Nassau County Historical Society

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The Nassau County Historical Society Journal
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Underhill Monument, Mill Neck
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The Last Word, 2011

The Historical Society held seven meetings for the membership in 2011, ranging from music of political campaigns and the Civil War to historic mansions and estates. We had a record attendance for our tour of the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City. Speakers, titles, and locations of the programs are listed inside the front cover of this Journal. Our first meeting in 2012 will be a meeting at the Webb Institute of Naval Architecture in Glen Cove, with a talk on the history of the school and tour of the Braes Pratt mansion it occupies.

At our annual meeting in October, three new trustees were elected.  Barbara C. Haynes and Carolyn D. Thoet were elected to the class of 2014, and the Hon. Scott Fairgrieve to the class of 2012.

We were saddened this year by the death of Sarah "Pat" Dalton who was a trustee since 1996 and in charge of our annual dinners.  The Journal begins with a Memorial to Pat by trustee Stephanie Bird.

Robert Rushmore's articles in the last two issues of the Journal included illustration of the Sammis Inn in Hempstead painted by John Evers. His article in this issue provide additional information about Evers, including a list of his paintings of Hempstead.  Judith Burgess recounts the history of the Henry Highland Garnet Home in Westbury.  The fresh air home for African Americans from New York City was in operation for nearly sixty years, established and sustained by black women.  Denward W. Collins, Jr. has provided five drawings of Nassau County's twentieth-century history for the Journal's back cover.  An article provides information on each of the sites depicted.  Following the story of the Big Duck is a North Shore Tour, which takes us back to the late 1930s.

The Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities (SPLIA) sold their Gallery in Cold Spring Harbor to consolidate operations in their headquarters in the former Methodist Church at 161 Main Street in Cold Spring Harbor.  SPLIA's offices are on the lower level and exhibitions will be on the main floor.

The Oyster Bay Historical Society has opened its Angela P. Koenig Research and Collections Center, located behind the Society's Earle-Wightman House Museum (20 Summit Street, Oyster Bay).  Women Wearing History: The Force Behind History is on exhibit to February 26, 2012.

Walter Gosden, Floral Park Historian, spearheaded construction of the handcrafted Floral Park Historical Society's four-foot-square diorama, "Floral Park ca. 1900: Home of Flowers."  It shows the village when the seed business of John Lewis Childs was flourishing and is displayed at the Society's Museum in Centennial Hall (29 Tulip Avenue).

The Association of Public Historians of New York State (APHNYS) will hold its spring conference on Long Island on April 23-25, 2012 in Hauppauge.  The meeting is open to everyone interested in local history, not just officially appointed village and town historians.  See the APHNYS web site for details.

Book and Website notes

Paul van Wie, Franklin Square historian, collaborated with two high school students, Kiera Grassi and Hannah Muturn, to produce Franklin Square, a paperback in Arcadia's "Images of America" series.  History Press published Marilyn Nunes Devlin's A Brief History of Rockville Center: The Heritage and History of a Village.  John Hammond, Town of Oyster Bay Historian, has complied Civil War Records: Town of Oyster Bay.  It can be be downloaded from or call (516) 624-4971.

Charles Henry Miller (1842-1922) painted many of the island's mill ponds, windmills, watermills, and other landmarks.  Geoffery K. Flemming and Ruth Ann Bramson are co-authors of Charles Henry Miller, N.A.: Painter of Long Island, published by the Southold Historical Society.  An exhibition of Miller's paintings, curated by Mr. Flemming, is at the Suffolk County Historical Society in Riverhead through February 8, 2012.

Robert S. Grumet is the author of First Manhattans: Indians of Greater New York (a 276-page paperback), which is a shorter version of his more comprehensive and scholarly, The Munsee Indians: A History.  Each book includes western Long Island.  John Strong's Unkechaug Indians of Eastern Long Island: A History focuses on the Native Americans whose Poospatuck Reservation is in Mastic.

Christopher Vaccaro's Hofstra Sports is due early in 2012 and joins his Long Island High School Sports, each published by Arcadia.  Jack Whitehouse has published two books recently with History Press: Fire Island: Heroes & Villains on Long Island's Wild Shore and Sayville Orphan Heroes: The Cottages of St. Ann's.

All twenty volumes of the Long Island Historical Journal (1988-2008) have been digitized and are now available on-line; printed copies are available in many libraries.  Since 2009, the Long Island History Journal (note the slight change of name) has been published twice a year as an on-line, open access journal.

Some Long Island newspapers have been digitized and are available on-line. See and Suffolk Historic Newspapers.  The Long Island Memories web site also includes postcards and photographs.  Our own web site,, as a listing of all articles published in our Journal since 1989 (earlier years are included in published indexes).

Natalie A. Naylor

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