Oysterponds Historical Society (OHS) announces

an exciting slate of exhibitions for the 2023 season


Six new exhibitions in Village House will open to the public

on Memorial Day Weekend, 2023.


Built in 1798 and substantially enlarged in the 1850s, Village House today is period-furnished and decorated as a late 19th-century boarding house, demonstrating a significant chapter in its history. Every year six new exhibitions (curated by William McNaught, except where noted) are installed on the 2nd floor in what used to be the house’s bedrooms.


Village House 2023 Exhibitions

“Oysterponds at Leisure” (Photography Exhibition) – Culled from our extensive collection, these photographs depict people in East Marion and Orient as they rest, play, and enjoy a respite from the daily grind of work. There are scenes on the water (boating and ice skating), on the beach, relaxing on porches (at hotels and at home), playing (both grownups and children), riding in carriages and cars, bicycling, sightseeing, and celebrating special events.

“In Pursuit of Whales” – Concentrates on documents and historic artifacts pertaining to whaling during its heyday in the second quarter of the 19th century. Numerous whaling vessels sailed out of the East End of Long Island and we have a trove of fascinating individual items (letters, contracts, legal documents etc.) relating to several dozen different whaling vessels which sailed the seven seas.

“William Steeple Davis Block Prints” – Focuses on the print-making of Orient multi-media luminary Davis (1884-1961)—specifically on his wood-block and linoleum-block prints. He began making block prints in 1924 and sent his prints to exhibitions around the country. They are some of his best work in any medium, and are being shown together with some of the actual wood and linoleum blocks that he cut to create the prints.

“What is It?” – The OHS collections are full of extraordinary objects that seem strange to 21st century eyes but, in fact, were common household objects, ordinary implements or useful farming tools from a century or two ago. Today, it’s a challenge to determine how they were used or for what purpose, but—don’t worry—we’ll supply copious hints to help visitors as they try to deduce what each mysterious item is. Co-curated by Sarah Olmstead.

“Happy Birthday: Orient Yacht Club at 90” – The Orient Yacht Club (OYC) occupies a central place in the Oysterponds universe. Over the past nine decades OYC has transformed hundreds of sailing novices and landlubbers into intrepid seafarers. Photos, artwork, and documents capture the compelling history and reflect the Club’s importance to generations. Co-curated by John Holzapfel and Alison Ventura.

“Melita Hofmann: Author, Illustrator, Naturalist” – Ms. Hofmann (1907-1976), curator of OHS from its founding in 1944 until 1963, was responsible for most of the early displays and exhibitions at OHS. She had studied both at the Parsons School of Design and New York University, as well as in Paris and Munich. She was the author-illustrator of The Big Book of Birds and Pearls of Ferrara. She also wrote A Trip to the Pond (a study of animals in their natural habitat). Curated by Alison Ventura. 


Starting on Memorial Day weekend, hours are Fridays and Sundays 2-5pm and Saturdays 11am-5pm.

Admission is free for OHS members and $10 for non-member adults, which grants same-day access to all OHS buildings & exhibitions.

Local residents created Oysterponds Historical Society (OHS) in 1944 in order to bring people together to share and celebrate the unique history and culture of the North Fork, Long Island hamlets of Orient and East Marion. By presenting shared experiences from the past, we connect our rich heritage to the present and pass it on to future generations.

Today, OHS maintains seven historically-significant buildings located in the heart of Orient, New York’s landmark historic district; cares for 8½ acres of grounds, including Poquatuck Park, a cherished community gathering spot; and actively manages a collection of over 60,000 items, including historic artifacts, documents, diaries, works of art, and archival objects dating from early Native American times all the way through to the present.

OHS offers myriad compelling exhibitions of contemporary or historical significance, lectures, webinars, and other community events and activities open to the public, as well as resources for genealogical and archival research. Three of OHS’s historic buildings are open to the public on a regular basis during the summer months: Village House is period-furnished with noteworthy pieces from the OHS collection and shown as a late 19th-century boarding house, demonstrating a significant chapter in its history. The 18th-century Webb House is also period-furnished and contains a permanent Maritime exhibition. The Old Point Schoolhouse’s Janet T. Swanson Exhibition Gallery is the venue for an annual summer exhibition drawn from OHS’s collections.


For more information, please call (631) 323-2480 or visit www.OysterpondsHistoricalSociety.org.



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