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Index to Report Sections
President,   Grant Announcement,   Executive Coordinator,   Collections Committee,   Treasurer,
Education,   Resource Center,   Genealogy Workshop,   Education Outreach,
Volunteers of the Year:  Robin HornKathy Bartone,   Richard Holliday,
Outstanding Contributions:  Toby Kissam

     Huntington Historical Society 2009 Annual Report
January 1, 2009 – December 31, 2009

For the 106th Annual Meeting
of the
Huntington
Historical Society
209 Main Street
Huntington, NY 11743

      To be Held June 6, 2010
At the Dr. Daniel W. Kissam House

Board of Directors                 Society Staff
(As of December 31, 2009)


Carl Lawrence                                   Robert “Toby” Kissam
President                                           Executive Coordinator

 Steven Scialdone                            Wendy Andersen
1st Vice-President                           Director of Education
                                                           
Maria DeLeo
Michael Ullrich                                   Office Coordinator
2nd Vice-President                          
Claudia Fortunato
                                                            Fundraising and Event Planner
Patricia Ernst                                     Cathi Horowitz
Co-Treasurer                                    Educational Outreach Coordinator
                                                            
Karen Martin
Lilian Najarian                                   Archivist
Co-Treasurer                                     
Marianne Reuter
                                                            Bookkeeper
Marie Failey                                       Irene Sniffen
Secretary                                            Librarian
                                                            
Luci Blohm, Mary Lou Brown
Sean Bickoff                                       Assistant Volunteers
David Clemens                                    
Margaret Guardi                                Consultants
Katherine Stevens                             Andrea Lammers Miller
Danna Strong                                     Portico Editor
                                                            
James Savalli
                                                             Media
                                                            
Robin Horn
                                                             Registrar

To Our Members and Friends

 We have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented in the Annual Report.  If we have failed to acknowledge your contribution, financial or otherwise, made during the period covered in this report (January 1 through December 31, 2009), please know that the oversight is purely unintentional.  Likewise, if we have misspelled your name or misrepresented any other information, we sincerely apologize.  Please report any errors to the Huntington Historical Society office by calling 631-427- 7045, ext. 401or by emailing mdeleo@HuntingtonHistoricalSociety.org.

MISSION: The Huntington Historical Society is the focal point for preserving the ongoing heritage of the Town of Huntington.  We support this mission through public education programs, maintaining museums, collections and a regional research center; promoting the preservation of historic buildings and sites; and by partnering with local and regional institutions.

 Public Education Programs: Sheep to Shawl, Apple Festival, Lecture Series, Passport to the Past Summer Camp, Conklin House School Program, Kissam House School Program and Genealogy workshops.

                    

 Maintaining Museums, Collections and a Regional Research Center: Interpretive exhibits and tours at the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Building, Kissam House Tours, Conklin House Tours; Acquisitions and Preservation of artifacts, fine arts, textiles and costumes; Providing access to local, regional and national researchers to thousands of documents, maps, photos, family histories, newspaper articles from our Archives.

                                

Preservation and Maintenance of Seven Historic Buildings.

                    

Partnering with local and regional institutions:
THHP, Nathan Hale Garden Club, Exhibits at Huntington Town Hall and local libraries.

 

President's Report 
              As I complete my first year as President of the Society, I must say it is a distinct privilege to be associated with such an outstanding organization.  The past year has been extremely difficult for non-profit and cultural institutions of all kinds. However, owing to the relentless work of our staff, the board, and countless volunteers, The Huntington Historical Society has come through this year on firm economic footing, having once again provided extraordinary service and programs to our citizens, and stands poised for a great and robust future.

             Once again we have had great success with our public programs, including Sheep to Shawl, Antique Show, Evening of Wine Under the Stars, Apple Festival and Historic House Tour. Our year-round educational programs and our summer camp, Passport to the Past, brought history alive to hundreds of our area’s children.

             We completed the remodeling of the interior of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building. This beautiful museum space was made to shine for all our residents at our wonderful reopening. We have been working on the opening of a fascinating exhibit at the Conklin House focusing on Dr. Samuel Teich, a medical hero of World War II and a bulwark of the Huntington Station community, where he practiced from the 1940’s to the 1980’s. We have received the news of a truly substantial capital grant which will allow for restoration of the Trade School.

              We must acknowledge the outstanding contributions of three departing trustees, Lil Najarian, Pat Ernst and Steve Scialdone. Lil and Pat, always in the background, working feverishly to insure the preparation and smooth operation of our public programs. And Steve….getting his knuckles dirty at his weekend work details at the Conklin and Kissam properties. And of course, we have to recognize the truly Herculean work of our volunteer Executive Coordinator, Toby Kissam. Since stepping in at an extremely difficult time, Toby has truly placed the Society on his shoulders with nary a complaint and not nearly enough thanks from all of us.

