Suffolk County Culture & History [visit website]
The Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau is proud to announce the launch of the Suffolk County Cultural site. There’s a lot to see and do in Suffolk County – and you can find it all on this site!
Westhampton Free Library [visit website]
The Westhampton Free Library provides service to residents of Westhampton and Westhampton Beach. Contract residents include the towns of East Moriches, East Quogue, Eastport-South Manor, and Remsenburg-Speonk school districts.
Westhampton Beach Village [visit website]
Westhampton Beach is located on the scenic south shore of Long Island, in the eastern end of Suffolk County approximately 78 miles, as the seagull flies, from midtown Manhattan.
Southampton Town Landmarks & Historic Districts Board [visit website]
After months of coordination, the Southampton Town Landmarks & Historic Districts Board has completely revamped its pages of the Town’s website hoping to provide the community with much useful information and helpful tools. While not 100% complete, it is certainly ready for general public use and can even be anticipated to improve in the near future. They are also conducting a presentation series “The State of Historic Preservation in Southhampton” [click here for details]
Historical Locations in Suffolk County
Ambrose Parsons House
Springs-Fireplace Road and Old Stone Highway, Springs
Originally built in late 1700s by Ambrose Parsons and rebuilt in 1851. It is used as the Springs Public Library, maintained by the Springs Historical Society.
Miss Amelia Cottage Museum
Montauk Highway at Windmill Lane, Amagansett, 631-267-3020
Operated by Amagansett Historical Association. The 1725 cottage houses changing exhibits of Amagansett life from colonial times to early 20th Century. Furnished with local Dominy furniture including clocks and 18th- and 19th-Century household artifacts and tools. Also at the site is The Roy K. Lester Carriage Museum and Jackson Carriage Barn featuring 28 horse-drawn vehicles.
Village of Babylon Historical and Preservation Society Museum
117 West Main St., Babylon
Museum complex includes the 1803 Conklin House and library building, circa 1920. Collection includes 19th-Century photos, farm tools, costumes, furniture, restored two-passenger carriage, duck blind boat.
Bayard Cutting Arboretum [visit website]
State Park, Montauk Highway, Great River, 631-581-1002
Former estate designed in 1886 for W. Bayard Cutting and grounds designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.
Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society Museum Complex [visit website]
31 Bellport Lane, Bellport, 631-286-0888
Several buildings display early American artifacts and activities: The Barn Museum includes items used in homes in the 1700s, toy and weaving galleries, decoy and shore bird collections, a country store. The Blacksmith Shop operates Saturday only. The 1830 Post-Crowell House is furnished from that era. The Brown Building has painted decorative tinware from the late 1700s and the Post Morrow collection of antique paper weights; by appointment.
The Big Duck
Route 24, Flanders Rd., Southampton, 631-852-8292
The Big Duck is a 10-ton 20-foot-tall concrete and plaster construction built in 1931 as a farmstand for the old Bruno Duck Farm in Upper Mill section of Riverhead. It houses a museum shop that sells all types of duck-related items. Call for hours and events.
Bridgehampton Historical Society
Montauk Highway and Corwith Avenue, in Bridgehampton, 631-537-1088
Rooms in the Corwith House (early 1800s) represent different periods; nearby are two barns housing turn-of-the-century steam engines and a building with a wheelwright-blacksmith shop (late 1880s); occasional blacksmith demonstrations. Also in the complex is a 2-room 1902 jailhouse.
Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum [visit website]
Main Street (Route 25A), Cold Spring Harbor, 631-367-3418
Four-room museum has such memorabilia as a 19th-Century 30-foot whaleboat (one of a dozen in the world), harpoons, scrimshaw and a diorama of the whaling port in its 1850 heyday; biology and conservation gallery.
The Custom House
Main and Garden Streets, Sag Harbor, 631-941-9444
In 1790, Sag Harbor became the nation’s first U.S. port of entry. The museum is in the 18th-Century home of the port’s first U.S. customs master. Exhibits, family activities, maritime history.
Cutchogue Green Historic Buildings
Main Road, Cutchogue, 516-734-7122, summer 631-734-6977
Best known in this grouping is The Old House, on Cases Lane at the Village Green. The house, a National Historic Landmark, dates to 1640 and claims to be the oldest English-type frame house in New York State (disputed by backers of Southampton’s Old Halsey House; see below). The Old House was built in Southold and moved to Cutchogue in 1649. The complex includes the 1740 Wickham House, one of the oldest North Fork farmhouses, with a collection of antique quilts. The 1840 Schoolhouse Museum displays donated antique items. Nearby is the former Independent Congregational Church, built in 1862, now the children’s portion of the Cutchogue-New Suffolk library. A pre-Civil War carriage house moved to the Green displays a model of the first submarine brought to New Suffolk for testing (the Navy tested subs here from 1899 to 1905).
