Tag Archives: Long Island

Oyster Bay Railroad Station Restoration Tour Nov 4th


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Theodore Roosevelt departing the historic Oyster Bay Railroad Station circa 1900The Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities (SPLIA) has partnered with the Historic Oyster Bay Railroad Station to organize a behind-the-scenes tour on Saturday, November 4 from 2 to 4 pm.

The tour will take a behind-the-scenes look at the ongoing restoration of the historic station once used by President Theodore Roosevelt to travel between his residence at Sagamore Hill and Washington D.C. Continue reading

Rockville Centre Walking Tour And Reception Planned


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St. Agnes Cathedral - Rockville Centre LIRR Station The Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities (SPLIA) has partnered with the Rockville Centre to organize a behind-the-scenes tour on Saturday, October 28 from 11 am to 2 pm.

Explore the historic heart of Rockville Centre with Village Historian, Marilyn Nunes Devlin, including the St. Agnes Cathedral, the Village Hall, and the Church of the Ascension. The tour will conclude with a reception at the restored Victorian-era Phillips House Museum. Continue reading

Long Island: Mather House Museum Complex Tour


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Mather House Museum courtesy Historical Society of Greater Port JeffersonThe Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities (SPLIA) has partnered with the Mather House Museum Complex in Port Jefferson, to provide a behind-the-scenes tour on Saturday, October 21, from 2 to 4 pm.

Port Jefferson Historical Society’s Mather Museum Complex curator Laura Warren will lead the tour. The tour will look at the museum’s new archives building and delve into the facility’s planning, design, and realization. Continue reading

Long Island Exhibit: TR’s Hunter-Conservationist Legacy


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TR’s Hunter-Conservationist exhibitSagamore Hill National Historic Site has opened a new exhibit at the Old Orchard Museum honoring Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy as a hunter-conservationist.

The exhibit, entitled “Conservation from Here,” pairs original artwork by artist Joseph Rossano with historic artifacts from the Sagamore Hill collection that reflect Roosevelt’s fondness for wildlife and the outdoors.

Rossano’s five pieces hang in the front hall of the museum depicting a bear, a deer, a bison, a pronghorn, and an elk based on etchings on one of Theodore Roosevelt’s rifles. The images were rendered onto wood that came from a recently fallen copper beech tree at Sagamore Hill. The ink used to create the artwork was made from the tree’s bark. Continue reading

Utopia: The Village of Modern Times


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Among_the_Pines_Brentwood_NYOne spring morning, readers of the New York Tribune opened the paper to discover the surprising news that Utopia had appeared overnight. Where inequality, strife, turmoil, mutual hatred, and oppression had previously ruled over human history, in this new place, men and women were said to be, even now, living together in a state of peace, harmony, and equity.

Readers were surprised, even disbelieving. Others, who had followed certain hints and implications, wondered if this might be, perhaps, the fulfillment of certain obscure promises by the great reformers of the day: the Greeleys, the Ballous, the Comtes. Continue reading

Thoreau’s Long Island Railroad Sojourn


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Thompson’s Station “About ninety years ago, there was born in Concord, Mass, a boy who never really grew to be a man, though he lived forty-four years. It is true that he got to be tall and strong, with a deep bass voice; that he wore a beard, and that from all external appearances he would have at once been taken for a full-sized man. But at heart he was always a boy. He never got over the habit of looking at things from a boy’s point of view. Instead of regarding the world as a place for serious business, where men must work so many hours a day and produce so many dollars’ worth of goods, and till the fields and labor hard in factories, or offices, or stores, and ‘get along’ – instead of all these things, he always seemed to consider the world as a great, fine, glorious playground — a place to be enjoyed and appreciated. This man-boy was Henry David Thoreau.” – From Gilbert P. Coleman’s “The Man Who Was Always A Boy.” Continue reading

SPLIA ‘Collecting Long Island’ Exhibit Opening


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Oyster Bay millThe Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities (SPLIA) will open a new exhibit on September 15th. The exhibit is titled Collecting Long Island, and the objects come from all over the island, from the Hamptons to Old Westbury.

This display of regional paintings and decorative arts, most on public view for the first time, will present new discoveries and encourage visitors to look at objects through the eye of the collector to understand how we know what we know about the things Long Islanders have made, used, and cherished for centuries. Continue reading

The Extinction of the Long Island Heath Hen


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Turvey Heath Hen IllustrationRecently, the federal government of the United States relaxed land-use restrictions designed protecting the greater sage-grouse, hoping the change might spur economic development via increased oil and gas excavation and expansion of cattle grazing areas. The grouse, a strange chicken-sized bird known for its flamboyant displays of plumage and bizarre, warbling vocalizations, once made its home on the great western prairies of the United States and numbered in the millions. Where settlers once encountered birds blanketing the landscape, today a mere five-hundred thousand remain.

A similar bird once inhabited the more eastern portions of the United States. The heath hen, a sub-species of grouse, exhibiting a similar appearance and familiar behaviors, extended along the coast as far North as Massachusetts, South to Virginia, and East to Pennsylvania. In New York, an environment of scrub oak and pine trees made Long Island an attractive home for the hens. Their habitat stretched from the pine barrens of Suffolk County west to the Hempstead Plains. (John Bull in his Birds of New York State notes that they may have also appeared in the scrub and sand plains west of Albany). As in other locations, it is generally assumed that here, a combination of hunting and habitat change led to the hens extinction. Still, it is only an educated assumption – the the Long Island heath hen and the causes for its extinction have gone largely unexplored. Continue reading

DEC Acquires Historic Setauket Property for Conservation


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dec logoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has acquired 17 acres of woodland in the historic maritime hamlet of Setauket. The property will be added to Patriots Hollow State Forest.

The property, the former Fitzsimmons Farm, is located in the Old Setauket Historic District within the watershed of the Long Island Sound. Its protection is cited in the 2016 Open Space Conservation Plan, released by Governor Andrew Cuomo in December, as a priority acquisition for protection of the Long Island Sound Watershed. The $3,400,000 purchase was paid for with funds from the state’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). Continue reading