From The President

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July 2017


Our main priority at the Yaphank Historical Society is the restoration of the Homan-Gerard House. The contractor who is working on the project is making good progress. His part of the project is to do all of the structural work and remove all of the temporary shoring that was put in the building to stabilize it a few years ago. He is also putting in new structural beams in the walls and ceilings and repairing the floors as he goes along. Additional work that the contractor will address is repairing the wood shingle siding and the roofing and gutters. The County will then be doing the drainage, electrical, and bringing gas into the house for the heating system.

When all of the above work is completed, the Society hopes to receive the funds from our grant from the Gardiner Foundation. The grant funds will be used to restore the windows and the doors. We will also be able to finish the trim work and plaster the entire house. The rebuilding of the stairs will also be done with this money.

Yaphank Historical Society volunteers will be addressing the needed brickwork on the fireplaces and the chimneys. We will also be doing all of the prep work and the painting of the building inside and outside. The Society will be doing all of the grading of the property and laying the walkways and putting the large stone steps by each door.

The Hawkins House is also going through a renovation of sorts. The heating and air conditioning project is finally moving forward. The County is putting gas heat and air conditioning into the building to replace the old electric radiators that have never been very effective. We are looking forward to this project getting completed; the house is very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter.

The other construction project we are working on is the building of a library in the Swezey-Avey House. As I have mentioned in a previous newsletter, we have taken out the upstairs kitchen and replaced it with shelving for our growing collection of books and artifacts. The artifacts and books have been put away in closets and attics for years and soon everyone will have a chance to view them. Construction work is almost finished, and we will be painting in the next week or so. We have a table, on loan from the Longwood Estate, which will be placed in the library to serve as a reading table.

Special thanks. I want to thank the Town parks department for all of their help on this project. And I also want to thank the Sherriff’s work release program and all of the Correction Officers and Inmates who have worked on the project and made it the success that it is.

- Robert Kessler, President