Three Village Community Trust members had a successful turnout for their 7th annual Chicken Hill Country Picnic & Auction Saturday, Aug. 7, with more than 120 community members attending the event.
With beautiful weather, the bluegrass sounds of Buddy Merriam & Back Roads, tasty chicken dogs from Bagel Express and a generous community, the country picnic was able to raise approximately $3,000 in donations.
“In these COVID times, it is hard to strike the right blend of community engagement, family fun and safety, but I think we did a great job,” said Herb Mones, TVCT president.
The funding raised will go toward preserving and restoring the group of factory houses in the group’s care. The houses remain in the area known as Chicken Hill as an important testimonial of Three Village’s history while in the factory age, where hundreds of immigrants from Eastern Europe and Russia resided while working at the Setauket Rubber Factory in the 19th century.
“This event educated attendees about the important history of the factory age right here in the Three Villages, along with the deep roots to our diverse immigrant experience,” Mones said.
During the event, visitors were allowed to take a look into the past and explore inside the factory houses, which were decorated with vintage furniture and novelty items, transporting the viewers back in time.
“It was great to meet again with our friends on the grounds of the factory houses to share the history and enjoy an authentic community event,” said Robert Reuter, TVCT trustee. “The houses and grounds are a wonderland.”
State Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) announced that he had obtained a matching grant of $50,000 for the trustees to protect the important historic properties in its care.
The goal is that the board can replicate the grant through fundraising and donations outreach.
“Each [property] tells a unique part of the American experience,” Mones said. “The assemblyman is challenging us to rally the community to match these funds — so we encourage people to visit our website now and donate.”