The Lengthy Island Museum

The Lengthy Island Museum

The Lengthy Island Museum

Positioned on Route 25A in Stony Brook and a brief distance from the still-working Grist Mill and the historic Three Village Inn, the Lengthy Island Museum presents guests an immersion into the world’s rural previous by way of three historic buildings. trendy reveals and 5 genuine constructions unfold throughout a nine-acre campus.

Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums in 1978 for its excellence in exhibitions, applications, and assortment care, and one of many few Smithsonian associates within the nation, it showcases American historical past and artwork with a connection to Lengthy Island.

Tracing its origins to the Suffolk Museum, whose authentic Christine Road stills stand immediately, it was created to protect, show and interpret the artifacts of 5 founding members on the finish of the Nice Despair: Ward Melville; his spouse, Dorothy Bigelow Melville; Robert Cushman Murphy, an eminent naturalist; Winfred Curtis, an area physician; and OC Lemphert, an insurance coverage dealer.

A rising assortment, together with the addition of automobiles in 1952, quickly prompted a seek for a brand new headquarters, which took the type of the Historical past Museum on one aspect of Route 25A. New to the then-named ‘Stony Brook Museums’, it was previous to the world.

The location was as soon as the situation of the DT Bayles Lumber Mill, whose lineage dates again to 1874 and operated till 1955. Melville bought the constructing presently.

“Ward Melville at all times supposed Stony Brook to be a village much like these present in New England,” in response to the Lengthy Island Museum web site. “The Lengthy Island Museum was impressed by this premise, and the museum grounds rapidly resembled a New England village, as native historic buildings had been rigorously nestled on the grounds…Since 1939, the museum has been grow to be a premier establishment on Lengthy Island and the one Smithsonian affiliate within the space.”


The Historical past Museum, which serves as a customer middle and reward store, is residence to altering artwork reveals. His most up-to-date “Fireplace and Type: New Instructions in Glass”, for instance, included some fifty works by eight modern artists, whose number of approaches, inspirations and beginning factors demonstrated the near-infinite nature of sculptural creation. .

The Cowles Gallery, named after Sharon Cowles, who as soon as lived subsequent door to Dorothy and Ward Melville and lately made a major contribution to the museum, options works from its everlasting assortment.


The cornerstone of Lengthy Island’s museum complicated, situated throughout Freeway 25A, the 40,000-square-foot Dorothy and Ward Melville Carriage Museum occupies the positioning of the previous Stony Brook Resort and depicts the age of transportation pre-motorized by the use of greater than 100 horse-drawn carriages exhibited in eight galleries.

Its centerpiece, seen as quickly because the customer enters, is the “Grace Darling”, a fantastically adorned 45-passenger omnibus initially pulled by half a dozen horses. Closely padded and spring-loaded to scale back wheel affect on unpaved trails, it was used on Maine coastal excursions between the Eighteen Eighties and early twentieth century.

The “Going Locations” gallery options automobiles generally used on Lengthy Island, together with a fiber optic map illustrating the event of regional transportation routes.

The Wells Fargo Coach, considered one of its reveals, is consultant of the automobiles utilized by Wells Fargo and Firm, whose transportation companies had been important to the nation’s westward growth. Inaugurating overland passenger service in April 1887, he assessed the then astronomical fare of $275.00 for the route from Sacramento, California to Omaha, Nebraska.

The “Carriage Exhibition” gallery, based mostly on the transportation constructing of the 1893 World’s Truthful, highlights the opulence that wealth can inject right into a automobile.

The “Making Carriages: From Hometown Store to Manufacturing unit” exhibit options the museum’s assortment of automobiles that had been factory-built by the Studebaker brothers, in addition to the Graves Brother’s Carriage Store, an authentic Nineteenth-century facility in Williamsburg, Washington. Massachusetts, which was put collectively right here.

The “Streets of New York” gallery, with simulated burning buildings, showcases the forms of automobiles and automobiles that when roamed its bustling streets. Considered one of them, a tram from 1887, permits the customer to retrace the origins of public transport. Pulled by one or two horses, it ran on rails, permitting New York to maneuver its plenty on strains of horse-drawn carriages between 1832 and 1917. They had been changed by streetcars and motorized carriages, earlier than being usurped by steam-powered elevated railways which finally gave strategy to electrical underground subways.

The Crawford Home Coach, situated within the ‘Driving for Sport and Pleasure’ gallery, was offered to the New Hampshire resort city of the identical identify in 1880, carrying as much as 20 passengers, their baggage and items between the station and the lodge, and plowing slim, winding roads as he did.

