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Letter: Gregory Museum: Half A Century Of Hicksville History

One of those priceless little jewels that endow Long Island with its oftentimes overlooked cultural, historical and scientific heritage amid the ubiquitous subdivisions, shopping malls and automotive arteriosclerosis, the Hicksville Gregory Museum remains hidden in plain sight.

This unintended camouflage conceals a science and history museum housed in Hicksville’s 1895 Heitz Place Courthouse with scientific collections from all over the world, illustrating the community’s metamorphosis from 19th Century railroad town to the heart of suburbia’s commuter culture. Permanent exhibits alone consist of Long Island’s largest assemblage of rocks, minerals, exquisite crystals and rare ores; extensive paleontological specimens including dinosaur eggs and bones; ornate seashells from tropical waters; and hundreds of Lepidoptera specimens representing all the major families and genera of butterflies and moths.

For the student of history, there’s the William Clare History Room, featuring vintage maps and photographs, miscellaneous artifacts and ephemera and memorabilia evocative of Hicksville’s earlier days.

The year 2013 marks 50 years since the Hicksville Gregory Museum was established in the residence of Hicksville educator, Dr. Gardiner E. Gregory, the brainchild of a civic-minded, if eccentric polymath whose home on Cottage Boulevard served as a museum until – with a grassroots endeavor of dedicated parents, educators, civic organizations and the local business community – the abandoned 1895 courthouse on Heitz Place was restored and made the institution’s permanent home.

Today, the museum remains not merely the repository of significant artifacts but an educational and community resource welcoming school children, scouts and the general public. The board of the Hicksville Gregory Museum is planning events throughout the year of 2013 to mark the museum’s anniversary. Starting off on Sunday, Jan. 27, The Hicksville Historical Society’s annual social program at the museum will feature the museum’s 50 years of service. Stay tuned for future events throughout the year!

Paul Manton

Docent/Staff Entomologist

Hicksville Gregory Museum

News

Hicksville’s interim School Superintendent Dr. Carl Bonuso gave a review of the district’s recently completed capital projects and facilities updates at Nov. 19’s board of education meeting. Most of the projects were completed over the summer in each of the district’s schools.

“Thanks to Director of Facilities and Operations, Dave Bell and his staff, we are structurally sound,” said Bonuso. “So much of what we do is in-house which saves the district money and our staff makes the facilities as special as the students they serve.”

The community is rallying together to raise funds for a Hicksville native who has been battling to get a service dog.

Nancy Burpee is a 49-year-old competitive swimmer and single mother with a rare genetic terminal illness called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), which causes the deterioration of the connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and vital organs.


Sports

For the past 11 months, Hicksville’s Marlo Signoracci has been training for IRONMAN, one of the most physically challenging athletic events out there. The triathlon includes a swim, bike and run portion. Signoracci recently traveled down to Florida to compete in IRONMAN Florida. Here’s a look at her experience.

Nov. 1, 2014 will be a day in my life I will never forget and will carry with me forever. It truly was the celebration of the last 11 months of training.

The fall athletic season seemed to move quickly, but all teams had outstanding seasons with all teams reaching the playoffs except for two who had their best season in many years.

In addition to athletic acheivements, all of the varsity programs at Hicksville High School also participated in raising more than $4,000 for several charities this past fall: pediatric cancer, breast cancer awareness and cystic fibrosis.


Calendar

Model Railroad Open House

November 28-30

Popcorn Balls

November 30

Craft Fair

November 30



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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