From The President

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January 2021

Welcome to 2021. I hope this letter finds you all well. It seems like we have a way to go before we get back to normal, whatever the new normal will be. Our historic houses remain closed until we deem it is safe to open them. We hope to be doing some virtual meetings this year and we will keep you up to date as we go along setting them up.

Our Librarian, Peggy Judd, and Board Trustee, Kitty Daniels, have been busy in our library. They have been working on creating a searchable library database for our Library Collections and Kitty has also been working with our Curator, Helen Kalbach, on creating a similar Society Collections database of our many artifacts and items of furniture.

Carpentry and repair work on our houses is continuing. We are installing weather stripping on the Homan House. We are also repairing all the original locks on the building and installing window locks. We are also rebuilding the front porch of the Hawkins House. There was considerable rot and we have a lot of repairs to do. Some of the trim and the moldings, as well as the balustrades, must be custom made to replicate the original. We also need to clean, repair, and paint all the fences in the Historic District this year.

The Yaphank Historical Society has some long-range plans for our district; we want to restore the portico on the front of the Homan House and restore the storage shed at the rear of the Homan House. This shed is dated early 1800s. We would like to do an archaeological study around the building when funds become available.

There are two historic structures that the Society would like to acquire: 1) the old Post Office building for the long term storage of our ever-growing archival collections. This building is a masonry structure and was built in 1948 and would be perfect for our storage needs; and 2) the Grey Cottage that is next to the Homan House. We would use this house as a welcome center and a gift shop. The acquisition of the Grey Cottage and the old Post Office building, along with the Hawkins House, Homan House, Booth House, the old Garage, and our Nature Trail, would make a wonderful walking historic district.

Special thanks: I would like to thank our 3rd district Legislator Rudy Sunderman and his office staff for all their help in achieving our goals.

I would like to thank the Suffolk County Sherriff’s Vocational Training Program and all of the Correction Officers and inmates in the program who have helped us with our many projects.

I would also, once again, thank the Gardiner Foundation, the Pomeroy Foundation, and the Preservation League of New York for stepping up and helping us in this time of need.

If you are not a member of the Yaphank Historical Society, I urge you to become a member and help us to preserve the beauty and charm that is Yaphank.

- Robert Kessler, President