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Letter: Gregory Museum: Half A Century Of Hicksville History

One of those priceless little jewels that endow Long Island with its oftentimes overlooked cultural, historical and scientific heritage amid the ubiquitous subdivisions, shopping malls and automotive arteriosclerosis, the Hicksville Gregory Museum remains hidden in plain sight.

This unintended camouflage conceals a science and history museum housed in Hicksville’s 1895 Heitz Place Courthouse with scientific collections from all over the world, illustrating the community’s metamorphosis from 19th Century railroad town to the heart of suburbia’s commuter culture. Permanent exhibits alone consist of Long Island’s largest assemblage of rocks, minerals, exquisite crystals and rare ores; extensive paleontological specimens including dinosaur eggs and bones; ornate seashells from tropical waters; and hundreds of Lepidoptera specimens representing all the major families and genera of butterflies and moths.

For the student of history, there’s the William Clare History Room, featuring vintage maps and photographs, miscellaneous artifacts and ephemera and memorabilia evocative of Hicksville’s earlier days.

The year 2013 marks 50 years since the Hicksville Gregory Museum was established in the residence of Hicksville educator, Dr. Gardiner E. Gregory, the brainchild of a civic-minded, if eccentric polymath whose home on Cottage Boulevard served as a museum until – with a grassroots endeavor of dedicated parents, educators, civic organizations and the local business community – the abandoned 1895 courthouse on Heitz Place was restored and made the institution’s permanent home.

Today, the museum remains not merely the repository of significant artifacts but an educational and community resource welcoming school children, scouts and the general public. The board of the Hicksville Gregory Museum is planning events throughout the year of 2013 to mark the museum’s anniversary. Starting off on Sunday, Jan. 27, The Hicksville Historical Society’s annual social program at the museum will feature the museum’s 50 years of service. Stay tuned for future events throughout the year!

Paul Manton

Docent/Staff Entomologist

Hicksville Gregory Museum

News

Local veterans groups and residents gathered at Hicksville Middle School Veterans Memorial Park recently to honor brave servicemen and woman, past and present. William M. Gouse Jr. Post 3211 hosted Hicksville’s annual Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11.

The ceremonies began with the pledge and national anthem sung by Hicksville High School student Cassie Pursoo, accompanied by trumpeter Conner Hoelzer. Monsignor Thomas Costa from Our Lady of Church in Hicksville gave the invocation.

On Nov. 10, a dedication ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of a beautiful new two-story house in Hicksville. However, while new dwellings are an ordinary occurrence on Long Island, this one was unique and special in a way that very few are.

The house at 77 Thorman Ave. was built in memory of Navy Lieutenant and posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Michael P. Murphy, a Long Island native who tragically died in combat while serving in Afghanistan in 2005. However, this house represents more than just the dedicated service of a man to his country; it represents the beginning of a new life full of hope for a brother-in-arms and his family as well.


Sports

Football was Mike Torrellas’ heart and soul. He also liked a good Turkey Bowl.  

Unfortunately, the Hicksville Crusaders co-founder wasn’t able to witness the program’s inaugural event, which took place Saturday, Nov. 8.

Torrellas passed away suddenly last December due to a blood clot, but the spirit and drive of the man who wore the number 53 and tragically passed at that age still surrounds the Crusaders football program.

The Long Island Fight for Charity will be hosting its 11th annual Charity Boxing Event on Nov. 24 at the Hilton in Melville. Among the 20 volunteers putting up their fists for funds will be Hicksville business owner Mell Goldman, who will be fighting under the nickname “The Kid.”  

Goldman is the President of All Boro Cleaning Services. He stated that he was enticed at the opportunity and wanted to contribute to charity.


Calendar

Fall Drama Production

November 20-22

Blood Drive

November 24

Christmas Holiday Fair

November 24



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