From The President

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April 2020

The Yaphank Historical Society has been very busy again this winter season. We had a very successful holiday season, welcoming many visitors to our historic houses. With the major portion of the Homan-Gerard House restoration completed, we will be adding the Homan House to our holiday house tours, as well as to our summer house tours. We also had a very busy and successful indoor yard sale at the Swezey-Avey House in February. We are now looking forward to the rest of the year.

We have several construction projects lined up. We want to finish the front portico at the Homan-Gerard House and we are waiting for plans to be drawn up so that we can price the job out and then raise the money to get this project done. We also need to build the stone steps that lead to the basement of the House. We are hoping to get these two projects done this year. These two projects will complete the final work on the Homan House. We also have plans to restore the shed at the rear of the Homan House. The shed needs to be picked up and a foundation put under it and new sills added to replace the old ones. Then the shed can be repaired and shingled.

We are also hoping to get all our fencing repaired and painted. We have put in a request for some fence material so that we can repair the fence as needed and extend the fence along East Main Street to the end of the Yaphank Historic District. In addition, we plan to put fencing around the Hawkins House property.

Brookhaven Town crews are going to power wash the Swezey-Avey House and surrounding fencing for us. They will also be putting fencing around the Hawkins Cemetery. After this is done, we will be able to go in and cut back the brush from the graves and hopefully repair some of the stones. We need to repair or replace the cemetery sign


We have an Eagle Scout project scheduled for later this year. He is going to build a gazebo in the Swezey Park. This will be a great addition to the park. Hopefully some day we will be able to have concerts there. Many visitors continue to enjoy the park and the Historical Society takes care to keep the park in good order.

Our National Register listing for the Historic District project is moving along very nicely (see a brief update in this Newsletter). We hope to file for State designation this fall and apply for National status at the beginning of the year. We are also updating our audio and video technology at the Swezey-Avey House so that our guest speakers will be better equipped to present programs that can be enjoyed by all.

I wish to thank the Sheriff’s inmate vocational training program for all of their help with our projects in the district.

Special Notice: In order to protect the health and well-being of our members and visitors, and to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Society will be postponing and rescheduling several upcoming events. Each event will be evaluated as we move further into the calendar. Please check the Upcoming Events on page 6 for event information known at the time of this publication. Please check our website,, for ongoing current information. Thank you.

- Robert Kessler, President