Southold Historical Society fall lecture series underway

COURTESY PHOTO | The Southold Historical Society's fall lecture series is underway.
COURTESY PHOTO | The Southold Historical Society’s fall lecture series is underway.

The Southold Historical Society’s fall lecture series, featuring historians and researchers from across Long Island,  is underway.

The lectures are held in cooperation with Peconic Landing, which hosts the events.  Lectures take place in the Community Center at Peconic Landing, located on the north side of Route 25 just east of Greenport.

Below is a list of remaining events in the series that you should check out to learn more about the region’s rich history:


 Oct. 9

No Man is an Island: Sylvester Manor and the Southold Connection

Maura Doyle

Until the town of Shelter Island incorporated in 1730, it was to Southold that its residents turned for religious, civic, commercial and social engagement. This talk will touch upon a few early stories of the Sylvesters and family dependents who for better (and sometimes worse) left their mark on or found community with their neighbors on the North Fork. This program will be presented by Maura Doyle, the Preservation Programs Coordinator at Sylvester Manor.

 Oct. 22

A History of Nunley’s Amusement Park        

Marisa Berman  

Nunley’s Amusement Park in Baldwin, New York, was a beloved family destination for Long Islanders from 1939 until it closed in 1995. This illustrated presentation will document the history of amusement parks in America and will present a guided tour through Nunley’s featuring stories and memories from local residents. The program will be presented by Marisa L. Berman, a nonprofit professional and historian who has worked at numerous museums and cultural institutions throughout Long Island and New York City.

Nov. 6 

Gentlemen Cartographers of Long Island                   

Nicole Menchise 

In nearly every archive there are hand drawn maps by surveyors and amateur cartographers. Often the gentlemen who create these sketches were well educated, monied, and had the luxury of learning the skill of cartography from their own reading and practice. This lecture will examine several original, hand-drawn surveys and maps from the 18th and 19th centuries found in museums from all over Long Island. We will examine the lives of the men who drew these properties and landscapes and look at how the accuracy of those maps held up over time.The program will be presented by Nicole Menchise, the Archivist-Librarian of the Oyster Bay Historical Society and the Collections Manager of Raynham Hall Museum.

Nov. 20

How New York City Invented Christmas               

Ronald Brown 

The Dutch banned Christmas in New Amsterdam, but the arrival of large numbers of English Anglicans, German Lutherans and Irish Catholics, the pagan holiday of “Christ’s Mass” gained a foothold in the city. Washington Irving argued that New Yorkers needed a nice respectable winter holiday Thomas Nast dragged St. Nicholas from his homeland in Turkey to the North Pole, designed a warm red costume for him, hired a squad of reindeer to carry him around and gave him a wife. Learn more about how New York City made Christmas what it is today from our guest speaker, Dr. Ronald J. Brown, Associate Professor, Touro College and Unification Theological Seminary.

Dec. 4

The Home Front: The Spanish American War & Camp Wikoff 1898-99

Richard Barons

Through letters, local newspapers, diaries and extraordinary photographs, Richard Barons will recount the actual experiences that South Fork citizens had with Montauk’s Camp Wikoff during the short period of time that it held over 22,000 men. Built very quickly on the isolated tip of Montauk, the camp was designed to hold soldiers returning from Cuba with communicable diseases. As with any governmental plan, there were ups and downs. This is the story of the war and the Camp as well as the relationship our communities had with the events that took place so nearby. This program will be presented by Richard Barons, the Executive Director of the East Hampton Historical Society.