Tags Posts tagged with "WMHO"


The event will feature a car show. Photo from WMHO

The Ward Melville Heritage Organization’s Spring Appreciation Day returns to the Stony Brook Village Center, 111 Main Street, Stony Brook on April 20 with live music, a car show, a petting zoo, the fire department will be on site, and a scavenger hunt with prizes from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. Throughout Stony Brook Village there will be something for everyone:

The day includes

Stony Brook Grist Mill. Image from WMHO

History: The Stony Brook Grist Mill (c. 1751) will be open for tours ($10 for adults, $5 for children, cash only) from noon to 4 p.m. and shopping in the Country Store. The history of the Grist Mill tour showcases highlights from WMHO’s brandnew program. It interprets the mill as both a place of mechanical ingenuity as well as a site of historic social networking from the early colonial period through the mid-20th century. A live Gypsy Romani music performance will take place from 1:30 p.m. till 3:30 p.m. in honor of the 19th century Miller, Alois Kopriva.

Technology: The Mustang and Shelby Club of Long Island car show will take place between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and will be located in the parking lot behind the Post Office. They will display over 65 cars with classic Mustangs and the latest cars that Ford has to offer. Automobiles from 1964 – 2023 will be on display, including some special edition Mustangs like the classic Shelby GT500, GT350 and the iconic Boss 302.

Nature: Steppin’ Out Petting Zoo will be set up in the Inner Court with a variety of animals for children to pet from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The event will feature live music by Brenda and Burke. Photo from WMHO

Music: Brenda and Burke will be performing original and cover songs in the genres of R&B, Roots, Blues and Contemporary Acoustic in the inner court by the waterfall from 1:30 p.m. till 3:30 p.m.

And Discovery: The Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO)’s Youth Corps will be offering a scavenger hunt around Stony Brook Village from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Each person who returns a completed scavenger hunt will be entered into a raffle to win Discovery Wetlands Cruise tickets.

Lastly, the Stony Brook Fire Department will be sharing how you can join as a volunteer, and they will have a vintage firetruck on display during the event.

Spring Appreciation Day is sponsored by News 12, Long Island Speech, First National Bank of Long Island, RJG Consulting Group, and NYLife Insurance Company Agent, Ryan D. DeCicco.


The Ward Melville Heritage Organization is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation founded in 1939 by businessman and philanthropist Ward Melville. Inspired by his legacy to preserve historic and environmentally sensitive properties, the WMHO continues to protect and interpret these Long Island treasures. The organization creates interdisciplinary educational and cultural experiences that integrate history, art, theater, music, science, and technology for all ages. The organization owns and manages properties deeded to it by Ward Melville, including the Brewster House (c. 1665), the Thompson House (c. 1705), the Stony Brook Grist Mill (c. 1751), which are listed on the state and national register for historic places, the Dr. Erwin Ernst Marine Conservation Center, the pristine 88-acre wetlands preserve at West Meadow, the 11-acre T. Bayles Minuse Mill Pond and adjacent park, two-acre Upper Pond, and the two-acre Jennie Melville Village Green. To learn more about the WMHO, visit www.wmho.org or call (631)-751-2244.

Photo courtesy of WMHO

The Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO) recently unveiled a new self-guided audio experience at T. Bayles Minuse Mill Pond Park in Stony Brook Village. Titled “Beyond the Plaque,” this new audio experience gives participants the opportunity to learn about the people named on 16 plaques at the picturesque park. As they wander through the tranquil pathways, they’ll discover more than just names and dates — they’ll delve into the compelling stories and extraordinary journeys of the individuals commemorated on the plaques.

Many of the plaques are dedicated to members past and present of the Stony Brook community, each leaving a lasting impact on those they touched in their lives. Among the notable individuals you can learn about is T. Bayles Minuse, the very namesake of the park.

“Our idea of creating an audio experience dedicated to the people beyond the plaques originated two years ago during the unveiling of the newly rehabilitated T. Bayles Minuse Mill Pond Park,” said Dr. Richard Rugen, WMHO Chairman. “We are thrilled to unveil this to the public, just in time for spring.”

The Beyond the Plaque Audio Experience is offered completely FREE of charge, and accessible to all, anytime, and anywhere. To embark on this captivating tour, individuals can simply scan the QR codes located on informational signs within the park or visit audio.stonybrookvillage.com.

To learn more about events and activities in Stony Brook Village Center, please visit stonybrookvillage.com.

By Rita J. Egan

Wet weather couldn’t stop Santa Claus from visiting Stony Brook Village Center as promised Dec. 3.

