The 2016 Long Island Room Program Series is underway!  This year's series focuses on Long Island's maritime history and features programs about Long Island's enduring relationship with the sea.

Upcoming Programs

Shipbuilding: Stony Brook to Port Jefferson

Thursday, May 26, 2016, 7:00- 8:30 pm

Shipbuilding was an important industry on Long Island through the early 20th century.  Providing transportation for both people and goods, ships built in local Long Island shipyards traveled all over the world for a variety of purposes.  Join Brookhaven Town Historian, Barbara M. Russell and Village of Port Jefferson Historian, Chris Ryon as they tell of the important shipbuilding industries in Stony Brook, Setauket and Port Jefferson.  With access to the Long Island Sound, proximity to raw materials and a knowledgeable workforce, these north shore communities grew into burgeoning shipbuilding centers.  Learn more about the history of these industry centers and the impact their development had on the area’s local population.  To regsiter for this program, click here.


Tragedies and Triumphs: Shipwrecks off Long Island's Coast

Thursday, June 16, 2016, 7:00- 8:30 pm

The perils of navigating the waters off the coast of Long Island become obvious when one considers the shipwrecks found strewn on the surrounding ocean floor.  Maritime historian, scuba diver, author, and co-founder of the Underwater Historical Research Society, Adam Grohman will identify and outline many of the famous and not-so-famous shipwrecks that have occurred in Long Island’s local waters.  From the tragic 1895 wreck of the schooner Louis V. Place which resulted in the deaths of most of the crew to the triumphant rescue of all the crewmembers aboard the wreck of the freighter Roda that ran aground in 1908, this program will illustrate both the hazards and heroism that are so often associated with life at sea.  To register for this program, click here.


Working the Waters: Long Island's Baymen and Fishermen

Thursday, September 29, 2016, 7:00- 8:30 pm

For centuries Long Island’s baymen and fishermen have made a living by working the waters of the local area.  Depending upon the season, they could harvest a bounty of oysters, clams, eels, fish and wildfowl, which they could then, in turn, sell for a profit.  Learn more about the history and lives of these industrious Long Islanders, as folklorist and Executive Director of Long Island Traditions, Inc., Nancy Solomon discusses the skills and gear they employ as well as the ways in which their trade has changed over time.  To register for this program, click here.


Guiding Lights to Coastal Icons: The Lighthouses of Long Island

Thursday, November 10, 2016, 7:00- 8:30 pm

Beginning with the construction of Montauk Point Light in 1796, lighthouses have aided vessels navigating Long Island’s waters for more than 200 years. But alongside their utilitarian purpose, the Island’s lighthouses have also become part of American culture.  They inspire artists and writers, attract tourists, and are the subject of historic preservation efforts.  From beacon to coastal icon, join Jonathan Olly, Ph.D. and Assistant Curator at the Long Island Museum as he explores the history of Long Island’s enduring lighthouses.  To register for this program, click here.



Cold Spring Harbor and the Business of Whaling

Thursday, March 10, 2016, 7:00- 8:30 pm

In 1836, the Jones Brothers and thirty-three other investors purchased the first of several whaling ships in a small fleet that would eventually be known as the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company.  While not every resident of the hamlet was directly involved in the business, many were and the local networks that formed as a result shaped the enduring identity of Cold Spring Harbor as a whaling town.  Learn more about the history of the whaling industry on Long Island as archaeologist and PhD candidate (The Graduate Center, CUNY) Jenna Wallace Coplin discusses her research on the development and significance of the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company during the mid-19th century.



An Isle by the Sea: Discovering Long Island's Maritime History

On view through December 2016

For centuries, Long Island's inhabitants have depended upon the bounty of the sea.  From food to transporation, from industry to recreation, the sea has provided Long Islanders with a variety of important resources.  Learn more about Long Island's maritime history through a selection of related documents and objects from the Long Island Room collection.