From The President

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January 2018

I would like to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year. I also want to thank everyone for their hard work and dedication in making 2017 another very successful year for the Yaphank Historical Society. The focus of our attention in 2017 was the restoration of the Homan House. The contractor that the County hired to do the stabilization has completed his project. And the electrical work and the HVAC work is close to completion. The masonry work in the basement is also almost complete.

In 2018, thanks to a grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, we are going to be well positioned to complete restoration of the Homan-Gerard House. This house is on the National Register of Historic Places and is an important historic structure in the Yaphank Historic District.

Restoration update and plans: The windows and the doors have been sent out to be restored and are close to completion. While the windows are being restored, restoration work will be underway on the interior and exterior window trim. At the time the doors are being hung, the trim around the doors will be restored. We have some of the original shutters from the house which will be restored and, where necessary, new shutters will be built to match the original ones. The plasterer is also ready to begin in the spring, along with the stair contractor who will be restoring and re-building the stairs as needed.

The Yaphank Historical Society, along with volunteers, will be doing all of the painting of the interior walls and the exterior of the building. We will also be addressing all of the landscaping around the exterior building and the grounds. This will include the grading, setting of the large stepping stones for each door, and the building of a handicap parking area and walkway up to the house.

The Homan-Gerard House restoration project is a major undertaking, but as you can see this project is well on its way to completion. We hope to achieve this goal by Spring 2019.

As I have mentioned in previous newsletters, we have been establishing a new library at the Swezey-Avey house. In 2017, we removed an old kitchen that was on the second floor of the house, installed floor-to-ceiling shelving, and repainted walls and floors. Construction work is now complete. This new library space will be used to properly display, store, and preserve our ever-growing collection of books, papers, and artifacts.

Special thanks once again to Parks Commissioner Ed Morris and his entire staff who have always been there for us when we needed them.

- Robert Kessler, President