Written by Marilou Giammona Saturday, 15 June 2013 00:00
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.
Saturday, 23 August 2014 00:00
On June 6, 1944, the Americans and the Allies stormed the beaches of Normandy, France, with 150,000 soldiers, 5,000 ships, and 11,000 aircraft in a titanic battle to breach Hitler’s fortified Atlantic Wall. Operation Overlord was the largest invasion in world history; the forces of democracy and freedom were in a fight to the finish against powerful totalitarian regimes and their ideologies. The invasion drew upon all the physical, spiritual, material, and human resources of our great nation. Brave, young Americans overcame daunting odds as they fought their way across Utah and Omaha beaches. These boys, doing the deeds of men, that day changed the course of history.
Friday, 22 August 2014 00:00
At the intersection of Carnation and Tulip avenues, passersby might have noticed the erected scaffolding attached to Centennial Hall. According to village officials the building, because of its age and its need for some repair and maintenance, is being examined and evaluated. The monumental columns, that support the front of the building, are deteriorating.The building was sold by the Freemasons organization to the village more than 10 years ago. It presently serves as the Floral Park Historical Society Museum, a community meeting place, and storage. It has been used as a donation collection site for the Nassau County Firefighters Operation Wounded Warrior’s annual event and as the Friends of the Library annual book sale.
The inspection is in progress. The village plans to have more information available as the results are reported.