Photo of the Week
Week of March 22, 2021
FROM THE SCHS LIBRARY ARCHIVES
“How shall we know it is us without our past?”
– John Steinbeck
by Wendy Polhemus-Annibell, Head Librarian
Sayville Shorefront, 1910. (Image from the Postcard Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library Archives. Copyright © Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved.)
In 1836, fifty years after its initial settlement in circa 1786, Sayville finally got a name. Tired of being called “Over South,” the area’s residents met in the old Bedell Tavern on Main Street to choose a name for the community. The result was a tie among Edwardsville, Greenville, and Judea, which referred to community founders, but then someone suggested Seaville or Seville. This name was adopted but, some local histories assert, the clerk misspelled it as “Sayville.”
Over time, Sayville became a major source of wood for New York City, with an abundant pine forest north of the village; one of the oyster capitals of the United States; a center of Long Island theater arts with the Sayville Opera House; and a bustling summer resort town after the LIRR arrived in 1868. Ten years later, in 1878, when the charter of the Sayville Hook and Ladder Company was signed on top of a grand piano in Columbia Hall, it became the first incorporated company in all of Suffolk County. Today in West Sayville, our island’s maritime history is preserved by our friends at the Long Island Maritime Museum.
Recommended Reading: For more on the history of Sayville, see “A History of Early Sayville,” by Clarissa Edwards (1935), and “East on the Great South Bay: Sayville and Bayport,” by Harry W. Havemeyer (2001).
The objects we use to get through an ordinary day have changed tremendously over time, so much so that many everyday items once used at work or at home by your grandparents (or great-grandparents) are now virtually unrecognizable. This exhibit will showcase a selection of the more mysterious, interesting, and challenging objects from our collection to baffle, befuddle, and bemuse. Can you guess what they are? Bring your cellphone for an interactive experience!
In our Weathervane Gallery now thru Sept. 11, 2021.
Bring your cellphone for an interactive experience!
The Suffolk County Historical Society Museum is open to the public for a safe, socially-distanced family outing with 15-minute intervals between parties. Exhibits provide a safe, “touchless” experience for adults and children alike. Masks are required of all museum visitors over age 2.