About Oysterponds Historical Society


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 documents, correspondence, diaries, works of art in myriad media, textiles, furniture, furnishings, household items, fishing and farming implements, and copious assorted archival objects dating from before European settlement 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.


Every year OHS offers 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.


Several 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. (Temporarily closed, Summer 2024.)


The 19th century Red Barn was built originally as a grain storage shed located on the Orient wharf and subsequently moved 750 feet to its present location on the OHS campus. In 2024 it has been revitalized and repurposed as a new exhibition space devoted to a permanent multi-media exhibition focusing on the storied farming and fishing history of Long Island’s North Fork.




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