morgan Guaranty Trust. All the while, he and Audrey, and soon their three children (two daughters and a son) were living in Freeport and coming to the Point during summers, staying with family, sitting on the beach, reconnecting with old friends. They bought a house of their own on Bellmore Avenue – the house that, fifty years later, Audrey lives in today, as she is visited by her and Mel’s children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren. Five generations at the Point!
Many years ago, Mel noticed the past of Point Lookout slipping away, and he began to collect material to keep it alive, to write about his life, and the life of this community, in a series of signed articles for the Community Outlook. Mel Brown passed away in 1981 and yet, if you are lucky to visit the archives, you will see his personal touch on so much of what has been recorded and saved. It is our privilege to reprint one of his articles in this journal and to recognize him as our first town historian.The Editor
From A Historical Society Presentation
Melvin J. Brown 1911- 1981
First Historian of Point Lookout
"Mel came to Point Lookout in 1929 when his parents bought one of the development houses on Freeport Avenue. The handful of residents here at the time spent their summers enjoying the sand and the sea. There were few houses, the streets were unpaved and there was no gas or electricity. Cars were left at the community's entrance, now the site of our only traffic light. Due to the swirling winds, sand dunes shared the landscape with the houses. These were happy, wonderful summers.
When fall came, Mel was off to the University of North Carolina. In 1934 he married Audrey "the girl next door" at the Point.
Over the years, Mel and Audrey collected photographs and kept accurate records about the development of Point Lookout. They shared these milestones with their neighbors through the Community Outlook which published Mel's articles chronicling events in the history of the Point. He preserved and enlivened our history until his death in 1981.
Later, his work laid the foundation for the Point Lookout Historical Society (founded in 1993). Today we carry on Mel's legacy at our home in Ye Olde Firehouse. Through our shows, we hope to keep our heritage alive for future generations.
Audrey Browne 2005, RMD (Rosemary Dowling)