Easthampton Historical Society Museums [visit website]
101 Main St., East Hampton, 631-324-6850
Mulford Farm, 10 James Lane, East Hampton, a four-acre farmstead dating to the 17th Century, with a nearby 18th-Century English-style barn. Clinton Academy, 151 Main St., East Hampton, the state’s first chartered academy (circa 1784), offers displays of decorative arts. Town House, next door, is a one-room 18th-Century schoolhouse. The East Hampton Town Marine Museum, Bluff Road, Amagansett, has exhibits on whaling and the marine environment.
East Islip Historical Society [visit website]
PO Box 389 Great River
The East Islip Historical Society was founded during the summer of 1992 by a small group of concerned individuals who recognized the timeliness and need for an organized effort to begin researching, collecting and preserving the unique history of the East Islip area and encompassing neighbors, Great River and Islip Terrace. The purpose was to have this history available for students, researchers, scholars, future generations and also for those of us who just plain enjoy the “good ole’ days”.
39 Edwards St., Sayville, 631-563-0186
Maintained by the Sayville Historical Society. The home, circa 1785, was the second house built in Sayville and has been restored and furnished in that period. Also exhibit on Victorian life in Sayville and country stoe. Open first and third Sunday of month October-June. No fee.
Main Street and Shore Road, Cold Spring Harbor, 631-367-6295
Operated by the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities. Rotating exhibits on L.I. history, architecture and decorative arts. Exhibit for 1998 Long Island Country Houses and Their Architects, 1860-1940” April-November..
Hallockville Farm and Folklife Museum [visit website]
6038 Sound Ave., Riverhead, 631-298-5292
Well-done but often overlooked depiction of early Long Island farm life. Focus on this four-acre farm is the Hallock Homestead, representing a North Fork farm from 1880-1910, furnished accordingly. The homestead, dating to 1765, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Education center in the Samuel Terry Hudson House offers classes and exhibits.
Terrell’s River County Park, off Montauk Highway, Center Moriches, 631-878-1591
Operated by the Moriches Bay Historical Society. Estate includes main house, built in early 1750s with 1885 additions. Also on site recently acquired Tuttle barn. Museum has collection of Indian artifacts, early tools, cabin door, telescope and bell from several shipwrecks.
Route 114, Shelter Island, mid-island just south of Smith Street, 631-749-0025
Maintained by the Shelter Island Historical Society. The former home of patriot James Havens, one of eight Suffolk men elected to the Provincial Congress. The house, on the National Register of Historic Places, dates to 1743 but has mid-19th-Century additions with furnishings from the 18th and 19th Centuries. The barn has farming and fishing artifacts.
Robert Hewlett Hawkins House
Yaphank Avenue and Main Street, Yaphank, 631-924-3401
Maintained by the Yaphank Historical Society. The nine-room house, built in 1850, is decorated and furnished in Vicotrian style. One room has area photos from the early 1900s, including grist and lumber mills. There are also cast iron toys on display.
Home Sweet Home [visit website]
14 James Lane, Easthampton, 631-324-0713
This saltbox house (circa 1680), on the National Register of Historic Places, was the boyhood home of John Howard Payne, who wrote the words to “Home Sweet Home.” Displays oldest documented piece of American furniture in the country (1640), other early furniture, lusterware, other ceramics. Guided tours. Pantigo windmill (1804) on property.
Huntington Historical Society Buildings [visit website]
209 Main St., Huntington, 631-427-7045
Conklin House, High Street at New York Avenue, built about 1750. Period rooms with 18th- and 19th-Century furnishings plus historical exhibits. Among items: a table and chair used by Washington during his 1790 Long Island tour. The 1795 Kissam House, 434 Park Ave., open by appointment, is noted for architectural details such as Egyptian Revival woodwork. On property is an 18th-Century, English-style barn. The society also runs a research center in the 1905 Sewing and Trade School, 209 Main St., one of the first U.S. vocational schools. Includes early maps and photos.
Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society Museum
320 Hawkins Ave, Lake Ronkokoma, 631-467-3152
The museum is located in original 1916 Sachem Library building. Open 10 a.m.-noon Saturday and by appointment. The society also maintains the Katherine Kennets Homestead (1888), open by appointment. No fee.
