Mission & History

 

 

About

 

 

Local residents created Oysterponds Historical Society (OHS) in 1944 to preserve the history of the Orient and East Marion communities. Founding members Mrs. Henry F.J. Knobloch, Mrs. Alma Knox and Mr. George R. Latham—alarmed by the gradual disappearance of artifacts—collected documents, family records, tools, art, and other surviving evidence of the maritime, agricultural, cultural, and religious life of the early residents of this area. George R. Latham was especially instrumental in the acquisition of its buildings and properties, and the seeding and ongoing accessioning of its collection.

 

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 the 20th century. Our archive, which is particularly strong in correspondence and diaries, is a rich and valuable resource regularly used by scholars, writers, genealogists, and students.

 

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, which underwent a complete restoration in 2008-2009, 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—also period-furnished and containing a permanent Maritime exhibition—was floated across the bay in 1955 from Greenport to its present location in Poquatuck Park. The Old Point Schoolhouse’s Janet T. Swanson Exhibition Gallery is the venue for an annual summer exhibition drawn from OHS’s collections.

 

Mission

 

The Oysterponds Historical Society brings 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.

 

 

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