In 1900, Islip was the iconic image of American life at its best - a charming, well-developed Main Street with active shops, crystal ponds, bucolic landscapes, and a seaside coastline offering a summer playground to New York City's aristocracy (Johnson, Parsons, Pinkerton, Dick, Peters, Havemeyer, Gulden, Macy to name a few).
With a Norman Rockwellesque eye, photographer Edgar Van Sicklen, born in 1875, captured through his camera lens much of the story of daily life in Islip through the turn of the century.
Today, his body of work is an invaluable collection of Americana. Featured are photographs of circa 1900s celebrations, events, and parades as well as the contrast between the working man of the 1900s and the images of Islips great wealth - mansions, coastal estates, and pastoral landscapes, depicting life as it was 100 years ago.
The society's first major exhibit was dedicated to charter member and 17 year committee member Robert DelGenio, who a few years before his passing in 2009, found a new enthusiasm for photography.