Tags Posts tagged with "Three Village Historical Society"

Three Village Historical Society

Greg Philipps

Last week, the Three Village Historical Society (TVHS) celebrated the inauguration of its 2024 board of trustees with a swearing-in ceremony. The event, held on Tuesday, February 13th, marked the official introduction of the newly appointed leadership team.

Bob Lauto

Greg Philipps, assuming the role of president, and Bob Lauto, taking on the position of vice president, were both sworn in during the ceremony. The honor of administering the oath fell to Fred Bryant, a respected longtime member and former trustee of the Society.

Mari Irizarry, Director of the society, expressed enthusiasm for the new trustees, citing their diverse backgrounds and wealth of experience. She underscored their capacity to provide strong leadership and varied perspectives crucial for addressing the significant challenges and opportunities facing the organization in the coming year.

“As we welcome Greg Philipps and Bob Lauto to their respective roles, we are invigorated by the fresh energy and expertise they bring to our board,” remarked Irizarry. “Their appointment enhances our ability to navigate the complex landscape ahead, ensuring that we uphold our commitment to excellence in education and community-based programming.”

A sign on the TVHS property shows a rendering of the exhibit and education center. Photo by Raymond Janis

By Mallie Jane Kim

Setauket’s historic district shouldn’t be marked by a bright-blue-wrapped, half-finished barn for much longer, as the Three Village Historical Society plans to start working in earnest on the Dominick-Crawford Barn Education and History Center just as soon as the weather thaws and their supply orders come in. 

“You’re going to see a lot going on in the spring,” said Steve Hintze, who has been on the TVHS barn committee since its inception. “We ran into roadblocks, which seems to be par for the course, but now we’re ready and have everything set to really start moving.”

The society raised the barn exterior quickly last year, only to stall in the fall due to design changes that needed assessment by the Historic District Advisory Committee, a citizen group appointed by Brookhaven Town Board to advise the planning commissioner on changes in historical districts. 

The committee recommended adjustments to the society’s altered plans, including to the spacing of seams on the metal roof as well as to the color of the exterior, according to Hintze, who was TVHS president when the society began the barn process in 2014. Hintze added that some of the proposed changes were due to cost increases after the COVID-19 pandemic. The society moved toward less expensive but still historically-accurate materials, and away from a pricey cedar roof and particular windows that had shot up in cost. 

“We had enough money to get everything done before the pandemic,” he said. “Due to the pandemic, the cost doubled — flat out doubled.”

This start-and-stop rhythm has been nothing new to the TVHS barn project, which ran into roadblocks from the beginning. The society took down the original 1840s barn from its location in Old Field in 2014, with plans to use the wood to reconstruct a historic barn structure within a commercial shell that could host exhibits and events. According to Hintze, in the process of seeking permits with the Town of Brookhaven, the society learned their building lacked an appropriate Certificate of Occupancy, an issue he said was left over from the previous owner, and there were several past clerical errors that needed ironing out. 

“So once we started the project, we immediately started moving forward and then had to slow down,” Hintze said. “Then we move forward and then slow down. So that was the beginning of the barn taking a while to get accomplished.”

Then in 2022, someone cut and stole some key pieces of the original barn wood — including the longest piece. To solve that, the society has additional same-period wood coming from other places locally and from around New York state. 

One design sticking point is whether the society can use the high-density engineered wood LP SmartSide siding on the outside structure, which requires less labor and comes with a 50-year guarantee, or whether they need to use historically-accurate siding material like cedar or pine. Hintze said the society would like to consider long-term costs in maintaining the barn, with a material he said is indistinguishable in appearance from classic wood and far more resistant to bad weather, woodpeckers and other wood-destroying creatures. 

But some TVHS board members and members of the HDAC have been hesitant, if not against using the material. Town councilmember Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook), who is familiar with the arguments for and against LP siding on the barn, explained the hesitancy comes from those concerned about historical accuracy — much like a Model T car club using modern materials to restore historic vehicles. 

“If you get leaders in who say, ‘Hey, what if we put a Honda engine in the Model T, or fiberglass siding, or maybe air conditioning to be more comfortable,’ at some point, you’re not the Model T car club anymore,” the councilmember said.

Kornreich added that a decision about siding material is a big deal because Setauket’s historic district is one of the strictest in Suffolk County. If LP is allowed there, the door opens for it to be used in other historical applications.

