By Beverly Tyler
The Three Village Historical Society’s R. Sherman Mills Young Historian Award was presented to Kristin Moller and Katherine Johnson, at the society’s annual awards dinner at the Old Field Club March 22. Moller and Johnson, both Ward Melville High School seniors, have been volunteers at the Three Village Historical Society for the past couple of years.
Both of these young women have made a positive impression on society staff members as well as the general public. Moller and Johnson work as docents at the history center’s SPIES! Exhibit, where they take visitors of all ages through the exhibit and answer questions about it and the men and women who were a part of the Culper Spy Ring.
Moeller has also volunteered for the society’s Spirits of the Three Village Cemetery Tour and the Candlelight House Tour. Johnson participated in Cupler Day, a daylong event about the Revolutionary War spies with organizations from Stony Brook and Port Jefferson.
In addition to volunteer efforts at the society, this year Moller participated in a walk on the Greenway Trail to support the Open Door Exchange, and also in a Martin Luther King festival.
“Kristin is a wonderful, cheerful and knowledgeable young lady,” Mary Folz Doherty, society volunteer, said. “She enjoys learning about our local history and she loves sharing what she learns with the community.”
“Krissy is a delightful young lady who has shown an interest in the community where she has grown up,” Karin Lynch, the society’s former treasurer, said.
Johnson has been a volunteer at Stony Brook Hospital for the past two years, one year in pediatric oncology and one year
“There is nothing better for a museum than to have excited young people greeting you with their youthful enthusiasm.”
— Donna Smith
“One cold, cloudy day when no one came to the exhibit, Katherine created an artistic expression of the Culper Spy Ring story on the white board, which was enthusiastically viewed by staff and visitors for many weeks,” Donna Smith, society education director, said.
“These two girls,” Smith said, “learned how to engage people. I’ve seen them grow in confidence. When they first started as docents, they were a bit shy. It’s exciting to see how confident they have become — engaging people and answering questions. We are especially pleased to have them as they worked with so many children who come to the exhibit, working with them on spy codes and invisible ink and helping children understand the importance of spies during the Revolutionary War. There is nothing better for a museum than to have excited young people greeting you with their youthful enthusiasm.”
At the society’s awards dinner, award presenter Barbara Russell, Brookhaven Town historian, noted how important it is for our youth to volunteer, especially to volunteer to help promote local history and how these two high school seniors have excelled as advocates for our area’s extensive local history and culture.
For more information about the society’s youth volunteer and other programs, contact the Three Village Historical Society.
Beverly Tyler is Three Village Historical Society historian and author of books available from the Society, 93 North Country Road. For more information, call 631-751-3730 or visit www.tvhs.org.