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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

Yaphank School House, c. 1910. (Image from the Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library Archives. Copyright © Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved.)

This image of school children enjoying recess time outside their octagonal-shaped school house in Yaphank is from the turn of the century. However, the building was likely built in the mid- to late 1800s, when eight-sided buildings were all the rage. Some still survive on Long Island, in Huntington, Brentwood, and elsewhere. Octagonal-shaped buildings were thought to be good for the health. That notion appears to have come from a nineteenth-century book titled Octagon House: A Home for All, in which author Orson Fowler claimed the increased light and ventilation of the building's shape contributed to a healthier indoor environment.


The Suffolk County Historical Society’s PHOTO OF THE WEEK Series is created by head research 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 librarian@schs-museum.org 

Interested in seeing more historical documents from the Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society? Spend an afternoon at our Local History Research Library perusing our extensive 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.



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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!


Copyright © 2017 Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved. No part of this electronic document may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the Suffolk County Historical Society.