From The President

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July 2021


I hope all of you are safe and enjoying your summer.

The Yaphank Historical Society is going to offer historic house tours, by appointment only, in July and August. We ask that you make a reservation, by either calling our headquarters number or sending an email to our website. It is important that we know the number of people in your party, especially If you are coming with a group. Please check page 6 of this Newsletter for details and updates. Our primary concern is the safety and well being of our members and guests.

Some Good News. In August, the Society is once again going to host our in-person General Membership Programs. These are on the third Thursday of every month at 7:30pm at the Swezey-Avey House. Please check our Newsletter and our website for updates. All of our houses have been professionally cleaned for everyone’s safety.

A brief update of some recent Historic District work follows:

Hawkins House--We have had our restoration carpenter (Jerimiah McGiff) continuing his work on the Hawkins House porch. He has been restoring the columns, balustrades, and the upper and lower rails. He has also replaced the steps that were compromised. We also had him repair the fencing that is on the north side of the property.

Booth House --We have replaced the locks at the Booth House and did some minor repairs at the house. We have repaired the fencing at the Buckingham Cemetery. We have also cleaned up the cemetery. We just need to paint the fence. We have repaired the herb garden fence that is behind the Booth House; this fence also needs to be painted.

Homan-Gerard House--We also have continued our work at the Homan House. We have continued to do the weather stripping and we had to take the rear door down and sand and refinish it. We also had an issue with one of the hearths that was not safe. We had to remove the bricks and the defining, replace both and shore up the underside of the hearth. We also checked the other hearths in the house and found them to be in good order.

Hawkins Cemetery--We are also restoring the cemetery sign. We will clean up the cemetery and put a split rail fence around it. We are evaluating getting a grant to restore the stones.

Furniture Donations--The Society recently received several large donations of furniture. We thank Betty Fuka and the Edythe Davis Family for their support. Among the two rooms full of furniture, there were pieces appropriate for each of our three historic houses (Booth, Hawkins, and Homan) plus a few pieces that remained to be used in the SwezeyAvey House.

Once again, I want to thank Sherriff Toulon and the inmate program. The program works so well and has been a big help to us in getting much of our work done.

As always, I also want to thank Eddie Morris for his generous support of our Society.

- Robert Kessler, President



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