Joseph Lloyd Manor House
Lloyd Lane and Lloyd Harbor Road, Lloyd Harbor, 631-941-9444
Built in 1767, the Manor House is in a spectacular setting overlooking Lloyd Harbor. With formal garden, 18th-Century furniture and decorative arts. Jupiter Hammon, first published black poet, lived here as a slave.
170 Broadway, Amityville, 631-598-1486
Run by the Amityville Historical Society. Focus on local history. Exhibits feature an 1880s Victorian parlor, the impact of Great South Bay, decoys, early photos, models of local buildings, research library.
1901 Restored Depot
South Broadway and South Third St., Lindenhurst, 631-226-1254
Maintained by the Lindenhurst Historical Society. This authentic former depot was Suffolk’s first railroad museum and contains memorabilia, including trunks, uniforms and a working telegraph. In an incident recounted here, “Mile a Minute” Murphy rode a bicycle from Farmingdale to Babylon behind a steam engine in 1899.
Henry Lloyd House
Run by Lloyd Harbor Historical Society, in Caumsett State Park, Lloyd Harbor Road, Lloyd Harbor, 631-424-6110
Mini museum in the 1711 colonial Henry Lloyd House, decorated and furnished in period style featuring on-site archaeological finds spanning 1,000 years. Barn has hands-on displays plus period herb garden. Offers children’s history summer camp, house tours (by appointment), lecture series. Open by appointment only.
L.I. Maritime Museum [visit website]
86 West Ave., West Sayville, 631-854-4974
Focus is on Long Island’s maritime history, including yachting, shipbuilding, fishing and Great South Bay oyster industry. Displays include restored oyster vessels, sailboats, oyster shacks and a turn-of-the-century bayman’s cottage, plus exhibits on the old U.S. Life Saving Services.
Manor of St. George
Neighborhood Road and William Floyd Parkway, Mastic, 631-475-0327
Granted to Col. W.E. (Tangier) Smith in 1653 for services to the crown, the estate today contains documents, furniture and portraits dating to the colonial era; site of a patriot victory in 1780, when the manor become Fort St. George.
Mather House Museum [visit website]
115 Prospect St., Port Jefferson, 631-473-2665
Run by Port Jefferson Historical Society. Until World War I, Port Jefferson was a major shipbuilding center and John Mather a notable builder. Tours are conducted of his 19th-Century home, with period furniture. The marine barn and tool shed display ships’ artifacts. There’s a 19th-Century country store, barber and butcher shops, a craft house. Open 1-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday May 23-June, plus 1-4 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday July-Sept. 1. Fee: $2 donation.
San Soucci Lakes County Nature Preserve, Middle Road, Bayport, 631-472-4625
Maintained by the Bayport Heritage Association. This restoration in progress is of the 1891 home of John Ellis Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt’s first cousin. The home is being decorated and furnished as it was in 1910 along with a carriage house, barn and garden. In 1998 a research library is scheduled to open, offering a collection of books on the family and local history.
William Miller House:
81 North County Rd., Miller Place, 631-928-0821
Maintained by the Miller Place-Mt. Sinai Historical Society. The 1720 house was in use by the Miller family until 1978. Two rooms are furnished in Victorian style; some china and glassware pieces from the 18h Century.
Northport Historical Society and Museum [visit website]
215 Main St., Northport, 631-757-9859
Housed in a former Carnegie library. Exhibits relate to history, culture and geography of Northport, Eaton’s Neck, East Northport and Fort Salonga. Walking tours of Northport, year-round educational programs-lectures, plus museum shop.
Ocean Beach Historical Society Museum [visit website]
Ocean Beach, Fire Island, 631-583-8972
One-room museum with scrapbooks, photos and computer archival information on Ocean Beach and other Fire Island communities.
Old Halsey House
189 S. Main St., Southampton, 631-283-2494
Maintained by the Southampton Colonial Society and Historical Museum. Built on this site by Thomas Halsey, the homestead is said to date to 1648, which would make it a year older than The Old House at the Village Green in Cutchogue (see Cutchogue Green Historic Buildings) and the oldest English frame house in New York State.
Old Schoolhouse Museum
90 Quogue St., Quogue, 631-653-4111
Run by Quogue Historical Society, this 1822 schoolhouse contains memorabilia of Quogue, including photos, toys, farm equipment and early utensils.
Old Village Hall Museum
215 S. Wellwood Ave., Lindenhurst, 631-957-4385
Operated by the Lindenhurst Historical Society. Village history is depicted in exhibits on home, industry and recreation. Permanent exhibits feature an 1880 parlor, child’s bedroom and Breslau kitchen, plus tools and early bicycles.
