01/21/13 6:00pm
01/21/2013 6:00 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTOCurator David Byer-Tyre and SCHS executive director Kathy Curran holding  Currier and Ives 'Dark Town' series prints.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Curator David Byer-Tyre and Suffolk County Historical Society executive director Kathy Curran holding Currier and Ives’ ‘Dark Town’ series prints.

Visitors who have seen the pieces in the latest exhibit at the Suffolk County Historical Society have been shocked, said executive director Kathy Curran.

OSBORN COLLECTION COURTESY IMAGEA photograph of a Ku Klux Klan funeral procession on Long Island, circa 1930s.

OSBORN COLLECTION COURTESY IMAGE
A photograph of a Ku Klux Klan funeral procession on Long Island, circa 1930s.

The items in the exhibit show the history of intolerance toward blacks on Long Island, and detail how organizations like the Ku Klux Klan were active on the East End as recently as 50 years ago.

“It’s just a form of education,” Ms. Curran said in a story that will run in the Jan. 24 paper. “We’re not editing history.”

The exhibit, called “Hidden and Forbidden,” will open on Feb. 1 at the Suffolk County Historical Society in Riverhead with a sister exhibition at East End Arts. Part of the exhibit documents artists attemps to “reclaim” the black identity in the face of racism.

See below to learn more about the history of racism on the East End and get a sneak peek of the pieces in the exhibit.

 

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | A KKK garment given to the Suffolk County Historical Society by an anonymous donor. The robes are from Long Island.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | A KKK garment given to the Suffolk County Historical Society by an anonymous donor. The robes are from Long Island.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Curator David Byer-Tyre with artwork by Bob Carter of Dix Hills. This painting is part of the exhibit to document artists attempting to "reclaim" the black identity in the face of racism.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Curator David Byer-Tyre with artwork by Bob Carter of Dix Hills. This painting is part of the exhibit to document artists attempting to “reclaim” the black identity in the face of racism.

COURTESY PHOTO An 1882 Currier & Ives lithograph from a private collection.

COURTESY PHOTO | An 1882 Currier & Ives lithograph from a private collection.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO A game based on Monopoly which came out in 2003 called "Ghettopoly".

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | A game based on Monopoly which came out in 2003 called “Ghettopoly”.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO The Woodhull's of Wading River quilt, made by Charlotte York in 1843 and completed in 1850.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The Woodhull’s of Wading River quilt includes this depiction of a slave woman at work made by Charlotte York in 1843. The quilt was completed in 1850.

psquire@timesreview.com

05/12/12 11:00am
05/12/2012 11:00 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Supreme Court Judge Peter Fox Cohalan, shown here in his chambers at the state Supreme Court building in Riverhead, was named county historian Tuesday by the Suffolk County Legislature.

During his lifetime, Peter Fox Cohalan has been an attorney, an Islip town supervisor, a Suffolk County executive and a state Supreme Court justice, among other things.

On Tuesday, he picked up a new title.

Judge Cohalan, who will retire at the end of June, was appointed Suffolk County historian by the county Legislature. He will have an office in donated space at the Suffolk County Historical Society in Riverhead, and he will fill the job as an unpaid volunteer.

Mr. Cohalan, who is 74, said at the Legislature’s economic development and energy committee last Wednesday that he’s been an “amateur historian for the last 65 years.”

His interest in history came from his father, who once wrote a book about Aaron Burr, and his grandfather, he said, as well as from his own family history.

“I got started because one of my family members was the first Catholic priest on Long Island back in 1839, and I was very interested in his career,” Mr. Cohalan told the legislative committee last Wednesday.

This relative was the co-founder and second pastor of St. Andrew’s Church in Sag Harbor, back in 1845, he said, adding that St. Andrew’s was the first Catholic church on Long Island.

From there, he said, his interest in local history expanded into other areas. He said he’s currently researching the African-American communities that settled in Sag Harbor in the 19th century, and wants to “play up” the history of various diverse segments of the county’s population.

“We all have a story to tell and I want to help tell those stories,” he said last Wednesday.

County Legislator Ed Romaine (R-Center Moriches) liked the choice.

“I could not think of a more appropriate historian for this county, who has great knowledge and love for the history of this county, than Peter Fox Cohalan,” he said Friday.

Mr. Romaine recalled that when he was teacher in Hauppauge in 1971, Mr. Cohalan, then Islip Town supervisor, came to speak to his high school history club.

“Everything comes from something, and I think it is so important that through this position, we can explain to the people of Suffolk County where we came from,” Mr. Cohalan said last Wednesday.

The county historian position has been vacant since 2007, and was last held by Lance Mallamo.

tgannon@timesreview.com

04/14/12 7:00am
04/14/2012 7:00 AM

Shelter Island herbalist and educator Sarah Sheppard shared Native Americans stories with children as part of the spring break program, “Montaukett Princess Heather Flower” Thursday morning on the lawn of the Suffolk County Historical Society building in Riverhead.

The children created Native American medicine bags, crafted using rose petals, bay leaves, cinnamon, jasmine flowers, rosemary, cloves and a special stone.

The medicine Bags were traditionally carried by Native Americans on their journeys, put under pillows for luck and held closely to remember their relatives, she said.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTOS | Shelter Island native herbalist and educator Sarah Sheppard (second from left) on the lawn of the Suffolk County Historical Society, where she taught kids about Native American culture Thursday.

John Foley, 9, of Riverhead (from left), Bryn Stevenson, 9, of Riverhead, Amelia Stevenson, 8, of Riverhead and Jack Lacey, 9, of Mastic Beach grind up herbs and flowers for their medicine bags.

Bryn Stevenson, 9, of Riverhead uses a clam shell to fill the medicine bag.

A stone is placed in each bag.

Dried jasmine flowers.

Bridgette Murphy, 8, of Riverhead and April Gonzales, 7, of Riverhead grind the flowers and herbs in a mortar and pestle for their medicine bags.

 

 

03/25/12 11:00am

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Rug hooking instructor Loretta Scena (center) gives some pointers to Sue Shulz of Jamesport as Gloria Peropat of Riverhead listens in.

The president of the Long Island Guild of Rug Crafting Artists gave a workshop Saturday afternoon at the Suffolk County Historical Society building in Riverhead, teaching participants how to make a small amulet mixed-media bag, which involved both hooking and sewing.

The workshop, presented by instructor Loretta Scena of Deer Park, was held in conjunction with the exhibit in honor of Women’s History month, “From Rags to Riches: The Living Tradition of Rug Hooking.”

“Rug hooking is the best kept secret in the world,” Ms. Scena said. “When people see it they love it.”

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