Santa’s appearance was part of the 44th annual Ward Melville Heritage Organization Holiday Festival. In addition to photos with the jolly elf, attendees spent the afternoon visiting with animals at the petting zoo and viewing the promenade of trees decked out for the holidays and the train display at W.L. Wiggs Opticians. Carolers also performed throughout the shopping center.

“Despite the weather, hundreds of people came out to see Santa arrive in Stony Brook on the antique fire engine for the 44th time,” said Gloria Rocchio, WMHO president. “What was added this year was a Grinch character to complement Santa, which the children loved. People noted the tree looked fuller than usual and was decorated beautifully. Hundreds tuned into the tree lighting in person and also remotely on our website.”

WMHO trustees and elected officials were on hand for the center’s tree lighting later in the day, followed by a private reception at the Long Island Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame. Santa showed up once again, telling guests he was surprised that not one child asked for a Barbie doll. He added the popular gift request this year was a Taylor Swift-branded acoustic guitar.

Photo courtesy of WMHO
Above, one of the entries from last year’s competition. Photo by Heidi Sutton/TBR News Media

On December 3, participants of the Ward Melville Heritage Organization’s (WMHO) Holiday Tree Competition will bring holiday cheer to Stony Brook Village and decorate 40 premium 5 to 6 foot balsam trees that will line the open-air center’s walkways at the 44th Annual Holiday Festival. One tree will be selected by votes from the public between Dec. 3 and Dec. 19 to win a $150 gift certificate to Stony Brook Village and its establishments. 

Registration for this event is required as there are only 40 trees available. You can pick up a registration form at any of the shops in Stony Brook Village, or you can download it digitally from the events section of the Stony Brook Village Center website. 

To enter this competition, please return the completed registration form, with entry fee to the Ward Melville Heritage Organization, P.O. Box 572, Stony Brook, NY 11790. Registration form and an entry fee of $47 is due by Nov. 22. The decorated trees will remain in the village for viewing until Jan. 3.

Questions? Call 631-751-2244.

Ribbon cutting for D.K. Brothers. Photo from WMHO

The Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO) hosted ribbon cutting ceremonies for three Stony Brook Village Center establishments — D.K. Brothers by Madison’s Niche,  Michael Macrina Architect and Village Hair Studio — on Oct. 24.

Ribbon cutting for D.K. Brothers

D.K. Brothers by Madison’s Niche is a boutique offering a curated collection of men’s apparel, lifestyle gifts, and luxury pet accessories by the owners of Madison’s Niche in Stony Brook Village Center. Guests can expect to shop popular men’s clothing brands like Tommy Bahama, UGG, Ralph Lauren, Levi’s and many more. Plus, they have a wide selection of products for a man’s best friend with a section of the store dedicated to pet products like special outfits, accessories, toys, bowls, beds, treats, and more. 

In 2012, Karen McAvoy established Madison’s Niche, drawing inspiration from and naming it after her daughter, Madison. Her daughter Madison has recently joined the business as Vice President. Alike Madison’s Niche, D.K. Brothers takes its concept and name from Karen’s sons, Daniel and Kenneth. 

D.K. Brothers is located at 97K Main Street in Stony Brook Village. They are open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 631-779-6457.

Ribbon cutting for MMA

Michael Macrina Architect (MMA) has moved their office into the heart of Stony Brook Village. MMA was previously located at the corner of 25A and Main Street for the past 11 years. Established in 2006, MMA has been in business for 17 years and handles all permits required for construction and renovation. They offer interior & exterior renovations, residential architecture, exterior facelifts, new additions, new homes and more. To learn more about Michael Macrina Architect, call 631-686-6585 or visit www.mmarchitectaia.com.

Ribbon cutting for Village Hair Studio. Photo from WMHO

Village Hair Studio is a hair salon designed to create a luxurious and relaxing atmosphere for any client. They are currently offering haircuts, hair coloring, hair smoothing treatments, make-up services and bridal services. In addition, they offer massages and facials to enhance the beauty and relaxation experience. The salon will soon provide special hair and makeup services for those experiencing hair loss from diseases like alopecia or cancer. 

The Village Hair Studio is located at 97D Main Street in Stony Brook Village. They are open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To make an appointment call 631-675-0987 or visit https://www.villagehairstudiony.com/.

