The Long Island History Project
It’s a long island with a long history. Want to hear it? Interviews with historians, scholars, authors and anyone with a story to tell and a passion for this unique region of New York.
info_outline Episode 104: Radium Girls with Erin Elizabeth Becker 03/29/2020
Episode 104: Radium Girls with Erin Elizabeth Becker Today our guest, Erin Elizabeth Becker, recounts the story of her great grandmother, Marion Murdoch O’Hara, who worked for the US Radium Corporation in New York City. Through genealogical and historical research, Erin discovered a powerful and unforgettable member of her family who was tied to a dark chapter of American history.
info_outline Episode 102: Harry Higbie and the Higbies of Higbie Lane 02/09/2020
Episode 102: Harry Higbie and the Higbies of Higbie Lane The LaGrange Inn was a storied stopping point along Montauk Highway from the 1700s when it opened for business with a Higbie at the helm. It remained a local landmark, operating under many different proprietors, into the 21st century.
info_outline Episode 101: Christopher Matthews and Historical Archaeology in Setauket 01/20/2020
Episode 101: Christopher Matthews and Historical Archaeology in Setauket Today we speak with anthropologist Christopher Matthews about his work in Setauket helping the people of a traditionally Native American (the Setalcotts) and African American community uncover more of their past.
info_outline Episode 100: Warren McDowell and How Fire Island Got Its Name 12/18/2019
Episode 100: Warren McDowell and How Fire Island Got Its Name Warren McDowell, former publisher of The Fire Island Tide, has been pondering the mystery of how Fire Island got its name all his life. This burning question has been answered in many ways over the years. Many myths, legends and theories have been proposed but Warren wanted sources. He turned his newspaperman's eye to every old map he could find.
info_outline Episode 99: Pottery on Long Island with Mark Smith 12/13/2019
Episode 99: Pottery on Long Island with Mark Smith Mark Smith, bottle collector extraordinaire last heard on episode #63, returns to reveal his other Long Island history passion: pottery!
info_outline Episode 98: Local Author Theresa Dodaro 12/05/2019
Episode 98: Local Author Theresa Dodaro Theresa Dodaro survived a life-threatening illness, waking from a coma determined to make the most of the time she had been gifted. One of the promises she made to herself: write. Since then, she has published four books and is working on her fifth.
info_outline Episode 97: Jonathan Olly and Prohibition on Long Island 11/13/2019
Episode 97: Jonathan Olly and Prohibition on Long Island Our guest is Jonathan Olly, a curator and public historian from the Long Island Museum. Our topic is Prohibition on Long Island and the long road of protest and activism that led to the passage of the 18th ammendment. Our location: a bar in Patchogue. Produced in conjunction with Bar Crawl Radio.
info_outline Episode 96: Revisiting the Founding Era with Brentwood Library 10/14/2019
Episode 96: Revisiting the Founding Era with Brentwood Library Discussing the Revolution on Long Island at the Brentwood Public LIbrary.
