Old Swezey’s bell to be displayed in pocket park


Joel Furman, Patchogue Village building owner and attorney, and his family’s history in Patchogue reaches deep. In honor and acknowledgment of this fact, Furman has planned to donate one of the twin Swezey Department Store bells from the bell tower.

The bell will be on loan for display at the Furman Square Park, located behind his West Main Street building near the Church Street parking lot’s South Ocean Avenue entrance.

According to Furman, he has already donated funds to purchase two benches in honor of both his father, George Conklin Furman, and his uncle and veteran, Hugh S. Furman, who landed on D-Day and was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge. George also played a major part in the Church Street parking lot in 1958.  Furman has also purchased lighting for both trees located at the park.

The bell, he said, was originally from the old Swezey and Newins Department store building when it was constructed. The second bell was casted and installed in 1914. Both bells survived the 1947 tower fire due to a sandpit installed beneath the bells by his great-grandfather, Smith Conklin, who built the building in the 1800s. The other twin bell was given to Judge Underwood, who had donated it to the Patchogue Fire Department, where it currently sits on display.

The second bell will be on loan and soon placed on a stand in Furman Park for locals to ring it. However, if mischief or graffiti happens, he said, the historical bell, which is in great shape, would have to be removed.

The park was originally dedicated to the Furman family by the village in 1993.

“We’re trying to preserve the history,” Furman said of the reasoning behind installing the bell.


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