Exhibits & Events

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

New Permanent Exhibit Opens to the Public
June 3, 2023
Gallery hours: 10:00am to 4:30pm
(excluding holiday weekends)

Designed as the new core of the Suffolk County Historical Society Museum, this new interactive permanent exhibit, “a museum within a museum,” provides a comprehensive timeline of over 200 historically significant moments that shaped Suffolk County into the vibrant community it is today. From the geological formation of Long Island, to the arrival of its indigenous people, moving forward through history to modern times, our greatest residents and achievements figure prominently in this exhibition celebrating our history, our heritage, and our people. Our story is told through over 200 artifacts and documents, photos, digital screens, and interactive digital experiences that will delight every visitor, while walking guests through our history, century by century.

This exhibit is funded in part by the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, with additional support from Roberta Cooper in memory of James B. Cooper III and the Cooper Family.

Photography of Carole Amodeo
Opening Reception Friday, June 9, 2023 – 5:00pm-7:00pm
Exhibit runs June 9 - July 29, 2023

This reflection photography series is a perfect summer delight, as the fluid-like undulations of blown glass are captured in the camera lens with the effect of rippling water.

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Carole J. Amodeo has 22 years' experience as a self-taught photographer. She is acknowledged particularly for her very unique Reflections Series, which she began in 1997 and continues to expand upon. To create her images, Carole uses either her iPhone or her point-and-shoot camera (on automatic) and feels the simplicity of her process is a defining element of her work. There is no enhancing or photoshopping in this work. Carole has exhibited in galleries throughout Suffolk and Nassau counties. $5 admission, light refreshments will be served.

Horrific Homicides: A Judge Looks Back at the Amityville Horror Murders and Other Infamous Long Island Crimes
with Elizabeth Stark Dugan & Ellen Stark

Saturday, July 8, 2023 – 1:00 pm
During his thirty-seven years on the bench in Suffolk County, Supreme Court Justice Thomas M. Stark, while presiding over more than 250 criminal jury trials, developed a reputation as a tough but fair-minded jurist with a deep knowledge of criminal law. In Horrific Homicides: A Judge Looks Back at the Amityville Horror Murders and Other Infamous Long Island Crimes, Judge Stark shares the stories of four trials that mesmerized Long Islanders in the 1970s and 1980s, chief among them the shocking murders of the DeFeo family in Amityville. Also the author of Riverhead: The Halcyon Years, 1861–1919, Judge Stark died in 2014, having nearly completed the manuscript for Horrific Homicides. His daughters, Elizabeth Stark Dugan and Ellen Stark, who grew up hearing stories of their father’s trials at the dinner table, completed the book based on trial notes, court filings, and news reports. At this event, they will discuss the infamous crimes, the making of the book, and the enduring legacy of these events on the history of Suffolk County.

BOOK SALE & SIGNING: Horrific Homicides will be sold at this event. $15 each. Cash only.

ABOUT THE PRESENTERS: Elizabeth Stark Dugan has written and edited articles for a variety of publications, including Psychology Today, Health, and Science 80. Ellen Stark, a former deputy editor at Money magazine, is a freelance writer and editor specializing in business and finance.

Members Free, Non-Members $8. Includes refreshments. Registration + non-refundable prepayment required. Space is limited! Call 631-727-2881 to reserve your spot! Or reserve at Eventbrite for a small surcharge:

Register Here

Featuring the Photography of Neil Scholl and Peter Dicke

In Our Gish Gallery thru July 29, 2023
Enjoy the scenery and views of the North Fork as though you were enjoying a Sunday drive in this captivating photography exhibit that captures all of the natural beauty of the North Fork, photographed through all seasons. Neil Scholl is Professor Emeritus of New York Institute of Technology, where for 20 years he taught photography and graphic design. His work is focused on street and documentary photography and has been widely exhibited at galleries, including Gallery North, Heckscher Museum, Montauk Lighthouse Museum, Water Mill Museum, and the Islip Art Museum. Peter Dicke, an original member of Gallery 338 in Huntington, was introduced to photography by his grandfather and, as a teenager, created his first black-and-white photographs with a Speed Graphic camera. Peter continues to develop his passion for image-making via digital photography, where his focus is on documentary and landscape images.

Suffolk County's Early Silversmiths

In our History in the Hall Display Cases Now thru January 2024
In March 2020, the Suffolk County Historical Society secured a significant acquisition of over 100 pieces of silver crafted by Suffolk County's earliest known silversmiths. With works by Joel, John, and Paul Sayre, Elias Pelletreau, B. Coleman, and Col. David Hedges, this display case exhibit glistens with the handcrafted work of these fine eighteenth-century artisans. The SCHS Board of Trustees is proud to present this notable collection, exhibited for the first time.

Silversmithing was one of the earliest arts practiced in the American colonies. As early as 1638, just eight years after Boston had been settled, fourteen-year-old from Boston named John Hull is documented to have been apprenticed to his half-brother Richard Storer to learn the art of crafting in silver. The increase of silver coins available in the colonies added to the growing importance of silversmiths. Early American silversmiths were influenced by both Dutch and English designs, but eventually there evolved an “American” style – simple and sturdy in design, substantial in weight, and well crafted.

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.

[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 Weds. to Sat., 12:30-4:30 pm.
An appointment is strongly recommended for all researchers and is required on Saturdays.
Call to reserve your research visit:
631-727-2881 x103
Phone: (631) 727-2881
Fax: (631) 727-3467

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