Oysterponds Historical Society Museum
Village Lane, Orient, 631-323-2480
Village House was a 19th-Century boardinghouse and is furnished as such. Hallock Building holds maritime artifacts, paintings and agricultural tools. Old Point Schoolhouse offers changing exhibits. Webb House, an 18th-Century inn moved here from Stirling, has period art and furniture. Elsewhere on the grounds: another one-room schoolhouse, a barn and the dormitory-cookhouse of Hallock Farm, a leader in the early scientific farming movement.
Pharaoh Indian Museum
Montauk County Park, Montauk, 631-852-7878
Houses prehistoric Indian artifacts that were recovered from the park on an archaeological dig. Planned opening in Spring, 1998; open by appointment only until then. No fee.
Railroad Museum of Long Island
440 Fourth St., Greenport, at the railroad tracks, 631-477-0439 and Riverhead RR Station, 631-727-7920
In a historic 1890 Greenport freight station, the museum contains exhibits and artifacts including a Reading RR track car plus a 1907 snowplow on grounds, 1925 LIRR wooden caboose. The Riverhead location features railroad equipment including a LIRR steam engine, a unique all-aluminum double-deck passenger car, 2 baggage cars, a restored 1963 LIRR caboose and a railway post office car.
Sag Harbor Historical Society [visit website]
P.O. Box 1709, Sag Harbor 631-725-5092
The Sag Harbor Historical Society was established in 1985 and incorporated in 1989. The Society’s headquarters are located in the Annie Cooper Boyd House on Main Street in Sag Harbor. The house dates back to the 18th century and was thought to be the house in which David Frothingham first published the Long Island Herald, Long Island’s first newspaper, in the 1790′s. Today, research has proven this untrue, and it is likely that Frothingham ran his business from a building located across the street form the Annie Cooper Boyd House.
Sag Habor Fire Department Museum
Sage and Church Streets, Sag Harbor, 631-725-0779
Created in 1803, the Sag Harbor Fire Department is the oldest volunteer department in the state. The 1833 building housing the museum was village hall and fire department headquarters in 1896. The village hall moved, but the fire company stayed until 1976. On display: equipment dating to the 19th Century and a mural depicting major early fires here; videos.
Sag Harbor Whaling Museum
Main and Garden Streets, Sag Harbor, 631-725-0770
Museum is housed in a striking Greek Revival structure. Enter through jawbones of a whale, which sets the tone for memorabilia that fill the first floor. Included are paintings, log entries, scrimshaw, harpoons and other items associated with the industry that once made Sag Harbor one of the world’s foremost whaling ports.
Montauk Highway between Manor Lane and Gardiner Drive, West Bay Shore, 631-665-0093
Built in 1692 as a 12-room manorial estate, this building was headquarters of the commander of British froces on Island in the Revolutionary War. Washington stayed here on his 1790 Long Island tour. There are 42 rooms furnished with period items, plus displays of family memorabilia and American Indian artifacts.
St. James General Store
516 Moriches Rd., St. James, 631-862-8333
This museum, where much of the display material is for sale, dates to 1857. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places and is believed to be the nation’s oldest general store in continuous operation. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. No fee. Second House: Montauk Highway, Montauk, 516-668-5340. This 1746 farmhouse, the second house built in Montauk (the first was destroyed years ago), was used by early herders; five rooms decorated by Victorian Magazine. Plus an herb and rose garden.
Shelter Island Historical Society [visit website]
Havens House at 16 South Ferry Road (Route 114) 631-749-0025
The Shelter Island Historical Society was founded in 1924 by a group of citizens determined to preserve and research a collection of manuscripts held in the Town’s public library. In 1969, the Society was granted a New York State Educational Department Board of Regents Absolute Charter. Havens House and Manhanset Chapel Museum were listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places in 1986 and 1997, respectively.
55 Old Post Rd., East Setauket, 631-941-9444
Run by the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities. This 18th-Century colonial farmstead, with barns, corn crib, ice house, sheep, handpainted wall frescoes imitating expensive wallpaper.
Smithtown Historical Society Buildings [visit website]
5 North Country Rd., Smithtown, 631-265-6768
The society has seven buildings, all near the headquarters site except for the Obadiah Smith House on St. Johnland Road, Kings Park. The Caleb Smith House, an 1819 farmhouse, is furnished with period pieces and open to the public regularly. The 1890 Old Library, Epenetus Smith Tavern (1740), Franklin O. Arthur Farm (1740) and Homestead (1860s) are open only for the annual Heritage Festival (September). The Brush Barn (1900) is the site of lectures or social events.