But that reason is one TVHS leaders see as a possible plus, opening the door for forward-looking materials in historical contexts. “There’s something to be said about the historical society being able to set a standard, if we’re using these other materials, let’s use the very best of it,” explained society director Mari Irizarry. “Solar panels weren’t approved in the historic district for years, and now they are.”

Hintze said any debate surrounding LP siding shouldn’t slow down the barn building, and added that they are open to cedar if that will get the barn project finished. “It’s not structural — it’s the last thing that goes up,” Hintze said. “It really is something that can come down to the wire.”

In the meantime, the $300,000 JumpSMART grant the society recently received from Suffolk County will help move construction forward, and TVHS community engagement manager Kimberly Phyfe is planning to ramp up fundraising efforts in coming months. “We still have a little ways to go in terms of fundraising and grant writing,” she said, adding that she is hoping the barn will be ready to host visitors by the society’s annual Candlelight House Tour this December.

Middle Country Public Library, 575 Middle Country Road, Selden will host a Venues for Volunteering Fair on Thursday, Feb. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. Come find out what volunteer opportunities are available in our area and how you can help!

The following organizations are scheduled to be at the event: All American Assisted Living – Coram, Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, Bethel Hobbs Community Farm, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, EAC Chance to Advance, Family Service League Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, Federation of Organizations/Senior Companion Program, Fire Island Light House Preservation Society, Friends of the Middle Country Public Library, Girl Scouts of Suffolk County, Great Strides LI, Kids Need More, Legal Hand, Literacy Suffolk, Inc., Long Island State Veterans Home at Stony Brook, Mercy Haven Inc., Middle Country Public Library, NY Blood Center, Rebuilding Together Long Island, Save-A-Pet Animal Rescue, Selden Fire Department, Suffolk County Police Explorers, Town of Brookhaven Dept. of Environmental Education and the Three Village Historical Society.

No registration required. For more information, call 631-585-9393.

Right Coast Taqueria celebrated the grand opening of  its newest location at 4088 Nesconset Highway in East Setauket with a ribbon cutting on Jan. 5. 

Brookhaven Town Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich, members of the Three Village Chamber of Commerce and members of the Three Village Historical Society joined owners David Preisler and Richard Zoob along with General Manager John Negrinelli in the celebration.

The business now has four locations throughout Long Island, including Deer Park, Ronkonkoma and Mineola. The restaurant, which was first established in 2018 at its Deer Park location, serves Mexican food including tacos, burritos, nachos, quesadillas, fajitas and much more.

“Right Coast Taqueria had great food and a fun beach vibe, just what we needed on a cold day as we welcomed them to the community. Wishing them the best of luck, now and in the future,” said Councilmember Kornreich.

For more information, call 631-940-8300. To order online, visit www.rightcoasttaqueria.com.

Photo by Samantha Rutt

By Samantha Rutt

The Three Village Historical Society was awarded a $300,000 grant, courtesy of the JumpSMART Small Business Downtown Investment Program on Monday afternoon, Dec. 18. 

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) and other local officials gathered at Gallery North to present the organization with a giant check signifying the donation.

Along with the Three Village Historical Society, the Ward Melville Heritage Organization, LI Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame and Gallery North – Setauket Historic District also received generous grants from the JumpSMART program. The donations’ funding will be used to support downtown revitalization efforts.

“The funding that we’re distributing here is about supporting our downtowns and our cultural institutions that are so important,” Bellone said. “Much of the funding comes out of the award that we received from the federal government — they really are about promoting economic sustainability over the long term, and I can’t think of a better way to do that than investing in our cultural arts and institutions like the ones here.”

The Three Village Community Trust, the Three Village Civic Association, the North Suffolk Garden Club, the Three Village Chamber of Commerce and students and faculty at the Stony Brook School, and the Three Village Historical Society are partners in a Beautification Project at the Stony Brook Train Station.  Over the past year, significant progress has been made removing debris, weeds, and invasive plants from the landscaped beds. And a wide variety of Long Island native plants have been added to the landscaped beds.

As part of their ongoing efforts, the Stony Brook Train Station Beautification Committee invited local artist Michael Rosengard to create a unique art installation at the Station titled ‘All Aboard – Home For The Holiday.’ This outdoor work of art, located outside the front entrance of the historic Stony Brook Station House, creates a sense of wonder and whimsy to those walking or driving past the Station, highlights the history and importance of the Long Island Rail Road, celebrates the accomplishments of the Beautification Project, and helps kicks of the Holiday Season.