             Like many of you, as a longtime Huntington resident, I feel a tingle of pride every time I drive into town past the Trade School and Soldiers and Sailors, or stuck at the light on New York Avenue next to the Conklin House, or cutting up Woodhull Road past the Kissam House. In appreciation of all of your support over the past year, I am

Sincerely yours,
Carl M. Lawrence, President

 

Announcement: Society Awarded $400,000 Grant for Archives
         
Governor Patterson has announced that the Huntington Historical Society will receive a $400,000 grant to restore the Trade School building and construct an addition to provide additional storage capacity for its ever-growing archival collection.

Since its founding in 1903, the Huntington Historical Society has been in the forefront in preserving Long Island’s history.  Over the century of its existence, the Society has acquired an extensive collection of archival material dating from the Town’s founding in the seventeenth century through the twentieth century.  The collection is housed in the 1905 Trade School Building, one of four National Register properties owned by the historical society.  The grant will allow the Society to restore the Trade School building and erect a sympathetic addition to provide additional climate controlled space for its highly valuable archive of historic materials.  (See sketch below)

The grant will be matched by funds previously raised for this project—including funds raised pursuant to a challenge grant issued by Doris Buffett Bryant in 1999..

The Trade School building was constructed in 1905 to house the Huntington Sewing and Trade School, which had been established in 1886 to teach girls how to sew.  The building was constructed in the heart of Huntington’s civic center, across the street from what was then the town library (the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Building is now an exhibit space also owned by the historical society).  The school developed into a co-educational vocational school for children as well as immigrant adults.  When the school went out of business in the 1930s, the building was taken over by the local school district and then later by the Town government. 

The Society acquired the Trade School building in 1982 after the Town consolidated its offices into a new Town Hall.  The Society moved its administrative offices and resource center from cramped quarters in one of its house museums to the Trade School Building in 1983.  At that time, the building provided enough space for the administrative offices on the top floor, new exhibit space on the Main Street level and the resource center (which includes an extensive archives of historic materials dating to the Town’s establishment in 1653) on the lower level.  Within ten years, however, the archival collection in the resource center had grown to such an extent that the exhibit space had to be sacrificed.  Now after the continued growth of the archives collection, the two floors devoted to the resource center are not enough.  Construction of a 2,300 square foot addition will more than double the space available for preservation of the archival collection without adversely impacting the architecture or historic character of the existing building.  The building will continue to be maintained and preserved by the historical society and its members as it has been for the past quarter century.

With this project, the total value of historic preservation projects within the Old Town Hall Historic District since 2004 will be over one million dollars.  Previous projects include the restoration of the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Building and the Old Burying Ground.

In addition, more climate-controlled space is needed to provide sufficient storage capacity for the Society’s extensive archival collection.   As currently envisioned, the proposed addition would be two stories: one exiting on Main Street (Route 25A) on the south side of the building while the floor below would be at grade on Gerard Street on the north side of the building.  The addition would be set back 13’ from the front façade of the Trade School building so as to not obscure the front portion of the side façade, which features decorative elements.  In other words, the impact on the architectural and historic character of the existing building would be minimized.  The lower level of the addition would provide state-of-the-art climate controlled archival storage space with rolling shelving to maximize capacity.  The Main Street level would serve as the reading room in which researchers would do their work.  This room, unlike the current building, would be made accessible to wheelchair users and would allow ADA access to the main floor of the existing building.

 Robert Hughes
Town Historian

 

Executive Coordinator’s Report:
A year ago I finished the second of two consecutive three terms as a trustee and agreed to assume the volunteer role of executive coordinator.  I continue to serve in that role until the end of the 2010 calendar year. 

 Throughout the 2009 year, the Huntington Historical Society struggled with meeting fund raising levels set out in the 2009 budget.  There were less than anticipated revenues on most of the major revenue line items in the budget, including membership, antiques show, governmental grants and other financially lesser, but no less significant events such as the Sheep to Shawl and Apple Festivals.  It was in the light of these less than anticipated revenues that the decision was made by the board to lower the cost side of the budget by eliminating the paid position of executive director. 

Financial success in the 2009 wine tasting event and holiday house tour allowed the Society to finish the year close to the revised balanced budget.  This was done with an amazing effort by both volunteers and the part time staff personnel. Our education and outreach programs were continued under the guidance and expertise of Wendy Andersen and Cathi Horowitz.  Marianne Reuter continues to handle our business management and reports, and our office continues under the management of Maria DeLeo.  All did an admirable job in light of the hardships presented during the year. 

