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lecture series

'Genessee' – William K. Vanderbilt II’s 100-foot schooner,1910. Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum Archives

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport  will offer a series of three lectures on Long Island maritime history beginning in August. Following the lectures, which will be given in the Reichert Planetarium, the Museum will hold book signings and offer refreshments. Tickets are $6 per person. Members are free. JOIN NOW!

“Little Known Aspects of Long Island’s Maritime History”
Bill Bleyer, Author and Journalist
Wednesday, August 11, 2021, 7:00 pm

This PowerPoint lecture covers the development of submarines and torpedoes, the landing of Pan Am Clippers in Port Washington, the world’s most innovative whaling captain, and more. Mr. Bleyer, a former Newsday staff writer, has written four books on Long Island history, including Long Island and the Sea: A Maritime History and Long Island and the Civil War. He is a freelance contributor to Newsday and magazines.

Willie K. and Harold S. (Mike) Vanderbilt: Gilded Age Yachtsmen
Dr. Robert B. MacKay, Historian and Author
Wednesday, September 22, 2021, 7:00 pm
This lecture will focus on how the Vanderbilts used their yachts for racing, cruising, and epic voyages. An avid sailor, noted author, and preservationist, Dr. MacKay is director emeritus of Preservation Long Island. Among his books are Great Yachts of Long Island’s North Shore, The Golden Age of Newport Yachting: Between the Wars, Long Island Country Houses and Their Architects 1860-1940.

“Fire and Ice: The Loss of the Steamship Lexington”
Brian E. O’Connor, Retired Attorney and Author
Wednesday, October 27, 2021, 7:00 pm

For 40 years, Mr. O’Connor handled complex commercial litigation as a partner with a Wall Street law firm. He will tell the story of the Steamship Lexington – built by Commodore Vanderbilt in 1835, for service on Long Island Sound – and its tragic fire, sinking, and loss of life on January 13, 1840. The tragedy had profound legal significance, prompting Congress to enact the Shipowners’ Limitation of Liability Act in 1851, which overruled an earlier Supreme Court decision and held the Lexington’s new owner liable for the loss of cargo on board when she sank. The Lexington’s loss was also a catalyst for Congressional legislation to regulate steamboat safety.

‘Eel Spearing at Setauket,’ 1845, by William Sidney Mount

The Three Village Historical Society lecture series hosts prominent and emerging historians, authors, genealogists, archeologists and storytellers from around the nation and presents topics related to local history, heritage conservation, social justice, art history, and more. For decades, TVHS public programming has provided a stimulating environment for the exploration of history and ideas that permeate the culture and community of the Three Village area, and beyond.

In early 2020, when the world went on “lock-down”, TVHS shifted gears and began hosting this treasured event virtually via Zoom on a monthly basis and the Society will continue to do so for 2021. Unless otherwise noted, all lectures begin at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and will be held on Zoom and moderated by Mari Irizarry, TVHS Creative Services Director. The Virtual Lecture Series is open to public, with a $5 general admission suggested donation and is free for TVHS members. Registration is required at www.tvhs.org/lecture-series.

February 22nd

Guest Speaker: Louise Cella Caruso

William Sidney Mount: His Life and His Work

March 15th

Guest Speaker: Selene Castrovilla

Founding Mothers

April 19th

Guest Speaker: Kristen Nyitray

History of Stony Brook University

May 17th

Guest Speaker: Bill Bleyer

Culper Spy Ring and Long Island Revolutionary War Sites

Book: “George Washington’s Long Island Spy Ring: A History and Tour Guide.”

June 21st

Guest Speaker: Steve Drielak

The Alice Parsons’ Kidnapping: Long Island’s History Unsolved Mystery

July 19th

Guest Speaker: Rhoda Miller

Exploring Long Island’s Jewish History

August 16th

Guest Speaker: Darren St. George, Preservation Long Island

Jupiter Hammon Project: Confronting Slavery at Preservation Long Island’s Joseph Lloyd Manor

September 20th

Guest Speaker: Chris Matthews

A Struggle For Heritage: Archaeology and Civil Rights in Long Island Community

October 18th

Guest Speaker: Tara Rider

The Devil in New York: The Withcraft Trial of Goody Garlick

November 15th

Guest Speaker: Jeff Richman

Green-Wood Cemetery’s Civil War Project

December 14th

Frank Turano

Chicken Hill: A Community Lost to Time


The Three Village Historical Society (TVHS), a non-profit 501(c)(3) founded in 1964 by community members, exists to educate the public about our rich cultural heritage as well as foster and preserve local history. TVHS offers museum exhibits, events, programs, archives, and other outreach initiatives to inform and enrich the public’s interest in and understanding of the vibrant past of the Three Village area along the north shore in Suffolk County, Long Island