From The President

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January 2019


I want to wish all of our members and friends a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year. I want to thank my board for putting up with me and working with me to make this year another successful year for the Yaphank Historical Society.

The Homan House is nearing completion. The interior is done. The walls and ceilings are painted, the floors are also done. Doors have been hung and the locks have been installed. We have also begun to place the furniture that we have in the rooms.

I want to thank all of the inmates and corrections officers who work on this project for us. I also want to thank the contractors who worked on the Homan House project: Jeremiah McGiff, H B Millwork, and Mitrani Plasterers.

We have to wait for good weather to finish the paint on the exterior and to do the landscaping. As part of the landscaping, we need to put large stone steps at the doors, build a handicap-accessible walkway from the parking area to the house and grade the property. We also want to plant some Locust trees which were there before; these trees are visible in the old photos that we have of the house. We also would like to rebuild the front porch that was on the house, but we need money to do that construction. We are looking into getting a grant for the funding.

The Society resurrected our original Christmas play (An 1855 Christmas at the Hawkins House) this year and held performances for two days, December 8th and 9th. We first performed that play in 2011. The play was in the Hawkins House and it was a huge hit. The Hawkins House was decorated for the holidays and members of the “Hawkins family” and the “local domestic help” were in five different rooms talking about the politics of that long-ago time and also covering the family gossip. A good time was had by all who attended. I want to thank Curtain Up Entertainment for supplying all of the actors and miscellaneous staff that helped to make the play the success that it was.

The Swezey House was also open both days and decorated for the holidays. There was hot chocolate, hot cider and homemade cookies for all who visited. Tours of the Weeks exhibit rooms, Kovarik room, and library were conducted throughout both days. On Sunday afternoon, there was live music supplied by our good friends the TWO DON’S AND SUSAN. Special thanks to the Cerce’s for their great music and ongoing support.

The Swezey Park has also gotten a new look for the New Year. We have a new handicap-accessible boardwalk that goes from the Swezey House to Willow Lake and the spillway area. We have a new spillway and a fish ladder has also been installed. We also have all new plantings along the boardwalk, at the spillway and around the Swezey House. Special thanks to Eddie Morris and his staff for doing all of the work and taking care of the property.

- Robert Kessler, President