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Photo of the Week


"How shall we know it is us without our past?"
- John Steinbeck

by Wendy Polhemus-Annibell, Head Librarian

Old Schoolhouse, Smithtown, erected circa 1802. The schoolhouse was built around 1802 in the Village of the Branch, Smithtown, on the land of Epenetus Smith II, between his tavern and the Presbyterian Meeting House. The one-room school had a large fireplace but the classroom had no maps or blackboards, so the students wrote on pieces of slate with chalk. The classroom also had no plumbing and was heated by a small, wood stove.

When the school district was organized under state law in 1816, the district purchased the building. Walt Whitman taught at the school in 1837-38. The original schoolhouse was replaced in 1869 by New Academy. James Darling bought the old building for $300 in 1868, and moved it to its present location on Singer Lane (old Route 111), where it's been used as a residence and as the site of local businesses.

Suggested Readings: Noel J. Gish, Smithtown, New York, 1660– 1929: Looking Back Through the Lens, and NYSRTA, Old Schoolhouses of Long Island

Exhibit Opening Tomorrow! Join us tomorrow, Saturday, July 15, 1:00 p.m., for the opening of a new exhibition, On This Site: The Indigenous People of Suffolk County, an art-based photography exhibit by Shinnecock artist Jeremy Dennis that aims to create awareness of and help preserve culturally significant and sacred Native American sites in Suffolk County. Admission is free to all. Complimentary wine & cheese and light refreshments will be served. On exhibit July 15 - Sept. 30, 2017.

Upcoming BOOK & BOTTLE Events at SCHS

July 27: Jeremy Dennis, Indigenous People of the Twin Forks
Aug. 24: William Konstant, Recovery of the Bald Eagle
Oct. 7: Bob Giffen, One Little River & Sportsmen's Club
Nov. 2:  Kerriann Brosky, Historic Crimes of Long Island

Call 631-727-2881 x100 to Register!

Suffolk County Pine Barrens Exhibit Tours

The Suffolk County Water Authority Education Center will hold special tours of the Suffolk County Pine Barrens Exhibit, on loan from the Suffolk County Historical Society. The educational exhibit provides an overview of the Pine Barrens and the critical role this region plays in the protection of our county's precious groundwater. The tours will be held on July 20 and August 17, at 12 noon and 1:00 pm, and will also include an interactive water workshop and a fun quiz game for kids. The SCWA Education Center is located at 260 Motor Pkwy in Hauppauge. Call 631-292-6565 or email EdCenterTours@SCWA.com for more information. 


The Suffolk County Historical Society’s PHOTO OF THE WEEK Series is created by librarian Wendy Polhemus-Annibell using historic primary source materials from our local history library’s extensive archives. To subscribe, visit our website or send an email request to Wendy at wannibell@schs-museum.org.

Interested in seeing more historical photos from the Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society? Spend an afternoon at our Local History Library perusing our extensive archival photography collections. We're open Weds. - Sat., 12:30 - 4:30 PM.

To view our Photo of the Week archives, visit our website at www.SuffolkCountyHistoricalSociety.org.

If you've been enjoying our Photo of the Week, please consider becoming a member of SCHS.

From the Civil War to civil rights, revolutions to restorations, spies to suffragists, boatbuilders to bootleggers, and whalers to wineries, Long Island's history comes alive at the Suffolk County Historical Society!

The Suffolk County Historical Society, founded in 1886, collects and preserves the rich history of Suffolk County and beyond. We offer a history museum, art galleries, a research library and archives, and a multitude of exhibits, programs, and educational lectures and workshops year-round. Our unique collections reflect more than three centuries of Long Island history. Click here to learn about Member Benefits!


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