Here’s the only remotely Irish thing in my vast trove of Gravesendiana: a souvenir journal from the fifth annual ball of the Bellwood Social Club of Gravesend, held at the Ulmer Park Casino (that was on the corner of Cropsey and 25th Avenues) on March 17, 1917, a mere ninety-nine years ago. I can’t find anything substantial about this organization. There are a handful of newspaper references to an early 20th-century “Bellwood Club” in Gravesend, but I’m not sure it’s the same one (read about it here, here, and here). Do the flags on the cover of the journal indicate it was an Irish-American patriotic group? (It couldn’t have been exclusively Irish: among the officers, the names “Ricci” and “Squillante” are obviously Italian!) Did they always meet on St. Patrick’s Day? Are some descendants of the club members reading this? Can you shed light on their activities? I would love to hear from you! Until then, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
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