The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum will once again turn back the clock when it offers Living History tours Saturday, Sept. 3 and Sunday, Sept. 4. For more than a decade, Living History tours have delighted visitors to the sprawling 24-room, Spanish-Revival waterfront mansion.
These special, time machine events feature some of the Vanderbilts and their servants, who are portrayed by museum tour guides. The year is 1937, and the news makes its way into the tour narrative: “The movie ‘Captains Courageous’ with Spencer Tracy is playing in the theaters, and Agatha Christie’s new novel ‘Dumb Witness’ is in the bookstores,” said Stephanie Gress, director of curatorial affairs. “Amelia Earhart was lost at sea in July, and European leaders are faced with threats of German expansion.” Yachtsman Harold Vanderbilt, brother of William K. Vanderbilt II, won the America’s Cup in the summer of 1937, added Gress.
The Vanderbilt has been called a “museum of a museum” — the mansion, natural-history and marine collection galleries are exactly as they were when the Vanderbilts lived on the estate. The stories featured on the tours are based on the oral histories of people who worked on the mansion staff as teenagers and young adults. Some stories also come from Mr. Vanderbilt’s privately published books of his world travels and extensive sea journeys.
Tours will be given at 11:45 a.m. and at 12:30, 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m. on both days. Tickets are $5 per person in addition to the regular admission fee of $7 adults, $6 students and seniors, $3 children 12 and under. For more information, call 631-854-5579 or visit www.vanderbiltmuseum.org.