The community celebrated the opening of the exhibit on Monday, December 4th!

Ewes and Coos Felted will be at the Winter Holiday Market.
The Cinnamon Candle will be selling custom-scented soy candles at the Winter Holiday Market.

Time to shop! The historic Setauket Neighborhood House, 95 Main Street, Setauket will transform into a winter wonderland this Sunday, Dec, 10 as the Three Village Historical Society presents an indoor Holiday Market from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Over 30 vendors will be on hand including artist, woodworkers, makers, bakers, florists, felters and creators of all kinds offering gifts for everyone on your holiday list in a warm and cozy atmosphere.

Participating vendors include:

Alex Greco Lettering

Ally Liff Designs

AnTiAmy’s Gifts

Contessa’s Designs

Sweet Woodland Farm

Tend Coffee

The Cinnamon Candle

Dara Saol Jewelry

Finest Macarons

Clovis Outdoor Services

Dan McCarthy Wildlife Art

Ewes and Coos Felted

Grateful Bread Microbakery

Inspired Stones

Janet Kurnatowski Studio

Li Li’s Creations

Monika Botanika

OHoney Bee Farm

Old Post Candle Company

Petals, Paper & Thread

Julia Vogelle Pottery

Stormy Garden Soapworks

Sweet Legends Bakeshop

The Granola Plant LLC

The Nautical Arts Workshop

The Pot City

The Spice Cabinet

The Well Fed Family-Pampered Chef

Three Village Historical Society

Tracy Marlowe Jewelry

White Hat Silver

Wolf & Timber

Sweet Melissa’s

Cozy Knots

The Big Cheese

For more information, call 631-751-3730 or visit www.tvhs.org.

Volunteers help break ground for the project made possible by $10K PSEGLI grant

The Living Lands design team at Three Village Historical Society. From left, Mike Dondero, Alex Getches and Logan Kjep. Photo by Kimberly Phyfe/TVHS

Three Village Historical Society broke ground last week on a project to install a series of gardens surrounding its main building on North Country Road, courtesy of a $10,000 outdoor commerce and beautification grant from PSEG Long Island.

The gardens will include a pollinator pathway, colonial kitchen garden, indigenous medical garden and sensory garden, all with native plants, according to Kimberly Phyfe, development coordinator for TVHS. She added that the plan also includes garden paths, educational signage and some additional trees.

“This is going to be a teachable educational space,” she said. “You’re going to be able to walk through a timeline of history.”

A series of gardens will surround Three Village Historical Society’s main building after the society received a $10,000 grant from PSEG Long Island. Photo by Mallie Jane Kim

At a Friday, Nov. 10, “garden party,” an estimated 20 community volunteers, including some members of the Three Village Garden Club and the historical society’s grounds committee, participated in clearing most of the ground cover, invasive species and weeds to prepare for the project, which is headed up by Living Lands, a North-Shore based garden design and installation company that specializes in native habitats and ecological restoration, primarily on a residential level.

Living Lands co-owners Logan Kjep and Alexandra Getches said they feel honored to be part of such a community-facing project to highlight the beauty and usefulness of native plants.

“Getting to find out the history of the plants and the way they were used in the past has been really interesting because we focus more on their role in ecology,” Getches said. “Investigating how the indigenous people used them, how the colonists used them was really fascinating.”

The PSEGLI grant is typically for downtowns or business districts. Phyfe said when the representative originally stopped by last spring on a Monday at 10 a.m., all was quiet on the stretch of North Country Road where the society sits.

She said she urged him to return on a Friday afternoon during the farmers market so he could “see this town taken over by small businesses, locally owned; food trucks, music, education, entertainment — everybody is here on a Friday night. I think that’s what really did it.”

Phyfe added that the market brings business to neighboring establishments and acts as the start of historic Setauket. “Welcome to Culper country — this is the home of historic American Revolution stories right here in Three Village,” she said.

Phyfe called the gardens an “outdoor classroom and teaching garden space” that will be available even when the museum and visitor center is closed, and will expand on the education provided by the Culper Spy and Chicken Hill exhibits, which can host only small groups at a time during student or Scout visits.

She said the sensory garden will be particularly friendly to students with sensory processing disorder. “I want to make learning and field trips accessible to learners of all ages, and particularly learners with disabilities and special needs,” she said.

Phyfe indicated the garden project should be completed by Thanksgiving.