Our office volunteers, Mary Lou Brown and Lucie Blohm also helped the Society get through a very difficult year.  Tom Ernst continued managing our web-site which is becoming increasingly important in marketing the events and efforts of the Society.  A new position of fund raiser/event planner was established as a part time position and Claudia Fortunato was hired and has ably fulfilled the duties of that job. We continue to be fortunate in staffing the archives and library three days a week with our archivist Karen Martin and librarian Irene Sniffen.  Volunteers Bill Chamberlain and Richard Holliday have done remarkable work with the Genealogy Workshop Newsletter.  Finally, our Museum shop, manned by volunteers and coordinated by Helen Mahoney, although also suffering from the economy, made a major contribution to the revenue side of the budget.  I wish to thank every one of our amazing staff and volunteers for all their contributions to running the Society and for all they have done to help me in my role as executive coordinator.

Respectfully submitted,
Toby Kissam

 

Collections Committee Report

 The Collections Committee has completed several projects during 2009, among which were a number of exciting new exhibits.  Work progressed on accessioning, de-accessioning, reviewing donations and ongoing preservation of the collections.  Data entry into PastPerfect (museum software) has resumed due to Robin Horn’s gracious offer to volunteer as our registrar.  Twenty objects were received into the collection and one item, a 19th century parasol, was de-accessioned due to poor condition. We had one painting, the portrait of James Brooks Kissam, sent for conservation.

 Exhibits:

April ’09 the committee installed a sports exhibit at the Huntington Public Library.  The title was: “Baseball and Other Sports in the Town of Huntington.”  The exhibit featured sports that were played by local families of the early 20th century.  We presented a number of sports memorabilia that had been donated by town residents from their Huntington ancestors.  The exhibit included a 1905 Loving Cup Trophy (baseball), ice skates from 1862, a 1917 golf bag with clubs, balls, and tees, and a variety of historic photos of local teams and individuals to illuminate the sports.  Karen Martin, archivist, researched and provided the copies of the photos.

 May ’09 through September ’09 there was a Shawl Exhibit at the Kissam House.  There were 16 shawls ranging from 1850 through the early 20th century.  Victorian wool paisley shawls five and six feet square were exhibited along with art deco linen net stoles decorated with flat strips of silver and imported from Egypt.  Silk shawls embellished with colored floral embroidery and bearing fringes up to eighteen inches deep were hung on mannequins.  Small plain wool shawls and black lace shawls were hung from mantels and over furniture.

 June ’09 we had an American Flag Exhibit at the Kissam House Barn where we hosted the annual meeting of the Bethpage-Farmingdale Historical Society on Flag Day.  The exhibit included examples of flags that flew in Huntington during the Civil War, the Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, Korean and Vietnam Wars.

 July ’09 the Huntington Town Hall held an exhibit to which they invited local organizations to share their artifacts.  The exhibit was “The Legacy of the Revolution in Huntington.”  Although this exhibit lasted several months, our costumes were only on view for the opening ceremony due to reasons of security.  A silk brocade vest circa 1775-1800, belonging to John Lefferts, and an 18th century pair of black satin man’s breeches were displayed on a table in the Town Hall’s archives.

 August ’09 our exhibit “Huntington Entrepreneurs” was installed at the Conklin Farmhouse.  This exhibit stayed up through early 2010.  The exhibit combined family histories with documents, photographs and unique artifacts of businesses which operated in Huntington during the 19th and 20th centuries.  The exhibit was curated by Karen Martin.

 October ’09 “Fashion Accessories from Huntington’s Past” was exhibited at the Huntington Public Library.  This exhibit featured about 45 items from the late 19th century to the early 20th century.  Items such as hair jewelry, motoring goggles, lorgnettes, engageants, miser bags and feather fans showed off Huntington’s love of finery during that period.

 November ’09 the fashion accessories exhibit was moved to the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building where it remains today.

 December ’09 a costume exhibit was installed at the Kissam House in preparation for the annual Holiday Historic House Tour.  This exhibit featured late 19th century ladies’ gowns.

 From May ’09 through May ’10 the Society loaned a number of Civil War artifacts to the Suffolk County Historical Society in Riverhead to be displayed along with the SCHS’s collection and those of other institutions.  On loan, among many other items, were: an officer’s frock coat, a kepi hat, the Hewlett Long Presentation Sword, a Currier & Ives document.

 Also on loan from the summer of 2009 through the end of the year were photographs of the Society’s collection of postcards as part of an exhibit at the newly restored Huntington train Station.

 The Collections committee would like to thank the dedicated staff and volunteers who gave so much help to assist with all aspects of the committee’s work.  In addition, the committee would like to thank Toby Kissam and his crew of very strong men who build and paint exhibit walls, set up lighting and transport all the heavy equipment needed to create the backdrop of the exhibits.  Volunteers on the committee are Larry Leek, Toby Kissam, Katherine Stevens, Tom and Pat Ernst, Margaret Guardi, Robin Horn, Alice Link, Kate Fais and Lilian Najarian.

