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Advocates For Preservation Honored

The former Bruce Mansion, now known as The Woodlands at the Town of Oyster Bay Golf Course, was filled with like spirits on July 9: advocates for preservation. The Oyster Bay Historical Society was honoring activists who put their energies into preserving history at their second annual Advocates for Historic Preservation and Education Awards Reception.

When Oyster Bay’s Ben Jankowski’s name was called out, he received cheers from supporters of him and his wife, Kathryn Prinz.

Jankowski was honored for his work as former chairman of the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum for which he raised over a million dollars in grants and wrote their business plan. He encouraged the Town of Oyster Bay to revise its tree ordinance and he and Kathy Prinz were founders of Save the Jewel by the Bay.  It is the group whose activism encouraged the Town of Oyster Bay to revise their zoning regulations in an attempt to preserve the suburban landscape in the township. Prinz also teaches flute and zither students, has a foot reflexology business and was responsible for a tree planted in front of the Oyster Bay Community Center in honor of Arbor Day.

She presented OBHS Executive Director Philip Blocklyn with a copy of the Jewels of Oyster Bay, a collection of photographs and articles about historic houses in Oyster Bay that first appeared as a column in the Oyster Bay Enterprise Pilot.

Also worth mentioning is that honoree Michael Piccolo donated nine paintings to the silent auction. One of them, of St. John’s Episcopal Church of Cold Spring Harbor, was done when he was 23 years old. Another of Michael Piccolo’s paintings was won by Karen Loeffler in the silent auction.

Valued Honorees

Speaking to the audience, Blocklyn said of the OBHS, “We are just a very active place. We don’t just put things away in boxes. We don’t rope off historic rooms. We are all about sharing our historic past.”

He said when people ask how they can help, he tells them, “Just join and come to our events and workshops.” 

Blocklyn introduced Brian Merlis, photo archivist, and Class of 2011 honoree to make the introductions. His preservation advice was, “We must wisely pick our fights to protect historic buildings.”

Local residents being honored included: Honoree Victoria Crosby, vice president of administration for the North Shore Historical Museum and host of Oasis radio program, and past regent of the DBE.

Honoree Nancy Metz, is a visual arts teacher at the Waldorf School in Garden City and with her husband George Lindsey, founders of the Long Island Traditional Music Association.

Honoree Stella Miller of the Huntington and Oyster Bay Audubon Association is the coalition coordinator of The Early Years Institute for teaching environmentalism to children.

Honoree Ed Mohlenhoff Esq., is with Koeppel, Martone and Leistman, one of the sponsors. He is board president of Youngs Cemetery and lives at Baker Hollow, his great-great-grandparents home that is about 130 years old.

Honoree Louis Norris was congratulated was for his work with Floating the Apple, a New York based group that builds Whitehall gigs for racing used to teach inner city youth the marvels of marine life.

Honoree Michael Piccolo, Esq., associate broker with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, donated nine paintings of local scenes to the silent auction. He has been involved in restoring several historic houses.

Monica Randall, historical preservationist, film location scout, author and “rescuer” of dresses from North Shore mansions being demolished in the ‘60s was also honored. Many of those garments are on view at the North Shore Historical Museum. Randall wore one of the collections’ dresses to the gala.

Honoree Alice Smith is president of the North Country Garden Club of America, the group that maintains the colonial garden at the Earle Wightman House, the headquarters of the OBHS.

Honoree Kate Velsor is director of the Underground Railroad Teaching Partnership, author of several books and preservationist interested in saving the Maine Maid Inn as an historic location on the Underground Railroad. The building is currently in “contested foreclosure” as the owner fights the designation. Velsor said there are buyers still interested in the historic inn, located in Jericho.

