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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

Levittown Hall in Hicksville comes alive every Thursday night with music, dance, fun and laughter as students are swept away into the world of Latin dance.

Under the instruction of professional teacher Mark James, dance hopefuls learn a trio of Latin dance, including salsa, meringue and what James describes as the biggest craze in Latin dancing today, bachata.

 book shops in Hicksville and around the country will hand out free comics on Oct. 25, to celebrate the second biggest free comic book event of the year—Halloween ComicFest. On Saturday, anyone who goes into a participating comic shop can choose from 19 free comics and participate in fun activities comic shops host for their customers to enjoy, while discovering new types of comics and the treasures found in store.

In Hicksville, both Game Master Games (954 S. Broadway) and Amok Time (108C New South Road) will be taking part in the Halloween ComicFest festivities. Game Master Games just recently started carrying comic books and this will be the store’s first comic book-related event. Coincidently, the event runs in the middle of an in-store gaming convention, and store owner Dave VanderWerf is looking forward to the increased exposure for the store.


Sports

The Hicksville girls volleyball team improved to 7-1 by knocking off Oceanside in three consecutive sets by scores of 25-13, 25-19 and 25-14.

Emily Markakis played terrificly, using a powerful serve to record three aces, seven kills and added nine digs. Nikki Chase added six kills and eight digs. Additionally, Raeann Dong was versatile—recording three aces, seven kills and nine digs.

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School


Calendar

Board of Education Meeting

October 22

Oktoberfest

October 25-26

Pancake Breakfast

October 26



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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