 

Treasurer’s Report

 This report represents the financial status of the Huntington Historical Society for the year ending December 31, 2009.  The revenue was $319,425 with expenses at $312,139.

 2009 was a challenging year for the Society.  On the one hand, we were impacted by the crisis in our economy.  Donations were down from the previous year as was the funding from government, membership, shopping at our museum shop, and rental income.  Even the weather seemed to be against us.  It poured a very cold rain at each of our two community festivals, Apple Festival and Sheep to Shawl Festival, causing a drop in attendance and therefore in donations.

 On the other hand, despite a pouring rain, we had the most successful Wine Tasting fundraiser in the history of the Society.  The financial and in-kind support from that fundraiser went a long way to compensate the above mentioned drop in funding.

 In May, 2009 the finance committee concluded that if our finances continued without our previous support, we would be $20,000 over our budget by year’s end.  As a result, the committee and the board had to make the most difficult decision to eliminate the job of paid director in the middle of the year.  Since then, our leadership has been provided by an unpaid executive coordinator.  This has enabled us to continue providing all our mission programs.  As the economy improves, we hope to reach the point when we can again offer a paid director’s position.

                                                 Fiscal Year 2009 Operating Statement

Support and Revenue                 $                   Expenses                                         $

Membership                             20,045            Membership                                     3,293
Annual Appeal                         10,110
Special Events                         85,620             Fundraising &
Programs                                 46,934             Special Events                                26,577
Grants                                      61,000
Museum Shop                          18,414             Programs (includes
Donations   *                              7,613                  personnel)                                159,591
Dividends & interest *                8,023              Museum Shop Sales                      10,751
Publications                                 986               Publications                                       423
Rental Income                         39,940              Building Use (includes                    45,816
Net Realized and                     20,740                   insurance, fees, sewer tax
Unrealized gain (loss)                                        as well as upkeep & repairs)
On investments*                                                                                                                                                

      Total Revenue=                319,425                               Total Expense=           312,139

* These items include some temporary and permanently restricted funds

 

Included in Grants received in 2009:

Town of Huntington: operating expenses: $55,000
New York State Assemblyman, Andrew Raia: program development: $1,500
New York State Assemblyman, James D. Conte: educational outreach and school programs: $3,500
Suffolk County Legislator, Jon Cooper: Passport to the Past Program: $1,000
Huntington Arts Council: Funding for Traditional Music for festivals: $500

 The Society gratefully acknowledges the support of its members and many friends.  We will continue to ask for your ongoing financial support.  Without such support we would no longer exist.  Perhaps you will consider increasing your membership level or asking your friends to join.  Perhaps you will consider increasing your donation during next year’s annual appeal.  Perhaps you will consider gifting the Society with stocks.  And, perhaps you will give some thought to including the Society in your estate planning. 

 The committee reports that you will receive today will illustrate the many accomplishments of the Society’s past year – its lectures, festivals, school programs, the preservation of its seven historic buildings, its archives and library, all of which preserve Huntington’s impressive heritage.  Please think about all of this when we ask for your support.

 In closing, I am pleased to say that our preliminary Audit Report states that the Society’s financial statements were presented fairly and in conformity with accounting principles.  There will be three copies of the report available for viewing at today’s annual meeting.  This report will continue to be available for viewing at our main office at the Trade School.  If you would like to have a personal copy, please request such by calling our main office.

Respectfully submitted,
Lilian Najarian, Co-Treasurer

 

Education Report

The year 2009 brought with it yet another successful and productive endeavor for the education programs.  These programs could not achieve such success had it not been for the dedication and assistance demonstrated by the volunteers who unselfishly donated countless hours by helping with the preparation for, execution of, the closing of each and every program.  In 2009 approximately 1,462  students attended Hands on Heritage programs presented at the Conklin and Kissam properties and also at their schools.  These programs were extremely well-received by students and teachers.

 During the year 2009 we sadly had to say good-bye to Alison Seman.  She resigned in order to pursue her career as a teacher.  Thank you Alison for a job well done.  Wendy Andersen was hired in March of 2009 as the new Education Director. After several weeks of training with Cathi Horowitz, JoAnn Paulsen and Virginia West, the Hands on Heritage program continued with great success.

