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Preserving The Past

This year marks the 35th anniversary of The Sea Cliff Village Museum. Founded in 1979, the museum serves as a place to preserve and publicly display historical items of  past Sea Cliff residents. The museum displays both temporary and permanent collections from the 18th through 20th centuries. Most of the items and artifacts in the museum have been donated by residents of Sea Cliff who want to share them with the rest of the North Shore community. 

 

The layout of the museum is comparable to a house. Each room serves a different function. On the first floor, there is a room allocated to artifacts and photos of the recreational and sporting activities in which Sea Cliff residents partook. On display are photos and trophies from sailing races at the Sea Cliff Yacht Club, photos of different North Shore sports teams, and old sporting equipment used by residents. An adjacent room displays vintage women’s dresses—similar to colonial costumes—which reflect the typical attire worn by female residents in the 18th and 19th centuries. Permanent collections and exhibits reside in rooms comprising the second floor. One of the more notable collections is the photographs of Henry Otto Korten, a Sea Cliff resident and famous Long Island postcard photographer. This collection includes 287 glass plate negatives, donated by one of Korten’s two sons, which capture the landscapes of Sea Cliff and the lifestyles of its past residents. The permanent collections also include a traditional Victorian kitchen, children’s toys, and a replica of the Connor Cottage, an old Victorian home. 

 

Carol Griffin, a docent at the museum, commented that the museum is a “compilation of exhibits that have been here over the years… there’s a lot of bits and pieces of different aspects of the residents’ lives.” 

 

In addition to donated artifacts, there are many vintage records from the town. The museum also has an entire book filled with deep historical background regarding the formation of street names and buildings. For example, Carpenter Avenue was named after members of the Carpenter family who were instrumental in developing Sea Cliff. The museum is a place that holds the pieces to the lives of past residents, and educates the present residents about their longstanding history and predecessors.

 

The Sea Cliff Village Museum is is located at 95 Tenth Ave. and is open to the public on Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.seacliffmuseum.com.