From The President

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October 2020

I hope everyone is well. Please stay safe. Our historic houses remain closed and will remain so until the end of the year when we will decide on a schedule for next year. We will clean and sanitize our houses before we open them up to the public. We want to make sure that our members and guests are safe.

For the last eight months the Yaphank Historical Society, along with our consultants Zach Studenroth and Kurt Kahofer have been working on getting the Yaphank Historic District on the State and National Register of Historic Places. Unfortunately, the voters in the district by a majority of the vote turned it down. Needless to say, this is very disappointing to us as we have spent so much time, money and effort into making our very historic community a place that we can all be proud to live in.

During these past few months we have been working on getting repair work done on our houses. This work will continue as we wait to reopen. The Homan House is getting weather stripping on all the exterior doors. We are also getting all the locks on the doors repaired and working; these are locks that are original to the house.

The Hawkins House is getting work done on the front porch and the steps leading up to the porch. There are also some flashing/roofing issues which are going to be resolved. Our volunteer gardeners worked in both gardens over the summer.

The Booth House is in good shape except for a few minor repairs which we will be taking care of. The back-yard herb garden has been maintained by our volunteer gardeners. I want to once again thank John Gobel, Store Manager, and Charlie Chacon, Operations Manager, of the Bellport Home Depot for their generous donations.

The Swezey House is scheduled to be power washed by the Town. They will also power wash the fencing and deal with the flooding issue in our parking lot. They will also be putting a fence around the Hawkins Cemetery. I want to thank Brookhaven Town Parks commissioner Eddie Morris for taking care of these items. Historic marker signs are being made for the Swezey House and the Hawkins Cemetery.

We are waiting for the Sherriff’s Department to give permission to once again have the inmates be able to come out and help us with these projects; paddock fencing around the Hawkins House, and cleaning and painting all fencing in the Historic District. These are projects that were put on hold due to the pandemic. Hopefully we will be back on track soon.

The Society is especially thankful for a generous grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, which has helped offset the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Concern for our members and visitors has necessitated the cancellation of all 2020 fundraising events.

- Robert Kessler, President