Current Exhibitions

75th Anniversary of OHS

Founded in 1944, at the height of the Second World War, the Oysterponds Historical Society was dedicated to those serving in the Armed Forces. The first accessioned item (a rifle on view in one of these galleries) came to OHS in 1945. Since then a great number of documents and objects of all sorts have enriched its holdings. The Oysterponds Historical Society has been long considered one of the finest historical societies on the North Fork of Long Island.

We are indebted to all the founders, but particularly to George R. Latham, who rallied the community to create this institution, and was successful in getting a majority of the inhabitants to join as founding members. The first order of business was to find a building to house this new enterprise. By good fortune Village House, one of the most historic buildings in Orient, was available and purchased with contributions from the community. The price was $4500.

Augustus Griffin (1767-1866), the early historian of Oysterponds, built the original structure of Village House. His Diary and Journal together constitute the most important original source materials for the history of this part of the world. In the mid-nineteenth century Griffin sold the building to the Vail family who enlarged it to the structure you see today. Members of the Vail family lived here until 1937, just seven years before it was purchased by OHS.

There are too many significant events, too many acquisitions, and too many dedicated people to fully tell the story of seventy-five years of the Oysterponds Historical Society in one small gallery. We have chosen just a few documents and photographs from different moments of those seventy-five years to display on the walls and in the cases. The large screen shows a visual history of OHS and our buildings. We are grateful to John Holzapfel, a former president of OHS, for creating this presentation.

Exhibit Items

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