Southampton Historical Museum
17 Meetinghouse Lane, Southampton, 631-283-2494
The central building is an 1843 sea captain’s home, with widow’s walk and features Montauk and Shinnecock Indian artifacts as well as changing exhibits. Other buildings include a one-room schoolhouse, a pre-Revolution barn, carriage house, blacksmith and carpentry shops, apothecary store, country store and saloon.
Historic Museums of Southold [visit website]
Main Road (Route 25) and Maple Lane, Southold, 631-765-5500
Operated by the Southold Historical Society. The Ann Currie-Bell Home has period rooms with antique dolls and toys, plus costume collections. Nearby are the restored pre-1653 Thomas Moore House, with furnishings from 1640-1840; a mid-19th-Century carriage house and blacksmith shop, and an 18th-Century barn, boxwood garden and buttery. The Old Bayview School (1821) has been restored to its 1914 appearance. The 1874 Prince Building has records dating to the 17th Century.
Southold Indian Museum [visit website]
1080 Main Bayview Rd., Southold, 631-765-5577
Collection of artifacts from earliest L.I. inhabitants 10,000 years ago to contemporaries. Included is the handiwork of Eskimos, middle and far-western Indians and native tribes of Central and South America. Offers monthly lectures on archaeology and L.I. history.
Stirling Historical Society
Main and Adams Streets, Greenport, 631-477-0099
Exhibits on whaling and oyster industries with displays of tools, equipment, whale-oil lamps. Other 19th-Century and later items include furniture and memorabilia from Lipton Cup sailing races.
Suffolk County Historical Society and Museum
300 W. Main St., Riverhead, 631-727-2881
Suffolk history is reflected in permanent and changing exhibits on trade and industry, transportation, crafts, whaling and Indian culture. A research library, open 12:30-4:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday and Saturday, specializes in county history and genealogy. Children’s educational programs and tours.
Suydam Homestead Barn Museum
1 Fort Salonga Rd. (Rte. 25A), Centerport, 631-754-1180
Run by Greenlawn-Centerport Historical Association. The Barn Museum has displays of tools and equipment, a farm workshop with woodworking planes dating to the 18th Century, and 18th- and 19th-Century home furnishings; summer programs.
Montauk County Park, Montauk, 631-852-7878
Run by Suffolk County Parks Department. The third house built in Montauk (1747), it also was used by herders. It doesn’t resemble the original because it was rebuilt in the 1800s and became a restaurant in the 1950s. The house was used by Teddy Roosevelt while his troops recuperated after the Spanish-American War in 1898. Special events planned for 1998 Rough Riders centennial include a photo exhibit of the Rough Riders taken at Camp Wikoff opening in April, 1998. Open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily May 25-Sept. 7, then weekends to Oct. 31; other times by appointment. No fee.
91 N. Country Rd., Setauket, 631-941-9444
Run by Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities. A 1700 saltbox structure, Thompson House has one of the finest collections of early L.I. furniture, dating to 1750, plus a colonial herb garden. Thompson family members were prosperous farmers.
The US Life Saving Service Heritage Association (USLSSHA) [visit website]
PO Box 213, Hull, MA 02045, 781-724-7131
An organization dedicated to preserving the history of the US Life Saving Service and early US Coast Guard.
180 Little Neck Rd., Centerport, 631-854-5555
Housed in Spanish Revival-style buildings comprising the lavish estate of William K. Vanderbilt II. In addition to ornate rooms, the Hall of Fishes houses 2,000 marine specimens from around the world. Museum open year-round noon-4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday.
Walt Whitman Birthplace and Interpretive Center
246 Old Walt Whitman Rd., Huntington Station, 631-427-5240
This weathered farmhouse, birthplace of America’s great poet, was built about 1819 by Whitman’s father and occupied by the family until 1823, when the future poet was 4. The house, a state historic site, has 19th-Century furnishings and an exhibit of Whitman memorabilia, including photos. The new Interpretive Center traces the poet’s development. Plus a research library, audiovisual shows, Whitman’s voice on tape, schoolmaster’s desk, guided tours, museum shop and picnic area.
Wading River Historical Society
North Country Road, Wading River, 631-929-4082
Maintains the 1828 history house, featuring 19th-Century farm implements and tools, documents signed by Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. Open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday-Saturday April-October; by appointment other times. No fee.
William Floyd Estate
245 Park Dr., Mastic Beach, off William Floyd Pkwy., 631-399-2030
Unit of Fire Island National Seashore. The ancestral home of the Suffolk signer of the Declaration of Independence. The 613-acre estate was managed by eight generations of Floyds from 1724 to 1975; furnishings represent every generation. Guided tours of mansion, self-guided tours of grounds, cemetery and outbuildings.