info_outline Remembering Gene Horton 09/02/2019
Remembering Gene Horton We were saddened by the recent news of the passing of Gene Horton, Blue Point historian, former social studies teacher, tour guide, storyteller, friend and colleague. To honor Gene’s memory and his passion for Long Island history, we’re reposting here excerpts from two interviews we conducted with him over the years. One is from 2006 and the other from 2014. Our condolences go out to his family and all those who were lucky enough to know him. Links (find in a library via WorldCat) (complete interview) (Bayport – Blue Point Heritage Association)
info_outline Episode 95: Elaine Kiesling Whitehouse, Writing Stories 08/23/2019
Episode 95: Elaine Kiesling Whitehouse, Writing Stories Elaine Kiesling Whitehouse knows a good story when she sees it, and those stories often come from history. Writing from an early age, she was intrigued by the signs of the past all around her. There was a WWI era German radio transmitting station across the street and the decaying windmill of a former Gilded Age estate down the block. On today's episode, we discuss Elaine's writing history and how she has drawn on Long Island's past for inspiration. Her novel Hart's Tavern, set in Revolutionary War-era Patchogue, sprang from a roadside marker commemorating George Washington's trip through the area in 1790. She also relates the valuable lessons she learned as the editor of the Fire Island Tide as well as the writing career of her husband, Jack Whitehouse. Research (find in a library via WorldCat) (find in a library via WorldCat) (SCN) Audio Footnotes
info_outline Episode 94: The Bayport Aerodrome with Bob Mott and Walter Winnicki 07/24/2019
Episode 94: The Bayport Aerodrome with Bob Mott and Walter Winnicki Imagine a world with a private airport around every corner and an airplane in every garage. Where your form of ID could just as easily be a pilot's license as a driver's license and your weekend is spent with people with names like "Red" and "Speed" and "Ace". That's the world Walt Winnicki grew up in, learning to fly on Long Island in the early 1950s. And that's the world that Bob Mott and the Bayport Aerodrome Society is trying to preserve. On this episode, both men relate their long history and love of flying. We also discuss the lost world of private airfields and the near miraculous survival of the Bayport Aerodrome, built by Curtis Davis out of his family's corn field right after World War II. Research
info_outline Episode 93: David Morrison and the Long Island Rail Road 07/09/2019
Episode 93: David Morrison and the Long Island Rail Road David Morrison knows his railroads, from his six books on LIRR history and stations to his extensive research collection to his years overseeing thirty-nine stations. With his seventh book due out from Arcadia Press on July 15th, we could think of no better time to sit down with David and get a crash course on the history of the Long Island Rail Road.
info_outline Episode 92: Caroline Propersi-Grossman and the Actors' Equity Strike of 1919 06/24/2019
Episode 92: Caroline Propersi-Grossman and the Actors' Equity Strike of 1919 Carol Propersi-Grassman, PhD canidate in history at Stony Brook University, walks us through the Actors Equity strike of 1919 and its importance in labor history.
info_outline Episode 91: Sarah Kautz and Long Island's Endangered Places 06/07/2019
Episode 91: Sarah Kautz and Long Island's Endangered Places Every other year, Preservation Long Island compiles a list of endangered historic places in need of saving. Sarah Kautz, their Preservation Director, joins us to discuss the four sites chosen for 2019. From a family farm in East Patchogue to a life saving station on Fire Island, each of these sites presents a unique case study in Long Island's history and the many challenges involved in preserving historic structures.
info_outline Episode 90: The Ludlow Family of Riverside with Islip Town Historian George Munkenbeck 05/02/2019
Episode 90: The Ludlow Family of Riverside with Islip Town Historian George Munkenbeck Islip Town Historian George Munkenbeck provides a look at the amazing Ludlows - the first family of Oakdale, veterans of the Civil War and beyond, and caretakers of St. John's Episcopal Church on Montauk Highway. Louisa, the matriarch, descended from the first Lord of the Manor. Her husband, William Handey Ludlow, was a leading figure in the Democratic Party. One son saved the Constitution, the other inspired the National Parks system. And today they are all but forgotten.
info_outline Episode 89: Cynthia Shor and Walt Whitman's Birthplace 03/11/2019
Episode 89: Cynthia Shor and Walt Whitman's Birthplace Cynthia Shor is Executive Director of the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association. She's responsible for the programming and operations and most importantly, the bicentennial celebrations. On today's episode, we talk the history of the site, the life of Whitman, and the impact of his poetry.
info_outline Episode 88: Erin Elizabeth Becker and Modern Museums 02/25/2019
Episode 88: Erin Elizabeth Becker and Modern Museums Erin is the Visitor Services & Volunteer Coordinator at the Long Island Maritime Museum as well as the Museum Educator at the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum. As such she's perfectly situated to tell us about the current state of museums - and also the varied maritime histories of the North and South Shores. From whales to oysters, from field trips to date nights, there is much to discuss.
