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Twelfth Night Celebration At Raynham Hall Museum

The Twelfth Night Celebration at Raynham Hall Museum filled the historic house with music and the conversations of friends. It celebrated what Raynham Hall is: a house museum. The post-holiday party on Jan. 5, Twelfth Night, is a traditional event at the museum that celebrates the eve of the Epiphany, to mark the last day of Christmas festivities.

Harriet Gerard Clark, RHM executive director said earlier, “There is so much going on in town and in people’s homes before Christmas, that we chose to celebrate the end of the Christmas holidays, when things quiet down to just enjoy getting together.”

The celebration is in keeping with the background of the Townsends Victorian English tradition. The house interprets both colonial and Victorian eras of the Townsend family.

She said after the party, “Aside from being a fun event, this party is a thank you to members and supporters of the museum from the board and staff.”

Ancestry Notes

Ancestry is always a good topic of conversation at Raynham Hall events. Jonathan Wehle of NYC, a Townsend relative was one of the guests. Mr. Wehle said graciously, he was one of thousands of Townsends, since they are all the decedents of the original three Townshend (the British spelling of the family name) brothers, John, Henry and Richard, who immigrated to America in the 1600s.

Harriet Clark said she too has a Townsend in her extended family. Neither he nor Mr. Wehle has taken the DNA test that the Townsend Society in America uses to trace which branch of the family their members are from.

What’s In A Name?

Museum educator and musician, Michael Goudket, played traditional Christmas carols and Scottish and Irish music of the 19th century on his harp as the musical background to the party. He said his name means “gold chain.”

Thomas Valentine, another RHM staff member said his last name, Valentine, is English and the family has traced it back to a 15th century death certificate.

“It’s probably a saint’s name,” offered Mr. Goudket.

Raynham Hall is especially delightful to visit when it is hosting a party. Former museum director Stuart Chase used to say he loved it when there were young children running around the house. Today, the museum continues their tradition of hosting a tree decorating party for children in local nursery schools. The Oyster Bay Co-operative Playschool at the First Presbyterian Church and children from the Wesley Nursery School at the Community Methodist Church of East Norwich.

Their tree decorated with the children’s handmade ornaments was tucked under the staircase in the front hall.

Longtime board member Patricia P. Sands, treated everyone to her special holiday punches – the temperance as well as the traditional version. There were light sweet refreshments, cheerful company, and a rendition of Auld Lang Syne completed the evening.

For more information on membership and volunteer opportunities please call Theresa Skvarla at 922-6808.

News

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, Long Islanders taking mass transit may find themselves caught up in the mad dash of the holiday rush. But on the Oyster Bay line, riders are lucky in that they don’t experience the same level of stress over parking as some of the busier lines do.

“The Oyster Bay station never seems to get that crowded, but we’ll see what happens during Thanksgiving holiday when a lot of people come to visit families. I don’t think I’ll have a problem commuting, though,” says Michael Miniero, an Oyster Bay resident who regularly commutes to work on the LIRR.

What better way to celebrate a 100th birthday than by having a new room inauguration filled with local residents, live music and cocktails and scrumptious hors d’oeuvres. That is what happened at the Locust Valley Library Sunday evening, Nov. 9, as the community room was officially renamed the Matinecock Neighborhood Association Community Room. Proceeds from the event went to the restoration of the new room.

Speakers at the centennial celebration included Library Board of Trustees President Charles Brisbane, Library Administrative Director Kathy Smith, Locust Valley Historical Society President Herb Schierhorst and Matinecock Nation Chief Little Running Fox.


Sports

In the history of Oyster Bay High School athletics, no one has ever won a Girls’ Tennis New York State Championship. Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky became the first when they won the 2014 New York State Doubles Championship in Latham on Nov. 3. What makes this tremendous achievement even more remarkable is that Matute is a junior and Kowalsky is a sophomore.

The girls, who are usually singles players, teamed up to take on the very best players in Nassau County and New York State. They won all 10 matches in the section XIII and NYSPHSAA tournaments and left Latham as the 2014 New York State doubles champions.

The conditions were as fierce as the competition earlier this month at Oakcliff Sailing’s Halloween Invitational.

Ten teams from the U.S., Canada and Bermuda battled 30-knot-plus winds, heavy rain and biting cold to see who would take top honors at Oakcliff’s final match racing event of the 2014 season.


Calendar

Raingarden Workshop

Wednesday, November 19 & Thursday, November 20

Informative Hospital Talk

November November 20

Opera Night

Sunday, November 23



Columns

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

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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