The ribbon cuttings were attended by Michael Ardolino, Assistant Secretary, Three Village Chamber of Commerce (3VC); Carmine Inserra, Vice President, 3VC; Ed Flood, NYS Assemblyman; Robert Fonti, representing Suffolk County Executive, Steve Bellone; Madison McAvoy, Vice President of Madison’s Niche; Karen McAvoy, Proprietor of Madison’s Niche and D.K. Brothers; Ed Romaine, Town of Brookhaven Supervisor; Gloria Rocchio, President, The Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO); Dr. Richard Rugen, Chairman, WMHO; Jonathan Kornreich, Councilman, Town of Brookhaven; Alexander Piccirillo, representing Senator Anthony Palumbo; Martha Stansbury, Treasurer, 3VC; Ken Kroncke, Board Member, 3VC; Mary Van Tuyl, Trustee, WMHO; Charles Napoli, Trustee, WMHO; Emily McAvoy; Daniel McAvoy; Kenneth McAvoy; Kenneth McAvoy Jr.; Chuck Lohmann, Trustee, WMHO; Daniel J. Panico, Deputy Supervisor and Councilman, Town of Brookhaven; Charlie Lefkowitz, President, 3VC; Collette Frey-Bitzas, 2nd Vice President, 3VC; and Thomas McLaughlin, representing Senator Mario Mattera.


The Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO) hosted their 33rd Annual Halloween Festival on Oct. 31 from 2 to 5 p.m. in Stony Brook Village. The festival was a huge success and brought more families than ever to the Village Center to celebrate Halloween.

Families enjoyed music from WALK 97.5, trick-or-treating throughout Stony Brook Village Center, dancing with Monster Merlin and games for children.

Nightmare Before Christmas

WMHO announced their 33rd Annual Scarecrow Competition winners during the festival. The winners are as follows:

Category A- Professional

1st Place – #310 Nightmare Before Christmas

2nd Place – #111 Grim

Category B – Adult and Family

1st Place – #305 Mr. Margaritaville

2nd Place – #301 Edgar Allen Scare-Poe

3rd Place – #102 On Wednesdays, We Wear Pink

Category C – Children

1st Place – #206 Barbie: You Can Be Anything

2nd Place – #303 Bubblegum Witch

3rd Place – #110 Barbie

This event was sponsored by Long Island Speech, Green Towers Group, News 12 Long Island, Goldfish Swim School, Dr. Robert Quilty, Ph.D and Dr. Rocco Morelli, DDS.

Pictured from left, Dr. Richard Rugen, WMHO Chairman; Honorable Steve Englebright; Olivia and Harlan Fischer, President of Branch Financial Services; and Gloria Rocchio, WMHO President. Photo courtesy of WMHO

Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO) announced on Oct. 13 that former Assemblyman Steve Englebright has successfully secured a $125,000 grant for repairs to several of Ward Melville Heritage Organization’s historic properties.

Pictured from left, Dr. Richard Rugen, WMHO Chairman; Honorable Steve Englebright; Olivia and Harlan Fischer, President of Branch Financial Services; and Gloria Rocchio, WMHO President. Photo courtesy of WMHO

“When Ward Melville rehabilitated the village most of the renovations were completed at the same time. We have had repairs done over the years, but everything is accelerating because of age. It is hard to do everything at once. Thank you, Steve and so many more for helping us preserve this legacy,” said WMHO Chairman Dr. Richard Rugen.

The properties to receive restoration are the Stony Brook Grill Mill c. 1751, the Brewster House c. 1665 and the Eagle (1940) atop the Stony Brook Post Office.

Honorable Steve Englebright said, “This beautiful, carved, mechanical eagle is likely the earliest public art sculpture in our region. It is also a symbol of our nation. It is an honor to have helped advance restoration of this icon of American history.”

This iconic eagle is the only one in the United States to flap its wings every hour on the hour. When word went out about repairs needed to the eagle, donations were received from around the country. The cost to restore it was larger than anticipated, so WMHO organized a Summer Soiree and Olivia and Harlan Fischer, Branch Financial Services, came forward with the largest donation to meet the goal of $75,000 for the eagle alone.

Olivia and Harlan Fischer and Dr. Richard Rugen, examining the mechanism that controls the eagle. Photo from WMHO

In making this contribution Olivia and Harlan said, “That eagle has been flapping its wings every hour for over 80 years. Both residents and visitors wait in front of the Post Office just to watch. We wanted to make sure that this tradition continues.”

A restricted account has been established to handle any repairs to the mechanism or the eagle itself in the future. Any donation to the eagle is tax deductible.  Work will begin in the Spring of 2024, but the work on the elements of the eagle will begin over the winter 2023. Work on the other properties will begin in the Spring of 2024.

