The 2014 Long Island Room Program Series is now complete.  Please check this page and the Smithtown Library‚Äôs newsletters in the coming months for information about the 2015 Long Island Room Program Series.


From Slavery to Freedom: New Research on African-American History on Long Island

Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 7:00- 8:30 pm

A recent blossoming of new research has enriched our knowledge of African-American history on Long Island. Professor Jennifer Anderson from the History Department at Stony Brook highlighted African Americans' significant regional contributions, from the colonial period to the early 20th century, including the transition from slavery to freedom and the development of vibrant black communities. This talk was especially relevant to the Long Island Reads selection for 2014, The Manor, by Mac Griswold.

A Look at Sagtikos Manor, the Oldest House in the Town of Islip

Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 7:00- 8:30 pm

The history of the Sagtikos Manor in Bay Shore spans over 300 years from its purchase by Stephanus Van Cortland from the Secatogue Tribe in 1692 to the present. The Manor house, first built in 1697 with additions in 1772 and 1902, incorporates three different architectural styles. Throughout the British occupation of Long Island during the American Revolution, it was used on and off by Sir Henry Clinton as his headquarters. In addition, George Washington spent the night of April 21, 1790 at the Manor, while on his presidential tour of Long Island. Ownership of the Manor has passed through several families over the years, the most recent being that of the Gardiners. It is now owned by Suffolk County, with the Sagtikos Manor Historical Society administering the site. Our speakers, Norma Meder, Director of Docents, and Phyllis Chan-Carr, Marketing Director at the Sagtikos Manor Historical Society, presented a history of the house and its inhabitants, described recent efforts toward restoration and interpretation of the site, and took the audience on a virtual tour of the house.

Wrights, Wrongs and a Belmont: Long Island's First Air Show, Belmont Park, 1910

Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 7:00- 8:30 pm

Frank Turano, Professor at Stony Book University, has been researching the history of early aviation on Long Island and shared his findings in this fascinating presentation. While the main focus of this program was the Long Island Air Show, held at Belmont Park in 1910, the story Dr. Turano told was of far larger scope. This program presented the results of new research and a fresh view of the earliest years of manned flight. It examined the role of the first three international air shows and their impact on the developing aviation industry. Additionally, it presented a new perspective on the contributions of Samuel Pierpont Langley and the role of the Aviation Experimentation Association of Alexander Graham Bell and Glenn Curtiss. A key point was also made about the relationship between the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. and the Wright Brothers.

Lawrence Grant White (1887-1956): A Look at the Lesser Known White

Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 7:00- 8:30 pm

Brad Harris, Smithtown's Town Historian, spent many hours researching the life of Lawrence Grant White, son of Stanford and Bessie White, and grandson of Judge John Lawrence Smith and uncovered a truly remarkable story. Lawrence Grant White, like his father, became and architect and was associated with his father's architectural firm, McKim, Mead and White. His commissions ranged from residential homes to important civic buildings throughout the United States and overseas.  In addition, however, Lawrence Grant White displayed a great aptitude for diplomatic intelligence and military work, a quality he proved while serving the U.S. Naval Reserve during the First and Second World Wars.