info_outline Episode 87: Clarence H. Robbins, Gentleman Jockey of Brooklyn 02/12/2019
Episode 87: Clarence H. Robbins, Gentleman Jockey of Brooklyn Clarence H. Robbins was a master of hounds and horses, a gentleman jockey and trainer, and a member of Brooklyn's Gilded Age elite. Come explore this forgotten Long Island figure with Kate Robbins, wife of Clarence's great grandson. Kate has taken on the mantle of family historian, spending years tracking down everything to do with the Robbins name.
info_outline Episode 86: Tom Edmonds of the Southampton History Museum 01/20/2019
Episode 86: Tom Edmonds of the Southampton History Museum Tom Edmonds, director of the Southampton History Museum, explains the long history of Southampton and its growth into a playground of the rich and famous. How does that affect the mission of preserving the village's local history?
info_outline Episode 85: Linda Metzger, Long Island Genealogist 01/07/2019
Episode 85: Linda Metzger, Long Island Genealogist Linda Metzger is the Long Island Genealogist. On today's episode, you'll hear how she turned a hobby into a career working to uncover the lost or simply forgotten stories of people and their lives.
info_outline Episode 84: Restoring Lake Ronkonkoma with Evelyn Vollgraff and Danielle Campbell 12/03/2018
Episode 84: Restoring Lake Ronkonkoma with Evelyn Vollgraff and Danielle Campbell We've interviewed people who have restored houses and inns and even old race cars but how do you go about restoring a lake? We conitnue our conversation with Evelyn Vollgraff (Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society) and Danielle Campbell (News 12) to learn how to do just that. Turns out you need a dedicated commmunity, invested local businesses, and a host of helpful politicians.
info_outline Episode 83: Evelyn Vollgraff, Danielle Campbell, and Lake Ronkonkoma. 11/20/2018
Episode 83: Evelyn Vollgraff, Danielle Campbell, and Lake Ronkonkoma. The waters of Lake Ronkonkoma have seen it all: Native Americans, English settlers, Broadway actresses, 20th century resort-goers and automobile racers. No one knows this better than Evelyn Vollgraff, president of the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society.
info_outline Episode 82: John Strong and America's Early Whalemen 11/04/2018
Episode 82: John Strong and America's Early Whalemen Dr. John Strong, professor emeritus of Southampton College, has spent a career pursuing the history of Long Island's Native Americans. His latest achievement is bringing to life the earliest days of American whaling, using what amounts to 17th century spreadsheets. He uncovers an East End in a whaling frenzy.
info_outline Episode 81: Port Jefferson Charles Dickens Festival 10/22/2018
Episode 81: Port Jefferson Charles Dickens Festival We usher in the holiday season early with this deep dive into the Charles Dickens Festival in Port Jefferson. Five of the driving forces behind the Festival, including four of the actors, tell us what it's like re-enacting the Victorian Era and what Dickens means to them.
info_outline Episode 79: Joe Mandanici and the 1974 Dowling College Fire 09/03/2018
Episode 79: Joe Mandanici and the 1974 Dowling College Fire Joe Mandanici describes the 1974 fire at Dowling College in Oakdale from his vantage point as a volunteer firefighter at the scene.
info_outline Episode 78: Tom Rinelli and the Islip Fire & EMS Museum 08/16/2018
Episode 78: Tom Rinelli and the Islip Fire & EMS Museum Tom Rinelli, historian for the Islip Town Fire and EMS Museum, describes the rich history of volunteer firefighting on Long Island and the creation of the Islip museum that celebrates it.
info_outline Episode 77: Southampton Summer 07/21/2018
Episode 77: Southampton Summer This is a feed-only episode of the Project, recorded during a podcast workshop at the Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton. We did a few quick takes with the group, asking them about their memories of summer in the area. In my defense, I had been told that blueberries in Southampton were a thing.
info_outline Episode 76: Matthew Montelione and the Spirit Guild 07/16/2018
Episode 76: Matthew Montelione and the Spirit Guild Matthew Monelione is back to discuss his new fantasy comic book series set in Revolutionary War-era Long Island. If you are a fan of history, JRR Tolkien, or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you'll want to check it out. We discuss what it takes to produce an independent comic as well as Matt's on-going research into the Loyalist experience on Long Island. We also pitch a few ideas for new Long Island history comic serie