 Other honorees include: Jason Antos, screenwriter and author; William Asadorian, archivist and librarian at the Long Island Collection and the Social Sciences Divisions of the Queens Borough Public Library; Carl Ballenas, moderator, the Immaculate Conception School; Christopher Collura, award winning print and broadcast reporter; Denward Collins, former president, Nassau County Historical Society; George Fosty, founder and president of Society of North American Historians And Researchers; Ron Marzlock, vice president of the Central Queens Historical Association; and Jim Trent, founder and president of the Queens County Farm Museum, the largest working farm museum in the world.

Bayville resident Dave Gugerty, Esq. recognized familiar faces including Jankowski of the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum. He said his children attended Oyster Babies and visited the trains. He brought citations to the honorees from Legislator Judy Jacobs. Gugerty said he is indebted to history as his daughters won prizes for articles on the history of the Bayville Bridge and the Nassau County Executive Building.  Gugerty is running for a seat on the Nassau County Legislature 18th District.

The reception honored Long Islanders who have distinguished themselves as advocates for history’s vital role in our lives today. Historic preservation and education are two critical elements of the OBHS’s core mission. In addition, the reception raised funds in support of the society’s ongoing programs and services, including exhibitions, lectures, book signings, workshops, and other community events. For more information call 516-922-5032.

News

Our experience of 9/11 has changed; today it is seen as part of a journey and not an isolated event. On Wednesday, Sept. 10, President Barack Obama spoke to the nation saying the battle against terrorism is ongoing. 

 

That awareness that we had gone through the experience of the fall of the Twin Towers and had rebounded, but the danger is not over, and the battle is still to be won was repeated by Senator Carl Marcellino at the Day of Commemoration at the Oyster Bay 9/11 Memorial Garden on the Western Waterfront on Thursday evening.

“Visitation is up 300 percent,” said Harriet Gerard Clark, Raynham Hall Museum director.

“Two-thirds of them come because of reading the book by Brian Kilmeade, George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved The American Revolution, and seeing the series ‘Turn’ on A&E,” added Tom Valentine, docent, who keeps the list of visitors. Soon the series will include the story of Robert Townsend of Oyster Bay who was known as Culper, Jr. when he was a spy for George Washington.

Alex Sutherland, director of education, nailed his definition. “He was the most important spy for George Washington because he had the perfect cover. He was pretending to be a Loyalist and writing for a Loyalist newspaper and befriending British officers at his coffee shop in downtown New York while secretly collecting information.


Sports

Hard work paid off for local athletes Christine Grippo of Locust Valley, Kelly Pickard of Oyster Bay, Bernadette Winnubst of Locust Valley, Steven Quigley of Bayville, Catherine Soler of Oyster Bay, Maria Elinger of Oyster Bay, and Armand D’Amato of Oyster Bay Cove, each of whom won awards in a field of some of the best triathletes from all of Long Island and beyond in the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon, held in and around Oyster Bay’s Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park on Saturday morning, Aug. 23.

Grippo earned top honors in the women’s 30-34 age group with a time of 1 hour, 17 minutes, 36 seconds. Pickard (1:17:39) scored first among the women in the 35-39 age group. Winnubst scored in 1:38:48 to earn third place honors in the Masters Athena Weight Division. Quigley earned the second place award in the Masters Clydesdale Weight Division in 1:23:23. Soler (1:29:12) scored 5th among the women in the 20-24 age group. Ehlinger (1:39:23) was the 4th place award winner in the women’s 55-59 age group. D’Amato (1:42:44) earned top honors in the 70-74 age group.

Ice Dreams, an Olympic Ice Show starring 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist Jason Brown and aspiring local skaters, is coming to Twin Rinks Ice Center at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow on Sept. 20.

Isabella Skvarla, 13, Julia Tauter, 12, and Chiara Vlacich, 12, all of Oyster Bay, Julia Forte, 12, of Locust Valley and Riley Stein, 11, of Bayville will be skating in the world class show to celebrate the opening of the best figure skating facility Long Island has ever seen.


Calendar

Art In A Meadow

Saturday, Sept. 13

Bayville Oktoberfest

Saturday, Sept. 13 - Sunday, Sept. 14

Hurricane Preparedness

Tuesday, Sept. 16



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