If you wanted to hunt foxes, play polo, or just train horses around New York in the late 1800s, Long Island was the place to go. On the latest episode of The Long Island History Project, we explore this equestrian heritage with our guest Katie Robbins. Our subject is Katie’s ancestor Clarence H. Robbins, consumate cross country rider, horse trainer, and master of the hounds. He ran with Belmonts and Vanderbilts while avoiding the limelight himself although later generations would come to know his son, noted fantasy author Tod Robbins. [Read more…] about Equestrian Heritage on Long Island
The latest episode of The Long Island History Project delves into the life of a professional genealogist.
Linda Metzger reveals how she turned a passion into a profession along with thoughts on Long Island’s founding families, the traits of a good genealogist, and the impact of telling stories. [Read more…] about Long Island History Project: Life of a Professional Genealogist
Lake Ronkonkoma on Long Island had hit rock bottom by 2016. The once famous resort area had become a dumping ground for garbage, construction waste and worse. To clean it up, to restore it to the natural conditions enjoyed by visitors and residents of centuries past, would be a historic rennovation of massive proportions. [Read more…] about Saving Long Island’s Lake Ronkonkoma
What secrets lurk in the depths of Lake Ronkonkoma on Long Island? In our interview with Evelyn Vollgraff, president of the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society, we discuss the development of this area from Indian settlement to early 20th-century resort. Located near the geographical center of the island and its largest freshwater lake, Ronkonkoma has been a prominent landmark for centuries. Also joining us is Danielle Campbell of News Channel 12 who, through her own reporting, has highlighted the uniqueness of the region. [Read more…] about Lake Ronkonkoma: The Long Island History Project
A whaling frenzy gripped the East End of Long Island in the mid-1600s. Prominent settlers in the area fought the elements and each other to pursue this often brutal, bloody, yet extremely profitable trade. And the most sought-after crews were drawn from the local Native American population: Shinnecock, Unkechaug, and Montauketts.
Dr. John Strong, professor emeritus of Southampton College, documents this history in his latest book, America’s Early Whalemen: Indian Shore Whalers on Long Island, 1650-1750. Combing records and primary sources from across the Island, he pieces together a portrait of a neglected period of American history. [Read more…] about Early Whaling on Long Island
Author and historian Kerriann Flanagan Brosky has found an engaging way to teach local history: add in ghosts. With her partner Joe Giaquinto, she has made a specialty of investigating historic hauntings across Long Island. On the latest episode of The Long Island History Project, she shares her experiences with the paranormal and how it’s affected her everyday life. [Read more…] about Ghosts of Long Island Local History
Volunteer fire departments have existed on Long Island since the 1800s, many of them growing out of the great estates that lined the Great South Bay. Fast forward to the 1990s, when a group of firefighters in Islip decide to form their own museum to preserve this history.
Tom Rinelli, historian of the Islip Town Fire & EMS Museum, tells this story on the latest episode of The Long Island History Project. We discuss vintage fire trucks, notable fires, strange devices, and the challenge of building and running an all-volunteer museum with no taxpayer dollars. [Read more…] about Islip Town Fire & EMS Museum (Podcast)
With the story of the Culper Spy Ring enjoying a renaissance, we talk with Margo Arceri of Strong’s Neck in Setauket, Long Island, who heard the story of from the great-great-granddaughter of one of the spies herself. She went on to found Tri-Spy Tours and Culper Spy Day while also working with the Three Village Historical Society.
As a bonus, we also had Danielle Campbell join the conversation. Danielle is an anchor and reporter for News 12 Long Island and produces the Long Island’s Hidden Past segment for the cable channel. [Read more…] about Anna Smith Strong: Patriot and Spy
Behind every great woman is another great woman and Natalie Naylor is bringing them all to light. Her book Women in Long Island’s Past (History Press, 2012), highlights the accomplished and acclaimed women who have been connected to Long Island over the centuries.
From early Algonquian sunksquaws to 20th century suffragists, from First Ladies to famous flyers, Natalie gives us a wide-ranging look at what women have accomplished on the Island. Just some of the notables include Julia Gardiner Tyler, Ethel Roosevelt Derby, Elinor Smith, and Barbara McClintock. [Read more…] about Notable Women In Long Island History
From 1959 to 1973, the Long Island Ducks brought their signature style of hockey to the Long Island Arena in Commack. Aggressive, hard-nosed, and always entertaining, they remain a point of local pride. They’ve also entered the popular culture. Paul Newman’s character in the 1977 movie Slap Shot was based on Duck’s captain John Brophy.
Chris Vaccaro, director of the Sufolk Sports Hall of Fame, relates the history of the Duck franchise within the context of the Eastern Hockey League and the sports cutlure of the time. As an added bonus, Connie Currie shares her own first-hand experiences attending Ducks games in the 1960s. [Read more…] about A Tumultuous History of Long Island Ducks Hockey