Personal and local history merge with the opening of ‘Between the Bay and the Sound’ at Suffolk County Historical Society

When Helene Verin bought her small bungalow on Manor Lane in Jamesport in 2013, she had no idea how much history was connected to it until she was introduced to Ellen Doughty Dolce Korsower, who grew up there.

After purchasing the bungalow, produced by Sears Modern Homes in 1926, Ms. Verin — an award-winning designer of shoes, wallpaper, rugs, pillows and tiles — lovingly renovated it without removing its character and charm. Ms. Doughty Dolce Korsower, an illustrator, liked what Ms. Verin did with the home and they quickly developed a friendship.

Ms. Doughty Dolce Korsower shared her extensive collection of family photos and heirlooms with Ms. Verin — and that led directly to Suffolk County Historical Society’s latest exhibition, “Between the Bay and the Sound: A North Fork Family Album,” curated by Ms. Verin.

“She was the receptacle to all these photographs of her ancestors, and I was fascinated because the collection starts in 1860,” Ms. Verin said. “It’s such a fabulous history, the pictures are so charming.”

The exhibit —which opened Saturday, Sept. 16, with a 1 p.m. reception in the museum’s Gish Gallery — features about 100 photographs of Ms. Doughty Dolce Korsower’s family, whose members carry well known local names including Youngs, Wells, Horton, Hallock, Tuthill, Ackerly, Budd and Aldrich. 

The exhibit, which is laid out chronologically, captures the spirit of the North Fork from the 1860s to the 1960s, will run through Feb. 3, 2024, according to the historical society’s website. Entry is $5 for non-members and free for SCHS members.

Ms. Doughty Dolce Korsower’s genealogy reaches back to Peter Hallock, who was born in 1600 and was reportedly the first Hallock to arrive on the North Fork.

Credit: Courtesy Photo

“When I grew up, I thought, ‘Oh, everybody has this family history with generations going back 200 years, 300 years … I came to realize that it’s fairly unique, and very specific to the North Fork, because the families just stayed there for so many generations,” she said.

Although Ms. Doughty Dolce Korsower now lives in upstate New York and Ms. Verin now lives in Palm Springs, Calif., both attended the exhibit’s opening reception.

In addition to photos, the exhibit features journal and diary entries from Ms. Doughty Dolce Korsower’s ancestors — some of which she typed up herself for clarity since some of the handwriting is small and hard to read. Also on display are accoutrements from their family sewing table and even some of the clothing that can be seen in the photographs, according SCHS executive director Victoria Berger.

The Suffolk County Historical Society had been working on this exhibit since 2020 but COVID-19 delayed its opening until this month. Ms. Berger believes interest in the exhibit can expand way beyond the North Fork.

“The charm and quality of these photographs is such that I think any Long Islander can enjoy and appreciate them,” she said. “It’s a time capsule of 100 years of life on Long Island … I think it really does a beautiful job of capturing everyone’s lifestyle here on Long Island and the things that we really truly appreciate about island life. I think it definitely has broad appeal.”

For more information on the exhibit, visit