Annual holiday event celebrates shipyards and shorelines

By Rita J. Egan

With the holidays approaching, the Three Village Historical Society is preparing to light the way with a touch of history and seasonal decor.

The historical society will host its Candlelight House Tour on Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2. The event, titled Shipyards and Shorelines, will feature homes near the shores of Setauket Harbor, according to event co-chairs Patty Yantz and Patty Cain. Rounding out the house tour will be the Caroline Church of Setauket. The church celebrated its 300th anniversary this year.

Most of the four homes are on Shore Road, an area known as the Dyers Neck Historic District.

“There will be beautiful homes decorated in seasonal décor by our talented decorators,” Cain said.

The annual event allows visitors to visit the homes to see the designers’ work. 

“All of our events, no matter how glamorous, they are all rooted in education,” said Mari Irizarry, TVHS director. “The Candlelight House Tour, now in its 44th year, is our biggest fundraiser, with all proceeds going directly towards our operating costs. We welcome over 1,000 guests and over 100 volunteers to appreciate historic architecture of the Three Village community and learn about the people that helped build our community.”

Irizarry said the chosen homes are revealed to attendees when they pick up a booklet before their tour begins. This year’s choices include a mixture of historic homes and houses recognized for their aesthetic beauty.

“There is one grand house, down a hidden path behind gates that is ‘shore’ to be the belle of the ball,” Irizarry said.

As early as 1662, the area was once the center of shipbuilding. In the 19th century, the industry became a major commercial activity. According to Yantz and Cain, the tour will focus on shipbuilding, local architecture, oystering and whaling.

Irizarry added the 439-ton whaling ship Daisy was among the inspirations. The ship was built in 1871-72 at Nehemiah Hand’s shipyard, which was located along Shore Road in East Setauket.

According to Yantz, during the event, the society board members will share photos and documents from TVHS archives and little-known local history trivia.

In addition to the house tours, the historical society will host a reception Friday night at The Old Field Club from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. and a breakfast Saturday at the club from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. for additional fees. The breakfast and tour package allows attendees to visit the homes an hour before they are officially opened.

TVHS members presale begins today, Thursday, Nov. 2 and runs until Nov. 5. Tickets will be available for non-members starting Nov 6. The Friday, Dec. 1 tour runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets for members are $75 and non-members $90. Friday night’s tour and reception package ticket is $145 for members and $175 for non-members. Saturday’s tour is $55 for members and $70 for nonmembers. Saturday’s tour and breakfast combo is $90 and $120.

For more information, visit www.tvhs.org/candlelight-house-tour.

Torrential downpours didn’t stop people from heading into Port Jefferson this past weekend to get a head start on the village’s annual autumn activities.

The 35th annual Outdoor Country Auction at the Mather House Museum was held Saturday, Oct. 14, under a tent with plastic covering up the antiques for sale. The muddy grass and gloomy skies didn’t prevent nearly three dozen people from sitting with their paddles, bidding on goods dating back to the 1800s that would help support the Historical Society of Greater Port Jefferson.

Nick Acampora, president of the historical society, said that this year, the organization made approximately $5,000 — one of the largest in recent years.

But what got most people talking throughout the event was one man in the fourth row who bid on a Setauket coverlet over and over, essentially spending $1,600 on a large piece of fabric. After a large round of applause, and another purchase of locally made antiques dating back to 19th century Setauket, other shoppers were dying to know why someone would spend that much on a few antiques.

Michael O’Dwyer, a board member of the Three Village Historical Society, said that the 1815 woven coverlet was once owned by Frances Satterly — a significant family in the Three Village area.

“It’s a piece of local history,” he said. “We’re so happy that it will go back to the village historical society.”

Along with the coverlet, O’Dwyer purchased several other local antiques, out of the nearly 250 items up for bid, that will soon be housed with other historical pieces accumulated through the years.

“Events like this are emblematic of Port Jefferson’s small-town charm, strong community and rich history,” said Deputy Mayor Rebecca Kassay, who also indulged in a few items. “Even the rain couldn’t keep excited bidders from raising their paddles and raising funds for the historical society.” 

As one side of the village was buzzing with auction bidders, other fun events were going on including an alumni softball game and, of course, the high school football Homecoming.

Several fifth graders decided to open up shop in front of these events, selling homemade bracelets, cookies and muffins to raise funds for fifth-grade events.

Lily Bowman, one of the young entrepreneurs, said that after the day’s events, the group made over $400.

“It was an exhausting day, but in a good way,” she said.