 Back by popular demand for the second year, was the Native American Day program.  On a Sunday afternoon in November many children and their parents were treated to a powerpoint presentation given by Al Sworza which showed where and how the Long Island Native Americans lived.  This was followed by a hands-on lecture of Indian artifacts presented by Rex Metcalf.  Authentic Indian crafts were made by the children which was overseen by volunteers:  MaryLou Brown, Jean Mineo, Virginia West, JoAnn Paulsen, Wendy Andersen, Sue Ekert, Bob West, Monica Manner, Janet Kushnick, Pat Regan, Alf Paulsen, Reggie Kelly and Sabrina and Samantha Amoroso.  During the crafts everybody was treated to a great assortment of food and drinks brought in by Pat and Tom Ernst. The arrangement of food was absolutely beautiful and once again the day was a complete success.   Also, a hearty thank you to Maria DeLeo for promoting the venue and answering the pone calls coming into the office for registration.

 The Passport to the Past program was successful and productive in 2009.  The camp director, Wendy Andersen,presented the hands-on and interactive program.  Many of the former counselors from 2008 returned to continue their roll as counselors for 2009.  A few counselors were brand new.   They worked very hard at making the program as engaging as possible for the campers.   The Kiwanis family services collaborated to allow two children to attend the Passport to the Past program.  The Society received strong feedback from the children and parents.  An example from the survey sent out from some of the parents:”This camp is a great service to the community – thanks!”, “My daughter Loved the program!  We were very impressed by all the projects she brought home!  Great job!”

Approximate total # of school children reached in 2009 : 1,462
Approximate total #  of classes reached in 2009:  72
Approximate total # of attendance to Passport to the Past : 39
Total approximate # of children reached in 2009:  1,501

 The Education Department greatly appreciates all the education volunteers who truly make up the foundation of each and every program.  The Department would also like to thank the education committee for it’s dedication towards ensuring that the education programs continue to enlighten both students’ and teachers’ lives with the history of the Conklin and Kissam families and that of the time in which they lived.

 Respectfully submitted by Wendy Andersen
June 6, 2010

 

Resource Center and Archives Report

In 2009 an exhibit was designed and hosted by the archives staff and volunteers at the Conklin House Gallery.  “Huntington’s Entrepreneurs” highlighted treasures from the archives including photographs, documents, and ephemera together with objects from the museum collection.  Displays focused on the West Neck brickyard, local dairy farms, Paulding’s cider mill, Hartmann’s Department Store, Lockwood Marble Works, Funnell’s Drug Store, Walt Whitman Mall, and photographs of various stores from the past.  We reached out to the community and although only one former business responded a display of items from one of the most popular and best remembered stores in town, Peggy’s Fabric Outlet, were loaned by owner Seymour Weisberg.  The exhibit was well received and fond memories were recalled by the visitors.

 The society was pleased to be one of 1000 recipients of the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ (IMLS) Connecting to Collections Bookshelf, a core set of conservation books and online resources.  They address such topics as the philosophy and ethics of collecting, collections management, emergency preparedness, and conservation issues.

 Staff members attended various seminars and workshops during the year relating to genealogy, archives, and collections care.  With grant funds provided by the Upstate History Alliance a staff member attended several workshops at the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, MA: Basic Paper Repair, Preparing Collection Materials for Exhibition, and Preservation of Scrapbooks.

 Throughout 2009 the archives of the Huntington Historical Society continued to serve the needs of its members, the public, and the society, whether helping a family historian, an experienced researcher or providing research and material for society events.  This would not be possible without the dedication of our volunteers Richard Holliday, Barbara LaMonica, Carol Lesslie, Helen Mahoney, Sue Quinn, and Arthur Sniffin and staff members Irene Sniffin (Librarian and Genealogist) and Karen Martin (Archivist).  Volunteers assist with projects related to exhibitions or collections, such as, processing of collection materials, photographs, and indexing.  Richard Holliday answered requests from across the country from those needing assistance with family history research. 

 The archives provided assistance to over 210 persons during the year either in person, by phone, letter or email.  Half of those contacting us were conducting genealogical research while the rest were interested in the history of their home or business (consulting maps and photographs), a specific aspect of local history or requesting photographs.  We also assisted several local schools with material and research for anniversaries or curriculum.  WLIW contacted us for photographs for a program they were developing on Huntington.  The majority of the people who came to the archives to conduct research reside in the Town of Huntington, a few came from surrounding communities, while others came from New England, Virginia, and Minnesota.  One researcher to access our collections came from the United Kingdom.

Respectfully submitted
Karen L. Martin

 

Genealogy Workshop Report

The Genealogy Workshop of the Huntington Historical Society was founded during the bicentennial year, 1976, by a group of individuals interested in seeking information about their ancestors. The group has 10 monthly activities which include local programs or guest speakers who lecture on a variety of subjects dealing with local, state, and national resources and various how-to-do topics. The meetings are attended by members of the society, as well as the local community, and members of other genealogical organizations.

 The workshop members receive a monthly newsletter which features local, regional, national and international topics, program announcements, queries and member research contributions. This past year 130 copies of the monthly newsletter were mailed to workshop members plus 30 complimentary copies to institutions and media groups.

