Islip Grange: A Place to Touch the Face of History
Presented by George Munkenbeck
On Tuesday November 10th, 2015, at the Islip Public Library, The Society, audience and Presenter George Munkenbeck explored the present conditions at the Islip Grange as well as the historic background of the land and structures and the work of Friends of the Grange to restore the park to what it should be.
From left to right: Society board members Elaine Kurka, Edda Labzda, Madeline Hanewinckel, Matt Clareen, Debbie Filipowski, Stephen Kreutzer, Mr. Munkenbeck, Jim Vesely, Vicki Berger, Nancy Libert, Lisa Kiernan
Many residents of the Town of Islip have no idea that Islip has a history park called Islip Grange. Many think the 12 acres at the corner of Montauk Highway and Broadway in Sayville is private property.
The park was established in 1974, just when the Town of Islip was faced with the destruction or demolition of some historic buildings due to site clearing for development. At that time, encouraged by civic organizations and the approaching Bicentennial, the Town made a commitment to preserve and relocate threatened structures.
The site was envisioned as a repository for these structures and landmarks, to be situated in a park-like setting which would reflect the rural/village aspects of living in 19th Century Long Island. It was planned as a hybrid municipal museum and restoration village.
The intent was "to conserve and interpret the many dimensions of human interaction within an agrarian environment and to portray the relationship between labor on a farm and the pleasure derived, evolved to the folk craft reflecting the tradition and culture of the time passed".