Event will raise funds toward preservation of Civil War banner

The night before the 1860 presidential election, local activists marched by torchlight through Southold to show their support of Abraham Lincoln. One group of marchers was known as the Mattituck “Wide Awake” Club, which was affiliated with the American Republican Party. They identified themselves with a banner, which still survives and resides at the Southold Historical Society.

Preservation work is needed for the banner, so the historical society will host an “Honest Abe” chinese auction Saturday, April 11, to raise funds for the project. The event, offering gift baskets, fine jewelry and art, will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Southold Town Recreation Center in Peconic. Ticketholders do not need to be present to win.

In addition, the day before — Friday, April 10 — the staff of Jeni’s Main Street Grill in Southold will donate all their tips toward the banner’s preservation.

Historical society director Geoffrey Fleming said, “This object is so important and so rare — no another example is known from Long Island — that it merits being fully preserved … ”

For details, or to make a donation, call 765-5500 or visit