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OBHS Gospel Concert and Exhibit

Learn about the connected Roosevelt clan, at the Koenig Center

Gospel singing and hand clapping will be heard along South Street on Dec. 8 as the Oyster Bay Historical Society (OBHS) hosts their annual concert. Come enjoy the free concert by the Hempstead A Cappella Ensemble at 4 p.m. at the Hood A.M.E. Zion Church, 137 South Street, at the corner of Summit Street. It will be followed by refreshments at an open house at the Earle-Wightman House at 20 Summit Street from 7 to 9 p.m. The one-hour gospel concert is a not to be missed event. Think toe-tapping and hand clapping.

The OBHS is also opening their new exhibit: “Miniatures: Doll Houses, Little Rooms and Childhood Treasures” at the Koenig Center. Featured will be the model of the North Room of Sagamore Hill; a model of the two period rooms in the Earle-Wightman house; and a 1922 dollhouse that belonged to Polly Weeks of Oyster Bay that was donated by her daughter Ellen Nicoll who grew up here.

OBHS Director Phillip Blocklyn said, “In the exhibit we are featuring things relating to Roosevelt children, not just TR’s children but the children in the larger Roosevelt family, and including them.

“There are letters written by or to Roosevelt children. There are a few letters TR wrote to Elizabeth Roosevelt’s father John Roosevelt. One was to John written by TR when he was on his African safari; and a number of letters and at least one drawing by Roosevelt cousins,” he said.

Mr. Blocklyn said, “The thing I notice about all the material is that the family kept in touch. The nieces and nephews wrote to their grand-parents and they wrote to each other. They were a very connected family.

“We have the text of the telegram that TR sent to his cousin Emlen when his wife Christine had her first child, named after her mother, in August of 1884. What is interesting is that the telegram was from Medora, North Dakota, and it was the same year TR’s mother and wife had died six months earlier.

“And the other interesting thing in this short telegram is TR ends it by saying ‘he’s perfectly delighted,’ which sounds so much like Roosevelt,” he commented.

Other things people will enjoy seeing are the miniature printing press, dolls and children’s clothing, children’s books and things made by children as well, like samplers. There are also lots of doll clothes and doll house furniture.

“The reason I like the things we have in the collections of the various Roosevelts is that they are not so much about history and politics but are an inside look into the family. And, they really were very much a well-connected American family,” Mr. Blocklyn said.

One could say they were well connected in both senses of the word.

Mr. Blocklyn said, “There were five cousins all born within about the same year and were called the Magical Five by the press. They were, Alice, born in 1884, Elfrida, born in 1883, Christine in 1884, Eleanor in 1884, and Dorothy all born in a 10-month period. They grew up together and all came out as debutantes at the same time.

“We have many letters from Elfrida who wrote a lot of letters as a child and they are very interesting. She mentions people like her ‘uncle Percy’ who is Percival Lowell, who discovered the planet Pluto — a planet no more. He also wrote about the canals on Mars. He is a very interesting person and she would mention visiting him. When you look to see who ‘he is’ — you find he is very important. The same is true of her Aunt Amy. She is Amy Lowell, a noted American poet. In the exhibit we have a calling card of Percival Lowell and a book of poems by Amy Lowell.

 “It is interesting to see how the Roosevelt family were connected to a large web of important families. We have put a great deal of the information online on our website under exhibitions and events and archives. There is something there about every event we have had since 2008.”

Mr. Blocklyn also announced a cookbook coming out on Nov. 19 that is being sent to members. It’s called Oyster Bay Historical Society Cooks. “It is recipes created by our staff for all of the events we’ve done over the past few years. We do our own catering and these are the recipes they created: Jacqueline Blocklyn, Nicole Menchise and there are even recipes by Grace Searby,” he added.

Additionally, the OBHS gift shop, Windfall, will have books for sale as well as hand made knitted items by Jacqueline Blocklyn including some that can be ordered. There are also two, holiday card-making classes coming up on Saturday, Dec. 1 and Saturday Dec. 15. Please call for information and reservations at 922-5032 or check their website obh.org.

News

If you missed the 6th annual champagne party at Coe Hall in Planting Fields, put it on your calendar for next year, because this is the party of the summer. A total of 175 guests attended, and many of them were in costume, a new addition to the popular champagne party. The always ebullient Henry Joyce, executive director of Planting Fields Foundation, greeted his guests with his date Daphne, a 3-month-old long haired Dachshund, who is a companion for his Great Dane, Lucy.

The 1907 Courthouse building is now known as the Marguerite and Joseph Suozzi Building, marked by a special ceremony held at the North Shore Historical Museum on Sunday, Aug. 3 to a packed house.

“It’s a great day for the Suozzi family and a great day for the museum. We are so grateful for the Suozzi family for this generous donation,” said Brian Mercadante, president of the museum.

Mercandante then gave some history on the building, which was built in 1907 by the Town of Oyster Bay, when Teddy Roosevelt was president and the Gold Coast was in its heyday. He described how it came to be a museum, explaining that Tom Suozzi came up with a plan for redevelopment during his term as mayor of Glen Cove in the 1990s.


Sports

Kevin Mercier, 39, of Oyster Bay, led a large contingent of local runners in the Lynne, Gartner, Dunne & Covello Sands Point Sprint 5 Kilometer Run, held on the grounds of Nassau County’s Sands Point Preserve on Saturday morning, Aug. 9. Mercier was the 18th finisher overall and third in the 35-39 age group with a time of  21 minutes, 7 seconds.

Other local runners winning awards at the Sands Point Preserve were Nicholas Cuddy of Oyster Bay, who earned first place honors in the Clydesdale Weight Division with a time of 25:53, Joanne Gallo of Oyster Bay, who  took home the first place award in the women’s 65-69 age group with a time of 28:11, and Anja Hermann of Oyster Bay, third place woman in the 20-24 age group, who finished in 28:47.

Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay will once again be the site of the Long Island’s premiere multisport event – the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon on Saturday, Aug. 23, and the Runner’s Edge – Town of Oyster Bay Junior Triathlon for youngsters ages 8-13 on Sunday, Aug. 24.

The Saturday main event is a “sprint” triathlon, which consists of a half-mile swim in Oyster Bay harbor, a one loop 15 kilometer bike ride over hill and dale through beautiful Oyster Bay, Oyster Bay Cove and Laurel Hollow, and a 5 kilometer run through Mill Neck and Brookville, “up” to Planting Fields Arboretum and “down”to the finish at back at  Roosevelt  Park.


Calendar

Bayville Car Show

Friday, Aug. 22

Junior Triathlon

Sunday, Aug. 24

Historic Church Service And Tour

Sunday, Aug. 24



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