From The President

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July 2016

The Yaphank Historical Society has done a lot of work in the last year. We are beginning our house tours on July 10th and we hope that you can all come and visit our three beautiful homes. The Booth house is a time capsule from the 1830’s that has been totally restored as a House Museum. And the 1850’s Victorian Hawkins House has been spruced up for the tours and it looks great.

The Swezey-Avey House will have two new exhibits this year. One will be entitled “A River Runs Through It”. This will be on the Yaphank Lakes from the early days to the present, and the exhibit will be in our meeting room. The other exhibit will be on the schools of Yaphank. This exhibit will trace the history of the Yaphank schools from their early beginnings to the present day.

The Society is proud of our houses and you can see that when you come to visit them. Our members give their time and work hard to set them up and clean them to get them ready for our tours. Our docents will be waiting at each house to welcome you.

We are also very proud of our gardens. The garden at the Hawkins House is beautiful this year, as it is every year thanks to “tender loving care” almost on a daily basis. The local deer have once again discovered the tasty treats in that garden and steps have been taken to deter their night-time raids. An organic deer repellent spray worked last year and hopefully it will do its magic again this year. The daylilies at the Swezey-Avey House are just coming into full bloom; they seem to be more beautiful than ever this year. The shrubs and flowering bushes also seem to be doing better than ever. Please take the time to look at our gardens that we work so hard to maintain when you visit the houses this summer.

We are also very proud of our Yaphank Historic District which we are working very hard to clean up and restore. We have installed period appropriate fencing throughout the District and we will continue our fencing project in the upcoming years. We have gotten a lot of help in our District from the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts. They have built benches along our walking trail, built an outhouse at the Booth house, created an herb garden at the Booth house, and built a fence and did plantings at the Swezey-Avey House.

Now we have three more Boy Scouts doing their Eagle Scout project for us. One is going to build picnic benches at the new parking and rest area at the Homan House. Another Scout will be installing concrete grade beams to support our log display at the Swezey-Avey House. He will also be building a fence around the area. Still another Eagle Scout will be building us an informational kiosk at the Swezey-Avey House.

I want to thank all of our Board Members, members-at-large, and other volunteers who work so hard and give up so much of their time to make our Yaphank Historic District the success that it is.

- Robert Kessler, President