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Historical Society Looks To Preserve Past

Cataloging, digitizing project is ongoing

Established in late 1999, the Floral Park Historical Society (FPHS) continues to move forward with its mission to promote historical research and educate residents about the rich history of Floral Park and Long Island. Over the past 14 years, the society has garnered a collection of artifacts that range from early 1900s newspaper clippings to a charred AMF bowling pin from the bowling alley that blew up in 1987. So, how did FPHS get its roots?

 

“In the late 1990s, a group of people thought it would be a good idea to have a historical society,” said FPHS president Ann Corbett.

“The village historian thought that this was a good idea, so a group of us met in the parlor of the Methodist church, which is the oldest church in Floral Park. We discussed it and decided to move ahead. In 1999 we got our state provisional charter and so we were really on our way.”

 

Walter Gosden, who was the village historian at the time and still holds that post today, served as the first president. The group put together bylaws and formed a board of directors. The society currently has a couple hundred members, according to Corbett. 

 

While FPHS looks to increase membership, members and nonmembers alike are welcome to attend monthly meetings, which are held September to June in Centennial Hall, home to the society’s archives and museum. A recent meeting featured the “Braddock Boys,” a group of youngsters who grew up in nearby Bellerose and hung around Braddock Park. Many of them now live in Floral Park and other communities across Long Island. FPHS aired a documentary at the meeting and had several original Braddock Boys on hand to answer questions about what life was like more than half a century ago.

 

Skipping ahead several decades, Floral Park high school student Kaitlyn Felicetti recently earned her Girl Scouts Gold Award by compiling a photo history album—titled “Time Capsule for Floral Park Businesses—2013”—that contains 250 labeled photos of storefronts and commercial establishments along Jericho Turnpike and Tulip and Covert Avenues. Kaitlyn has decided to take her project one step further and is working with the FPHS to create a flip chart to display photos that show changes that have occurred in Floral Park’s commercial areas since the 1980s, the last time a similar album was compiled, to be on permanent display at the museum.

 

The museum and archives are also rich with memorabilia from the town’s founder, John Lewis Childs, who established the first seed catalog business in America, became a New York State Senator and was a world-famous collector of bird artifacts.

 

FPHS’ primary long-term goal is to catalog the museum’s thousands of historical items using PastPerfect Museum Software, which the village purchased through a grant from Nassau County. The project was started a year ago and is ongoing. Each item will be scanned or photographed and then cataloged into the system. The PastPerfect software will help the society keep track of and record an item’s location, provenance, condition and donor information. Key words are used for researchers’ inquiries and show pictures of items. The system can also relate similar objects and themes within different collections for future exhibits.

 

FPHS welcomes all donations, monetary or otherwise, including physical artifacts, old posters, postcards, directories and photographs.

 

For more information about making a donation or becoming a member, visit the society’s website (www.floralparkhistoricalsociety.org) or contact Ann Corbett at (516) 775-6849 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


News

The Sewanhaka Central High School District School Board adopted the 2014-15 proposed budget last week. The proposed budget total for the 2014-15 school year is $175.3 million, a budget increase of $3.52 million from last year. The tax levy increase is set at 2.1 percent. The budget vote will take place on May 20.

The current projection for state aid in 2014-15 is $29.2 million in the state legislative budget, a slight increase from last year ($27.8 million).

“There was a budget-to-budget state aid increase of 5.2 percent,” District Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie said.

The Floral Park Historical Society will host the unveiling of a historic marker to commemorate the first and only Vanderbilt Cup Race that traversed the Floral Park community, on October 8, 1904. It was one of the six Vanderbilt Cup international auto races held on Long Island between 1904 and 1910 and the first in the United States.

The festivities will be on Saturday, April 26, from noon to 2:30 p.m.; the unveiling ceremony and a short program will be at 12:30 p.m. at the triangle mini-park at the intersection of Emerson Ave. and Jericho Tpke.

Emerson Ave., between Jericho Tpke. and Lowell Ave., will be closed at noon for the event.


Calendar

Women’s Club Membership Meeting

Wednesday, April 16

North End Civic Association To Meet

Thursday, April 17

Blood Drive

Friday, April 18



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