The workshop sponsors an annual research trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City which is the largest genealogical research facility in the world. Fifteen individuals led by Art and Irene Sniffin spent from six to twelve days at the Library searching for their ancestors in a variety of American and International Records.

 During the year the lectures and activities were as follows:

             In January we held “Family Heirlooms, Treasures, and More” where members shared family artifacts, documents, and the stories associated with the items.

            Dorothy Dougherty, the Program Specialist at the New York Branch of the National Archives, spoke to us about “What Court Records Reveal About Your Ancestors”. 

            Mark Waldron from our group provided a review of online websites currently available for Family History Research. The meeting was held at the Huntington Public Library.

            Art Sniffin our Program Chair lectured on “Memories, Memoirs, and Family Histories”.

            In June we had our annual family picnic meeting and shared food and stories about recent discoveries and breakthroughs in the quest for finding ancestors.

            Maria Liriano, Manager of the Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy at the New York Public Library spoke about “The New York Public Library, One of the World's Largest and Most Accessible Genealogical Collection, Just Got Even Bigger Through the Donation of the Library and Archives Collection of the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society”.

            William Chamberlain, our Newsletter Editor and member of The World Chamberlain Genealogical Society spoke about “How Family Societies and One Name Societies Can Help Break Down Brick Walls”.

            Mark Waldron, a Workshop Member, filled in for a speaker who had last minute problems, and he provided examples of “Programs and Approaches to Maximize the Use of Ancestry.com”. The meeting was held at the Huntington Public Library.

            We ended the year at our Annual Holiday Party with the sharing of food and “MEMORIES”.

 Respectively submitted
Arthur Sniffin, Program Chair

 

Education Outreach Report

Education Outreach enjoyed a successful year in 2009.  Outreach would not be as productive as it is without the help of the many generous volunteers who donate their time.  HHS volunteers continue to be the back bone of Education Outreach.  We wish to note how grateful we are to all the volunteers who are so generous with their time and enthusiasm and continue to keep outreach programs going.

2009 Conklin House Lecture Series:
The Conklin House Lecture Series continues to be well received.  Because we are able to present these lectures in the Conklin Barn, we are able to make exhibits in the house available following the lectures.  This is a solid form of outreach which allows us to focus on our collections as well as our formidable historic significance in Huntington.  The Spring Series included “American Music in Colonial Times” by Michael Goudket, “A Constant Pleasure: Theodore Roosevelt’s Life at Sagamore Hill” by Amy Verone and “Surviving the Ordeal: Long Island Women During the American Revolution” by Dr. Natalie Naylor.  The Fall Lecture Series included: “Growing Up On Long Island” by Joshua Ruff, “Historic Preservation in the Town of Huntington” by Robert Hughes and “Netherlands to New York: The History and Legacy of the Vanderbilt Family” by Stephanie Gress.  I would like to thank Robert Hughes for stepping up to the plate at the last possible moment and presented a terrific lecture in October when the scheduled speaker was a no show.  Approximately two hundred people attended the Conklin House Lecture Series in 2009.

Tours – Van Wyck-Lefferts Tide Mill:
Due to work necessary at the Mill, we were unable to provide tours to the Van Wyck-Lefferts Tide Mill in 2009.  We continue to communicate with the Nature Conservancy and hope to provide tours in 2010.

Museum House Tours and Private Museum House Tours:
The Conklin House was open when possible three days per week according to docent availability.  Cathi Horowitz is available by appointment and for people who phone for house availability during the week.  Seven volunteer docents contributed two-hundred-six volunteer hours collectively in order to keep Conklin House open to the public in 2009.    Volunteers provided tours of both Conklin and Kissam Houses for the Museum Challenge and Holiday House Tour.  Our properties and collections continue to receive extremely positive feedback from the community.  Outreach executed decorations at Kissam House for the Holiday House Tour.  In 2009 approximately three-hundred-seventy-five people visited the Conklin House.  This number does not completely reflect the total number of visitors which includes the Museum Challenge, Scouts, school programs, after school programs, private group tours and school programs.  Rather, this number reflects those who signed the register.  In 2009 visitors came from as far away as England, France, Kentucky, Rhode Island, California, North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee.  An example of community feedback is illustrated by Linda Mazziotti from the Long Islander visited Conklin House and saw the “Huntington’s Entrepreneurs” exhibit.  The following partial quote by Ms Mazziotti, which was taken from the register:  “This is an important part of our heritage.  Thank you for your time and spirit…fantastic…thank you.”  In 2009 the Kissam House was open by appointment and open during events that where held at the Kissam property.  Approximately three-hundred-fifty visitors toured Kissam House in 2009.  This number does not completely reflect the total number of visitors who saw Kissam House, which includes the Holiday House Tour, Apple Festival, Sheep To Shawl Festival, Wine Tasting, Passport To The Past program, school program, after school programs, scouts and private group tours.  Rather this number reflects those who signed the register.  Overall verbal feedback from visitors was extremely positive.  The Kissam House continues to provide significant insight into our local history and the ground provide and excellent venue for events and fund raisers.  