Founded in 1939, WMHO is a not-for-profit corporation that develops and fosters community enrichment through cultural and educational experiences. WMHO accomplishes this by enhancing and interpreting its historic and environmentally sensitive properties and by utilizing state-of-the-art technology. For more information, please visit www.wmho.org

Photo by Heidi Sutton

Join the Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO) and the Stony Brook Fire Department (SBFD) for Family Fun Day in Stony Brook Village on Saturday, September 30th with WMHO’s Annual Scarecrow Competition and the Stony Brook Fire Department’s Annual Fire Prevention Day and Open House from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event is free to the public.

Throughout the Stony Brook Village Center there will be over 35 scarecrows lining the sidewalks. Voting for WMHO’s Annual Scarecrow Competition will begin on Family Fun Day. Vote for your favorite scarecrow creation using ballots found in all shops and eateries in Stony Brook Village.

The SBFD Annual Fire Prevention Day and Open House will take place behind the Stony Brook Fire Department in Stony Brook Village. Here are several activities planned for people of all ages to enjoy!

— A Touch-A-Truck display allowing people of all ages to get an up-close look at big trucks and emergency vehicles such as firetrucks, ambulances, and the Brookhaven Town Fire Marshal’s Mobile Command Post.

— The SBFD will be providing a knockdown house, which allows kids to operate a fire hose to knock down flames in a mock-up of a small house.

— Stony Brook University Fire Marshal’s Office will attend with their Fire Extinguisher Simulator allowing members of the community to learn how to use a fire extinguisher first-hand.

— Terryville Fire Department will be present with a Fire Prevention/Safety Trailer which has the ability to teach fire safety within a simulated home and also what to do at the sound of a smoke detector.

— The Explorer Post #0528, will provide information to children about junior firefighting and provide firefighting gear that kids can try on.

— There will be giveaways for children and adults. SBFD plans to raffle off smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers while teaching community members the importance of safety with these items. Servpro will giveaway desktop calendars, activity books and pens/pencils

— The SBFD will demonstrate vehicle extrications and how to put out stove top fires throughout the day.

— Stony Brook Medicine will be in attendance with their Mobile Stroke Unit, a specialized ambulance designed to provide specialized, life-saving care to people within the critical moments of stroke.

To learn more about the Stony Brook Village Family Fun Day and to learn more about the WMHO, call 631- 751-2244.

Photo from WMHO

It’s time to bring your hay-game! The Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO) is currently accepting submissions for its annual Scarecrow Competition. This will be the 33rd year the spooky and silly six-foot creations will adorn the pathways of picturesque Stony Brook Village Center for visitors to enjoy and vote for their favorite. Register as an individual, group or professional and create a scarecrow masterpiece. 

You can pick up a registration form at any of the shops in Stony Brook Village, or you can download it digitally from the events section of the Stony Brook Village Center website. To enter this competition, please return the completed registration form to The Ward Melville Heritage Organization, P.O. Box 572, Stony Brook, NY 11790, with the entry fee of $30 by Sept. 20.

Vote for your favorite scarecrows by picking up a ballot at any of the shops and restaurants at the Stony Brook Village Center from Sept. 30 to Oct. 25. Winners will be notified on Oct. 27 by 5 p.m. and will be announced during the WMHO’s Halloween Festival on Oct. 31. 

For more information, please call the WMHO at 631-751-2244.

Stony Brook Grist Mill. Image from WMHO

Join the Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO) in a walking tour experience, Unwind & Uncork History: The Story of Wine & the Stony Brook Grist Mill on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 3 p.m. and again on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 3 p.m. 

Image from WMHO

In this walking tour experience, tour-goers will “uncork” the stories of the Stony Brook Grist Mill (c. 1751), the sight of Long Island’s very first vineyard. This will include a tour of the Stony Brook Grist Mill, the scandalous story of Edward Kane, his Lakeside Wine Company, and a brief lesson on wine. 

The tour will begin at Tranquility Park (also known as T. Bayles Minuse Mill Pond Park) across from the Stony Brook Grist Mill, and will end at Lake Side Emotions Wine Boutique at the Stony Brook Village Center, which gained its name from Kane’s Lakeside Wine Company.

Fee for the tour  is $25 per person and includes a bottle of authentic Catawba wine from Lake Side Emotions Wine Boutique. All participants must be 21 or older. Advance registration is required by calling 631-751-2244. For more information, visit www.wmho.org.