Exhibits & Events


For full details and to register for any of the Suffolk County Historical Society's upcoming events, please call: (631) 727-2881.

Remembering the 1938 Hurricane

In Our Gish Gallery
An 80th-anniversary exhibit featuring historic photographs, newspaper reports, stories of personal accounts, and artifacts salvaged from the wreckage. Curated by Jaime Karbowiak.

Celebrating the History of Film: 1900s to 1960s

In Our Grand Staas Gallery
The magic of cinema has been captivating America for over 100 years. Though the origins of early cinema are complex, Suffolk County played a surprising role in the early stages of the silent film industry! This exhibit celebrates the history of film, illustrating its early connections to Suffolk County and our area's charming local theaters, while also outlining cinema history through a showcase of one of the finest private collections of movie posters, programs, heralds, and theater window cards. From silent films to Hollywood legends, sci-fi to Disney animations, Silver Screens of Suffolk offers a fun-filled adventure for all ages!

Highlights from the Permanent Collection

In Our Weathervane Gallery
The Suffolk County Historical Society Museum has over 25,000 physical objects in its collection, most of them held in storage, sometimes for years, until placed on view for a specific exhibit. We are delighted to offer the first in a new Spotlight Series of exhibits designed to bring some of our wonderful objects out on display for all to enjoy. With over 250 paintings in our collection, this exhibit of selected oil paintings will represent a range of well-known professional artists to amateur artists from the 19th and 20th centuries. Chosen for their beauty, quality, and community connection, the SCHS will proudly unveil these paintings that we have the honor of protecting and preserving for generations to come.

In Our History in the Hall Display Cases
Teapots of the 19th Century From Our Permanent Collection. An exhibit featuring teapots of the nineteenth century from our permanent collection. The SCHS has over a hundred teapots and is proud to present the finest examples in this exhibit. In our History in the Hall Display Cases.


BOOK & BOTTLE featuring Sandi Brewster-Walker on
African American Genealogy

Saturday, February 16, 2019 – 1:00 pm
Come learn about African American family history research and the best resources to consult. Members Free; Non-Members $5. Includes light refreshments + admission to current exhibits. RSVP Requested: 631-727-2881 x 100.

BOOK & BOTTLE featuring John Strong on
America's Early Whalemen: Indian Shore Whalers on Long Island, 1650-1750

Saturday, February 23, 2019 – 11:00 am
John Strong will explore his new book on the important contributions of Native peoples to colonial America. The Indians of coastal Long Island, closely attuned to their maritime environment, became whalemen integral to the origins and development of the American whaling enterprise from 1650 to 1750. Strong's research draws on exhaustive sources and addresses labor relations, the role of alcohol and debt, the patterns of cultural accommodations by Native Americans, and the emergence of corporate capitalism in colonial America. A limited number of books will be available for purchase. Members Free; Non-Members $5. Space is limited. Reservation Required: 631-727-1881 x100.

BOOK & BOTTLE featuring Frank Turano on
Margaret Fuller: America's First Feminist

Thursday, March 7, 2019 – 6:00 pm
Join us for our National Women's History Month event, a presentation on the American journalist and women's rights advocate Margaret Fuller, whose book Woman in the Nineteenth Century is considered the first major feminist work published in America. Learn about Fuller's life, work, and connection to Suffolk County's history. Members Free; Non-Members $5. Includes wine and cheese + admission to current exhibits. RSVP Requested: 631-727-2881 x100.

OPENING RECEPTION: "Oh, Sweet Spring!"
Saturday, March 9, 2019 – 1:00 pm
"For winter's rains and ruins are over; Blossom by blossom - the Spring begins!" There may still be rain and ruin outside, but inside the museum's Gish Gallery, spring has sprung! Come explore a decadent visual and audio cornucopia of music, paintings, pottery, textiles, clothing, and sculpture that celebrate the passing of Old Man Winter. This exhibit is sure to have you kicking off the galoshes, tossing away the umbrella, and leaving with a song in your heart and a smile on your face! Free opening reception admission + light refreshments.

Preserving the Fabrics of Your Life with guest speaker Susan Jerome

Saturday, March 16, 2019 – 10:00am - 1:00 pm
Suffolk County Historical Society and Hallockville Museum Farm are excited to co-sponsor this 2019 National Quilting Day event at the SCHS Museum in Riverhead! Join us for a presentation and demonstration of this year's theme, Preserving the Fabrics of Your Life, by Susan Jerome, Collections Manager of the University of Rhode Island Historic Textile and Costume Collection. National Quilting Day is observed annually on the 3rd Saturday in March and celebrates this traditional craft and art form along with recognizing quilt makers and the love and skill that go into the making of quilts. Seats are limited and tickets must be purchased in advance. Cost is $25 Non-Member; $20 Hallockville or SCHS member. Use the button below or call to purchase tickets: 631-298-5292
Purchase Tickets

OPENING RECEPTION: "When Women Wore Whales"
Saturday, April 13, 2019 – 1:00 pm
This Weathervane Gallery exhibit illustrates the impact of the whaling industry on the women's fashion industry in the nineteenth century. Come see how busks, boning, and bayleen were used in form-fitting women's garments and accessories. Free opening reception admission + light refreshments.

April 24 - 27, 2019 – 10:00 am - 4:30 pm
A children's museum experience within the Suffolk County Historical Society Museum! Wednesday, April 24 thru Saturday, April 27, 10:00 am - 4:30 pm. Free admission for children and $5 per adult. All museum signage temporarily re-interpreted for school-age children. Touch-table educational play stations for hands-on experiences. The "Historical Play Room" for playtime the old-fashioned way! Dress in colonial garb, historic role-playing, old-world games, toys, and crafts. Play out life in the past! Scavenger hunt with prizes. Complimentary cookies & juice. More information: 631-727-2881 x100.

Please join the Suffolk County Historical Society and support local history preservation. Founded in 1886, SCHS is a non-profit organization that collects and preserves the rich history of Suffolk County. We operate a history museum, an expansive library and archives, and a multitude of events, programs, and educational lectures and workshops. Our unique and ever-growing collection of artifacts reflects more than three centuries of local history. Visit our website or call 631-727-2881 for more information.

To subscribe to our popular Photo of the Week Series, send an email to librarian Wendy Polhemus-Annibell: wannibell@schs-museum.org.

On display at the Suffolk County Water Authority Education Center in Hauppauge. A standing display on loan from the Suffolk County Historical Society provides an overview of the history of the Pine Barrens and the critical role this region plays in the protection of Suffolk County’s precious groundwater. The SCWA Education Center is located at 260 Motor Pkwy, Hauppauge, NY.