Volunteer Luncheon:
In August 2009 a Volunteer Luncheon was executed at the Conklin Barn in recognition of the extremely valuable work that the Society volunteers provided throughout the year.  Approximately fifty volunteers attended the event.  The Conklin Barn remains an excellent venue for this event. 

Scout Programs:
Approximately eighty-five scouts worked toward their Local Lore Badge in after school programs at the Conklin House.  Approximately thirty adults accompanied the scouts at these programs.  Approximately thirty-five scouts participated in an after school program at the Old Burying Ground.  Approximately seven adults accompanied the scouts at that program as well.  Scout programs continue to be excellent outreach and the Society continues it’s strong relationship with Suffolk County Scouts.  Scouts provided community service volunteer hours at both Apple and Sheep To Shawl Festivals in 2009.

Private Tours:
Approximately eighty people attended private group tours programs at the Conklin House.  Approximately twenty-nine people attended private group tour programs at the Kissam House.  These groups included the Chai Club from Temple Beth El in Huntington, the Women of Huntington Democratic Committee, the Buckley Country Day School, Atria of East Northport and several people working on research projects.  In June the Farmingdale Bethpage Historical Society held their Annual Meeting at the Kissam House property.  The House was open for tours, and in recognition of Flag Day, an exhibit of flags from the Society’s collections was on display in the Kissam Barn.  In addition the Society was pleased to welcome Sue Davenport, who lived in the Kissam House as a child in the 1940’s, for a private tour of the Kissam House.

Volunteer Trip:
Rex Metcalf kindly provided a tour of his historic home for the education volunteers.  We thank Rex Metcalf for his continued collaboration.

2009 Sheep To Shawl Festival:
In 2009 we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the annual Sheep To Shawl Festival.  In recognition of that anniversary as well as the continued success of the event, the Society received a Proclamation from the Town of Huntington.  All format goals were met, but unfortunately it rained on the day of the event.  All scheduled crafters, artisans, demonstrators and volunteers participated and made the day a success in difficult circumstances.  Almost three-hundred people attended the event.  NYSCA funding provided music and sound for the festival by LITMA.  The Festival provided sheep shearing, textile demonstrations, crafts and educational information about life long ago which fits well into our mission.  The Kissam House remained open for visitors throughout the day and feedback was positive.  The Sheep To Shawl Festival continues to be extremely well received by the community, and in fact enjoys a following which provides visitors even during inclement weather.  Sheep To Shawl remains successful outreach.

2009 Apple Festival:
All format goals for the Apple Festival were met, but unfortunately it rained on the day of the event.  Because of that, the festival was shaved down to fit in the Kissam Barn.  Although the weather was terrible, approximately three-hundred people attended the event.  NYSCA funding provided music and sound for the festival by LITMA.  Our strong relationship with local businesses continues and allowed us to provide scarecrow making, delicious food, game prize baskets and beautiful seasonal décor.  The harvest/preparation for winter theme remains popular.  The Kissam House was open throughout the day for visitors to learn about and enjoy.  Over fifty volunteers donated their time to set up, execute and dismantle the event.  This event continues to be a family favorite and has created a following within the community.  Because of that following, the event remains worthwhile and popular, even in inclement weather.  The educational aspect of this event fits well into our mission and continues to be successful outreach.

Respectfully submitted,
Cathi Horowitz

 


Volunteer of the Year Award, Robin Horn

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Huntington Historical Society, We are delighted and proud to present Robin Horn with a Volunteer of the Year award for 2009. Robin is a relative newcomer to the Society.  She began volunteering with us about 3 years ago.  There is an old saying: Give someone an inch and they’ll take a mile, but with Robin the opposite has occurred.  She gave us an inch and we took a mile from her, and then another mile and another mile. Robin joined the Ladies of the Attic where she demonstrated her artistic talents and her ability to research and fine tune the history behind the styles of the costumes the LOTA were writing and photographing for the PastPerfect museum software.  When we saw her portfolio of the costume designs and some of her hand thrown and hand painted pottery, we immediately asked her to paint faces on several of our mannequins and now those mannequins are no longer scary things to look at.  Then Toby asked her to hand color a number of very old lithographs that we wished to sell at our Antiques Show.  She did such a beautiful job.  They sold like hotcakes.  So, of course, we then asked her to join the Collections Committee.  As a committee member, she felt she wanted to improve the appearance of our exhibits, so she researched historic wigs and tracked down 4 cute little child mannequins and very graciously donated them to the cause.  In 2008 she began the process of learning how to accession artifacts and now she has become our volunteer registrar.  So, every Tuesday morning you can find her in the Kissam attic.  Every Thursday morning you can find her performing her magic as our registrar at the Main Office. Most recently she could have been seen painting the trompe-l’oeil window for the Dr. Teich office in our newest exhibit.
It is our pleasure to present Robin Horn with a volunteer of the Year award for 2009.

