Nassau County Historical Society

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From: The Nassau County Historical Society Journal, 73 (2018): p-p.

The Last Word, 2018

On November 11, 1918, an armistice ended the Great War that had begun in Europe in 1914, which the United States joined in 1917. Two articles in this issue indicate how Nassau County was directly affected by the war, now generally called World War I. “Nassau County’s Camp Mills in the Great War, 1917-1918” and “Prevailing Winds: Mitchel Air Force Base on the Hempstead Plains” each describes military activities in the center of the county. The article on the Hempstead Plains provides background on the earlier history of the Plains. Long Island mills and particularly the Saddle Rock Grist Mill are the subject of the final article in this issue. It traces some of the history of the mills with an update on the current status of the Saddle Rock mill.

Natalie A. Naylor

President’s Report

We continue providing interesting programs on diverse historical topics for our members and guests. In February, the subject was “The Culper Spy Ring in the Revolutionary War,” while in April we had a talk on “Suffragents: How Women Used Men to Get the Vote.” Our June meeting was on “The Land of Moses: Robert Moses and Modern Long Island.” We partnered with the Garden City Historical Society in September for a talk on “Architect Olive Tjaden: Designing Suburbia in Garden City and Beyond”—the subject of an article in our 2016 Journal. More than a hundred attended the program, followed by a reception at the Historical Society’s Apostle House Museum. Our Annual Meeting and Luncheon in October was at the historic Hendrick’s Tavern in Roslyn, co-chaired by Madalyn Klein and Betsey Murphy. “Dancing into History with Vernon and Irene Castle,” featured not only a history of dance and the Castles’ dance team on Long Island, but demonstrations of dances. We concluded the year in December with a presentation on “Marjorie Merriweather Post and Hillwood, Her Long Island Estate.” Names of all the speakers as well as programs scheduled in 2019 are inside the front cover of this Journal.  (Full descriptions are listed on the website under Calendar.)

At our Annual Meeting, five trustees whose terms expired this year were re-elected to the Class of 2023. Two new trustees were elected to the Class of 2019, Gary Monti and Paul van Wie. Mr. Monti has an article in this year’s Journal on Mitchel Field. Dr. van Wie’s article on “Architectural Heritage and Landmarks Preservation in the Town of Hempstead” appeared in our 2017 issue; he became Assistant Editor of the Journal in 2017.

Officers re-elected at our November Board meeting are Natalie Naylor, President; Janet Bergholtz, Recording Secretary; Barbara Haynes, Corresponding Secretary; Madalyn Klein, Assistant Corresponding Secretary; Lawrence Jones, Treasurer; and Natalie Naylor, Journal Editor. Richard Althaus and Scott Fairgrieve were elected 1stst and 2d Vice Presidents respectively. Denward W. Collins III continues as our Webmaster and Membership Chair; he also maintains our e-mail Announce List. Also continuing are Betsey Murphy, our Hospitality Chair, and Stephanie Bird, who is in charge of our publicity. All of our trustees are listed inside the front cover. This organization could not exist without the continuing work of these volunteers.  Names of all the officers and trustees are listed inside the front cover this Journal (and on the web site at Board of Trustees).

Under a grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, library students at LIU-Post are digitizing the contents of our Journal. When this project is completed, we plan to have all articles from when the Journal began in 1937 available on our website. We already have Journal indexes on the website.

Our collections of books and manuscripts are at the Long Island Studies Institute in Hofstra University’s Axinn Library. We continue to receive contributions, including photographs and maps. Of particular note this year was a 1657 Hempstead deed which former trustee Robert Rushmore donated. The Society purchased an Account Book for the Saddle Rock Grist Mill covering the years from 1823 to 1848.

The Society’s collections have been on long-term loan to Nassau County’s museum system since the early 1960s. The library materials are available at Hofstra, but most of the artifacts are now stored in a county warehouse and inaccessible. Several trustees met with County Executive Laura Curran and three of her staff in April to discuss these collections, and we raised the idea of a permanent county historical museum, similar to the one which had been at Eisenhower Park from the 1960s into the 1980s. A dozen of the trustees visited the warehouse in Westbury in June where the artifacts are stored. We plan to pursue possibilities for a county history museum.

Natalie A. Naylor

Historical News

The large mural that was in the former Hicksville Sears Roebuck store since the 1960s has found a new home in the Town of Oyster Bay’s Hicksville Athletic Center. The conserved mural, now in a wooden frame, was unveiled at the end of October. The 9 x 16-foot map of Long Island has portraits of a number of men associated with Long Island, including Theodore Roosevelt and Walt Whitman.

Theodore Roosevelt: A Man for the Modern World exhibition opens January 6, 2019 at Sagamore Hill [delayed by federal government shutdown]. It is a celebration of the presidency and legacy of TR (in the Museum at Old Orchard, open Wed.-Sun., 10-5; free).

The Association of Suffolk County Historical Societies (ASCHS) expanded its scope to include Nassau County historical societies, changing its name to Long Island Historical Societies. The Nassau County Historical Society has joined this organization which holds quarterly meetings.

Nassau sites recently approved for the National Register of Historic Places include the Hempstead Town Hall complex, Pine Hollow Cemetery in Oyster Bay, and Mitchel Field Flight Line and Air Base. Sites in Suffolk include Wardenclyffe Laboratories in Shoreham, Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse in Brentwood, and the Amagansett U.S. Life-Saving and Coast Guard Station.

For Hempstead Village's 375th Anniversary, Reine Bethany, the Village Historian, researched all the village mayors and presidents (their title before 1927) since it was incorporated in 1852. She examined the minutes to determine dates, and old newspapers for additional information on their accomplishments, which were Brief notes: on the walls of the Hempstead Village Hall Courtroom.

The Suffolk County Historical Society is constructing a new entrance wing to make its museum and library handicap accessible. Its 2018 Journal has articles from its WWI symposium.

Natalie A. Naylor

Other Messages:
2018 Message
2017 Message
2016 Message
2015 Message
2014 Message
2013 Message
2012 Message
2011 Message
2010 Message
2009 Message
2008 Message
2007 Message

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