Exhibits & Events

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


BOOK & BOTTLE featuring Mark A. Torres on
Long Island Migrant Labor Camps: Dust for Blood

Saturday, June 4, 2022 – 1:00 pm
This event will be followed by a Book Sale & Signing.
In the decades following World War II, thousands of migrant workers lured by promises of good wages and decent housing flocked to the eastern end of Long Island where they were often cheated out of pay and housed in deadly slum-like conditions. The author will discuss the dreadful history of these migrant camps, a riveting true account, from their inception after World War II, through their heyday in the 1960s, and culminating with their decline toward the end of the twentieth century. Mr. Torres will also discuss the heroic efforts of those who were critics of the camps and fought to improve the lives of migrant workers in Suffolk County. Members free; Non-Members $8. Includes refreshments. Reservation Required: 631-727-2881 x100.

Historic Songs of Suffolk County's Maritime Life
A musical event with Stephen Sanfilippo

Saturday, June 11, 2022 – 1:00 pm
Since the 1970s, Stephen and his wife Susan have been researching LI's maritime songs. In this performance, Stephen will take us on a musical voyage through Suffolk County's historic connections to the sea, performing songs from the late 1800s and beyond with his vocals, banjo, concertina, and guitar. Sing along to songs about a Greenport whaling ship, the romance of a whaler, rum-running, shipwrecks, clamming, and spearing for eels, to name a few. Stephen's performance is certain to provoke interesting insights into the nature, history, and people of maritime Long Island. Regular museum admission applies. Free to members.

with Genealogist Sandi Brewster-Walker

Saturday, June 18, 2022, 1:00 PM
ack by popular demand! Come learn about People of Color family history research and resources in this lecture by Sandi Brewster-Walker. For beginning and advanced genealogists alike with a particular interest in researching the family histories of Long Island People of Color, this workshop will cover using information sources (including the just-released 1950 census records), interpreting research data, incorporating new data, and organizing records, among other useful resources and strategies. Members Free; Non-Members $8. Includes refreshments. Reservation Required: 631-727-2881 x100.

featuring Christopher Verga and Karl Grossman on
Cold War Long Island

Saturday, July 16, 2022 – 1:00 pm
This event will include a Book Sale & Signing after the talk.
The authors will speak about their new book, Cold War Long Island, which chronicles Cold War activities on Long Island, including the establishment of bases for nuclear-tipped missiles in Rocky Point and Westhampton, and proposed Plum Island Animal Disease Center research on the use of biological warfare to destroy livestock in the Soviet Union. Soviet spy rings on the island and the role of Brookhaven National Labs will also be discussed. Members Free; Non-Members $8. Includes refreshments. Reservation Required: 631-727-2881 x100.

Long Island’s Grand Estates of Yesteryear

In Our Gish Gallery
From the Gilded Age to Great Gatsby's 1920s, recognizable names like the Vanderbilts, Roosevelts, Havemeyers, and Woolworths enjoyed their countryside vacation estates built across Long Island. Reminiscent of English country homes, these estates are still appreciated today for their architectural beauty and grandeur. With cavernous hallways, soaring ceilings, unparalleled woodwork, and gardens that rivaled the palaces of Europe, these estates were the envy of those outside of the gates. Captured through aerial photography in the 1930s, these images present some of the earliest glimpses of what was found beyond the gates...

Victorian Era Toys, Games, and Dolls, and the Invention of the Modern Child

In Our Weathervane Gallery
The concept of "childhood" has not always been what it is today; in fact, for most of history it was something very different indeed. Children were viewed as mini-adults, and childhood a time for strict moral instruction, or work, or both. Changes in attitude came slowly, with the final great shift towards "modern childhood" blossoming in the Victorian Era. Childhood finally became seen as a time of carefree innocence, whimsy, imagination, and, most of all, fun! Come see dozens of Victorian Era childhood wonders from our collection - toys, dolls, card games, boardgames, puzzles. and more - all in our Weathervane Gallery, Dec. 11 thru April 3. See life through the eyes of a child living a century or more ago! We guarantee you'll find something that will warm your heart.

Prints, Lithographs and Etchings from the SCHS Collection

In our Staas Gallery

Before the 1800s, art was largely reserved for the wealthy, but with the invention of lithography in 1796 - and particularly color lithography in 1837 - printers were able to mass-produce beautiful color prints that were cheap enough for anyone to buy. Suddenly, art was available to all and everyone could decorate their homes and offices with any of the thousands of images offered by such notable printers as Louis Prang, Napoleon Sarony, and Currier and Ives. Featuring themes of nineteenth-century life in landscapes, cityscapes, ships, racehorses, scenes from literature, politics, Civil War battle scenes, and rare examples of "lithographic Long Island," this exhibit captures the evolution of an American art form.

Hand-blown glass art manufactured with centuries-old techniques by the Kreutz brothers of Riverhead

Now in Our History in the Hall display cases

For the first time in over 30 years our entire Silverbrook Collection will be showcased in our museum! After fleeing their native Czechoslovakia in 1937 in fear of a Hitler invasion, the four Kreutz brothers came to the United States as fifth-generation glass-blowers, settling in Suffolk County and establishing their glassworks company on Flanders Road in Riverhead. Unlike most other glassware manufacturers using machines at the time, Joseph, Henry, Frank, and John Kreutz used the traditional centuries-old hand-blown glass techniques they had learned in their homeland to create extraordinary glass art pieces.

a Newly Interpreted Permanent Exhibit
This newly renovated and permanent exhibit, "Long Island in Conflict," offers uniforms, weapons, medals, and other objects from our permanent collection, honoring Long Island's contribution to our country's defense.

Member Free; Non-Member $8
Limited Seating. Reservation Required: 631-727-2881 x100

Saturday, June 4, 2022- 1:00 PM
Long Island Migrant Labor Camps: Dust for Blood, with Mark A. Torres

Saturday, July 16, 2022 - 1:00 PM
Cold War Long Island, with Christopher Verga & Karl Grossman

Thursday, August 4, 2022 - 6:00 PM
Maritime Smuggling on Long Island: From Pirates to Rumrunners, with Bill Bleyer

Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022 – 6:00 PM
Enrico Fermi: Voyage to a New World, with Edward A. Sierra

Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022 - 6:00 PM
Haunted Long Island Mysteries, with Kerriann Flanagan Brosky & Joe Giaquinto

Saturday, November 12, 2022 - 1:00 PM
The True Story of the Culper Spy Ring, with Bill Bleyer

[Poster for 'Be a Witness to History' exhibit]BE A WITNESS TO HISTORY!
The Suffolk County Historical Society invites you to be a witness to our living history. Please consider sharing your COVID-19 experiences for our historic archives. Email your stories to: librarian@schs-museum.org. Be sure to put "COVID-19" in your subject line and to include your location and contact information.


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.

300 West Main Street, Riverhead, NY 11901

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Wednesday - Saturday - 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Open by Appointment Only.
Call to reserve your research visit:
631-727-2881 x103
Phone: (631) 727-2881
Fax: (631) 727-3467

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