Lilian Najarian & Pat Ernst
Ladies of the Attic

 

 Volunteer of the Year Award, Kathy Bartone

Approximately ten years ago Kathy Bartone came knocking on our door.  Kathy expressed that she wanted to work with children and that she loved history.  Ten or more years later Kathy is one of the Society’s most consistently active volunteers.  Kathy has been deeply involved with the school program since she began here.  Her love of children and the style with which she interacts with them makes her a perfect teacher.  It is clear that Kathy loves what she does.  This comes across to children and they learn from her - they love to learn from her – Kathy makes learning history easy and enjoyable.  Kathy can create an image of life in both Kissam and Conklin Houses during tours and programs for both children and adults.  In her costume, Kathy becomes Sybil Conklin – cooking, keeping house, taking care of her children – living the life of a farmwife in the farm family in the eighteenth century.  Kathy is just as comfortable describing life in the Kissam House – life in the home of a wealthy doctor in the nineteenth century.  Additionally, Kathy is comfortable in the barn whether she is carding wool, making stencils, or “churning” butter.

 But Kathy’s volunteer work doesn’t end there.  Kathy has volunteered her time at virtually every event and fund raiser since she started.  Kathy, in costume in cold weather and hot weather, has worked at Apple Festivals and Sheep To Shawl Festivals year to year where she works with children making yarn dolls, pinch pots, puppets, and whatever crafts are offered.  At the Holiday House Tour, the Museum Challenge and the Wine Tasting she makes life in the Conklin and Kissam Houses come alive for our visitors.  She is always interested in whatever exhibit is offered at both properties and makes a point of learning whatever she can about them so that she can, in turn, present them properly to visitors. 

 When you work with Kathy you know that you are working with someone whose dedication to the Huntington Historical Society is authentic.  The education staff knows that Kathy is both reliable responsible.  She can always be counted on to do whatever is asked of her and never shirks on any responsibility that she takes on.  Because of her lovely disposition and genuine enthusiasm, her fellow volunteers always enjoy working with her.  Her kindheartedness and capacity for compassion is sincere – she sensitive to the needs of others and never loses her patience.  Kathy is elegance personified. 

 It is with great pleasure that we present Kathy Bartone with a Volunteer of the Year Award for 2010. 

 Wendy Andersen & Cathi Horowitz

 

Volunteer of the Year Award, Richard Holliday
Richard Holliday has served as Chairman of the Genealogy Workshop since 1996.  In addition he comes in every Wednesday to answer all requests for Family History information that are submitted my mail, phone and email to the Society's Resource Center and Archives.

Richard represents the Genealogy Workshop of the Huntington Historical Society on the board of the Genealogy Federation of Long Island.  In this position he has volunteered to lecture at various Public Libraries on Genealogy and donates his honorarium to the Huntington Historical Society.  He also has volunteered on a variety of sorting and indexing projects that provide free information to anyone searching for vital record information form New York City and Long Island Governments.  His most recent volunteer project deals with indexes for naturalization records of state and federal agencies.  Richard also served as site coordinator for the past two Family History Seminars run by the Genealogy Federation of Long Island held at the campus of the State University at Stony Brook.

Arthur Sniffin

Award for Outstanding Contributions,. Robert "Toby" Kissam

As an organization dedicated to the preservation of the history of the area, we should remember that years ago in the early 1900’s, in fact in the same year that Dr. Teich opened his office in Huntington Station, an unassuming young reporter in Gotham, Billy Batson, was chosen to be a champion of good. 
Whenever Billy spoke the name of a certain powerful wizard, he was transformed into an adult superhero empowered with the abilities of six legendary figures. 
The name of the wizard was SHAZAM.  The name of the superhero was Captain Marvel and his costume was red tights with a lightening bolt on the chest.

The six legendary figures are represented by each of the six letters in the wizard’s name:
S for the wisdom of Solomon
H for the strength of Hercules
A for the stamina of Atlas
Z for the power of Zeus
A for the courage of Achilles
M for the speed of Mercury

Toby, Accept this gift, ( the framed original of the image below) with the sincere thanks of the Trustees of Huntington Historical Society.

Robin Horn, Lilian Najarian & Pat Ernst,
Ladies of the Attic