The “Lengthy Island within the Transport Age” is a recreation of an intermodal transport scene. An precise deportation automobile as soon as picked up passengers at Stony Brook Station of the Lengthy Island Railroad and delivered them to surrounding villages. The hissing sound of steam locomotives completes the recreation.

Whereas horse-drawn carriages might not conjure pictures of luxurious, two different galleries dispel that fantasy: ‘Gents Coach Home’ and ‘European Automobiles’. The primary showcases the opulent automobiles that impressed the Nineteenth-century Gold Coast carriage homes that had been as soon as integral to the North Shore mansions of Lengthy Island, and the second showcases the regal automobiles utilized by European the Aristocracy.


Other than the Dorothy and Ward Melville Carriage Museum, the quirky constructions on the remainder of the Lengthy Island Museum campus, accessible by walkways, exude a rural-area really feel.

The Samuel H. West Blacksmith Store, considered one of them, dates from 1834 and was initially situated close to Predominant Road in close by Setauket. Utterly rebuilt between 1875 and 1893, the constructing, of mortise and tenon round sawn timber, was the center of his multi-faceted and interrelated trades, which included horseshoe-making, the manufacture and restore of wheeled automobiles and wheels and the forge. However the look of the motorized vehicle through the Nineteen Twenties rapidly eradicated its want.

Some three a long time later, Stony Brook Museums acquired the construction, which now shows artifacts from the time.

The 1794 Williamson Barn subsequent door was initially situated on the Stony Brook farm of Jedidiah Williamson, a Revolutionary Warfare hero who made a residing as a farmer, millwright and carpenter.

The 1867 Smith Carriage Shed, subsequent to the barn, was initially situated on the Timothy Smith farm in St. James and was used to guard carriages from the climate whereas parishioners attended companies at St. Neighbor James. Its wrought iron rings had been used as horse ties at the moment.

No Nineteenth-century restoration can be full with out the just about symbolic one-room schoolhouse, and the museum campus on Lengthy Island is not any disrespect. Designated Nassakeag, or South Setauket, Schoolhouse, it was constructed by Frederick A. Smith in 1877 on Sheep Pasture Highway in his namesake city on the positioning of an earlier construction in-built 1821 that served the identical objective.

As a result of area’s considerably smaller inhabitants, it provided a completely completely different academic idea than trendy establishments. It housed about thirty college students aged 5 to fifteen, all of whom occupied the identical area. It was, as a lot as a small, one-room constructing may handle, sexually segregated, the boys coming into by way of the correct door and the ladies coming into by way of the left, and every seated on their respective aspect. Every vestibule contained hooks for coats, hats, buckets and cups. Warmth was supplied by a single range and a single instructor taught all courses. The scholars used paper notebooks, in addition to erasable slates. This system had all three “r’s” – that’s, studying, writing and “rithmetic”.

The college’s rural location dictated its seasonal periods, which included summer season and winter ones, whereas spring and fall had been reserved for residence life, the place college students had been respectively wanted for the crucial planting and harvesting, in addition to the total vary of different agricultural features. .

After the consolidation of Setauket college districts in 1910, the constructing fell into disrepair, however was acquired by Stony Brook Museums and moved to its campus 46 years later.

Museum educators periodically provide courses on the college.

In entrance of it’s a fountain and a trough for horses. Donated to New York in 1880 by philanthropist Olivia Egleston Phelps Stokes and initially situated on the intersection of Madison Avenue and twenty third Road, it’s an instance of Beaux Arts stone and marble work. The 20-ton construction supplied ingesting water for males and horses. However rendered out of date by the car, it was dismantled in 1957 and bought by the Lengthy Island Museum. Now situated subsequent to a herb backyard, it’s absolutely functioning.

Different campus sights embody the Smith-Rudyard Cemetery, which stays on its authentic web site and comprises headstones from 1796 to 1865, and a museum constructing, whose two galleries characteristic altering reveals, showcasing artwork and American historical past.

His most up-to-date, “Tiffany Glass: Portray with Colour and Mild,” was thought of the primary of its type on the Lengthy Island Museum.

“As a painter, Louis C. Tiffany was captivated by the interaction of sunshine and coloration, and this fascination discovered its most dramatic expression in his work on glass,” in response to the museum’s web site. “Utilizing new and revolutionary strategies and supplies, Tiffany Studios has created leaded glass home windows and shades in vibrant colours and all kinds of patterns, textures and opacities.”

The Lengthy Island Museum presents a return to Nineteenth century rural life and invitations reflection and reinterpretation of present life.

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