Founding Families Weekend to showcase Southold’s roots

Southold families are invited to celebrate and learn about roots in the community that stretch back to 1640 this weekend at the Southold Historical Society’s first Founding Families Weekend.

The fundraising event, which will be hosted rain or shine, will explore the stories of the families who first settled the North Fork, historical society director Karen Lund-Rooney said. It’s not only a recognition of the contributions of the original families, but also a celebration of all families who now call Southold “home,” she said.

“This weekend will bring us back in time to when families first came here and it will also help us connect to families that are just coming here now,” Ms. Lund-Rooney said. It is a chance to see similarities and differences between why people came to the area and how they enjoyed it back then and today, she said.

The weekend kicks off Friday with the dedication of the new Boxwood Garden at the historical Society Complex off Main Road and opening of a Juried Art Show and sale at the Pettit Center featuring works from North Fork artists.

The historical society asked Southold families to outline when their ancestors first came to the area and what they have contributed to the community, which will be incorporated into a timeline around the perimeter of the Family Tent. There, members can connect and swap stories and memories about their relatives all weekend.

Bulletin boards will be on display in the tent so families can post information to connect, Ms. Lund-Rooney said.

Saturday will continue with registration at 9 a.m. and at 10 a.m. a two-hour bus tour of the North Fork, from Laurel to Orient, will be given by Southold Town Historic Preservation Commission member and local history buff James Grathwohl. Throughout the day, speakers will share from books they’ve written about founding families, genealogy and the symbolism of local cemetery headstones.

Children will be offered old-fashioned games Saturday, as well as a shark and touch tank provided by Atlantis Marine World.

Ms. Lund-Rooney said she is looking forward to Sunday’s demonstrations, including an all-day showing of colonial cooking “just as the founding families would have done.”

A complete event schedule and locations can be found at Registration prior to the weekend is $25, while a two-day ticket costs $30 in person. Children under 10 will be admitted for free.

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File photo: James Grathwohl will also give tours during the event. (Credit: David Benthal)