Exhibits & Events


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

A Festive Exhibit Celebrating the Passing of Old Man Winter Through the Flora & Fauna in Our Collection

In Our Gish Gallery through June 1, 2019
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! Curated by Richard P. Doctorow.

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!

Women's Justice: NY Women in the Law

In Our History in the Hall Display Cases
March 1 - 30, 2019


When Women Wore Whales: The Story of How Whalebone Shaped 19th-Century Fashion

Saturday, April 13, 2019 – 1:00 pm
Through a display of 19th-century photographs, fashion magazine plates, photographs, whaling tools, corsets, parasols, and exquisite dresses showing the changes in fashion from 1820 to 1920, this special exhibit explores the fascinating, surprising, and vital role the American whaling industry played in the world of 19th-century fashion. Curated by Richard P. Doctorow. Free opening reception admission + light refreshments. In our Weathervane Gallery.

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.

TEA & TALK with guest speaker Bruce Kagan
The Fly Girls: The Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II

Thursday, May 2, 2019 – 1:00 pm
$25 per person. Includes assorted teas, fancy finger sandwiches, and sweets! Learn about the contributions of "The Fly Girls" (as they called themselves) and how they piloted powerful and dangerous aircraft, simulated strafing missions, and transported cargo during World War II-here on Long Island and throughout the nation. Paid reservation required by 4/24. Reserve early - space is limited and sellout risk is high! Call to reserve: 631-727-2881 x100.

BOOK & BOTTLE featuring Susan Van Scoy on
The Big Duck & Eastern LI's Duck Farming Industry

Thursday, June 6, 2019 – 6:00 pm
The author will trace the fascinating and largely unknown history of Long Island's iconic Big Duck, as well as eastern Long Island's duck farming industry, both the subjects of her recently published book. Members Free; Non-Members $5. Includes wine + cheese and admission to current exhibits. This event will also include a book sale & signing. RSVP Required: 631-727-2881 x100.

The DNA Test: What's It All About? with DNA Genealogy Specialist Patricia Ann Kellner

Saturday, June 15, 2019 – 1:00 pm
Have you harnessed the power of DNA for your family history research? Make sure you are unlocking the full potential of DNA & Genetic Genealogy! Come learn how to obtain and effectively work with your DNA test results. DNA tests, such as AncestryDNA and 23andMe, are important tools to use in your quest to find your family and its origins--as well as to gain health insights. Patricia Ann Kellner, who has found lost family members and reunited adoptees to their families using Genealogy and DNA, will share her successful Genetic Genealogy strategies. ABOUT THE PRESENTER: Patricia Ann Kellner, the President of the DNA Genealogy Group of Long Island, presents numerous lectures on Genetic Genealogy (DNA) topics. She has a BA in speech communications, and is a member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild. Members $15; Non-Members $20. Includes light refreshments + admission to current exhibits! RSVP & Prepayment Required: 631-727-2881 x100. Space is limited! Reserve early - sellout risk is high!

BOOK & BOTTLE featuring Bill Bleyer on
Little Known Aspects of Long Island's Maritime History

Thursday, July 18, 2019 – 6:00 pm
The author-historian will offer highlights from his latest book, Long Island and the Sea: A Maritime History (History Press, 2019), the first complete maritime history of Long Island, including discussions of the development of submarines and torpedoes, the landing of Pan Am Clippers in Port Washington, and the world's most innovative whaling captain, among other topics. Members Free; Non-Members $5. Includes wine + cheese and admission to current exhibits. This event will also feature a book sale and signing. RSVP Required: 631-727-2881 x100.

Saturday, August 17, 2019 – 11:00 am
Professional genealogists from the Daughters of the American Revolution will give a genealogy presentation promptly at 11:00 am aimed at assisting those interested in applying for DAR admission, followed by personalized hands-on assistance until 2:30 pm. Bring your questions, your family history paperwork, a notebook, and a laptop if you have one! Members Free; Non-Members $5. Light refreshments included. Registration Required: 631-727-2881 x100. Space is limited & sellout risk is high! Call early to reserve!

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.