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Preserving Hicksville’s History

If you’ve ever wondered what Hicksville was like back in the 1800s, James Janis is the person to ask. Janis is the Hicksville historian as well as a reference librarian at the Hicksville Public Library. He works on organizing the archives of Hicksville’s history, as well as preparing them for the future.

“I’m working in the past, I’m trying to prepare for the future, and at the same time, I’m working in the present,” said Janis.

The archives have original material that go back as far as 1896 and research articles that go back to the 1840’s. Some of Janis’ prized possessions in his archives include the Silver Star and Purple Heart of a Hicksville resident named James Madden who was killed during World War II, as well as a letter from the Western Union informing the parents of Charles Wagner that he died in World War I.

Janis received his masters in Library Science from Queens College and starting working at the the library five years ago.

Many people come in to the library to do research on families, Hicksville history, as well as school assignments. People also like to look at the yearbooks, and the library has a good collection of the yearbooks starting from the early 1930’s.

“I try and pay attention to what goes on in Hicksville and if something interesting happens, I try and preserve it and put it in the archives," said Janis. He collects vertical files on anything about Hicksville including horses in Hicksville, and even famous murders and serial killers from Hicksville.

“Everything is eventually going to be digitalized, and the archives should eventually be available online,” said Janis.

One of Janis’ daily duties include searching the The New York Times archives to find articles that have any mention of Hicksville. “The first article about Hicksville was in 1854,” he said. “It was about a woman named Betsy Baldwin, who fell down a well and the news made it into The New York Times.”

Janis is currently working on a program about Hicksville residents in World War I. He has previously done programs with Hicksville in World War II and Hicksville in the Spanish American War. The programs received good reviews and Janis plans on continuing with more programs, until he eventually covers Hicksville in all of the wars.    

“While working on these programs I do a lot of original research,” he said. “I end up tracking grandparents or descendants, I find documentation, and I find out things that nobody knew about Hicksville.”

Janis hopes to present the program on Hicksville in World War I in time for Memorial Day.

For more information, visit www.hicksvillelibrary.org

News

Levittown Hall in Hicksville comes alive every Thursday night with music, dance, fun and laughter as students are swept away into the world of Latin dance.

Under the instruction of professional teacher Mark James, dance hopefuls learn a trio of Latin dance, including salsa, meringue and what James describes as the biggest craze in Latin dancing today, bachata.

 book shops in Hicksville and around the country will hand out free comics on Oct. 25, to celebrate the second biggest free comic book event of the year—Halloween ComicFest. On Saturday, anyone who goes into a participating comic shop can choose from 19 free comics and participate in fun activities comic shops host for their customers to enjoy, while discovering new types of comics and the treasures found in store.

In Hicksville, both Game Master Games (954 S. Broadway) and Amok Time (108C New South Road) will be taking part in the Halloween ComicFest festivities. Game Master Games just recently started carrying comic books and this will be the store’s first comic book-related event. Coincidently, the event runs in the middle of an in-store gaming convention, and store owner Dave VanderWerf is looking forward to the increased exposure for the store.


Sports

The Hicksville girls volleyball team improved to 7-1 by knocking off Oceanside in three consecutive sets by scores of 25-13, 25-19 and 25-14.

Emily Markakis played terrificly, using a powerful serve to record three aces, seven kills and added nine digs. Nikki Chase added six kills and eight digs. Additionally, Raeann Dong was versatile—recording three aces, seven kills and nine digs.

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School


Calendar

Board of Education Meeting

October 22

Oktoberfest

October 25-26

Pancake Breakfast

October 26



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com