HISTORICAL CORNER

Islip Grange

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Mariana Dominguez visits a historical location on the South Shore. This week, she walked through the Town of Islip’s Grange Park in Sayville.

Before I discuss the historical significance of the Islip Grange, it is worth noting that it is also a picturesque locale not only for meandering and walking the dog, but for picture taking. There were about five different sets of families taking Christmas card photos while I was there, and it couldn’t be a more perfect place to do so, especially now. All of the leaves are changing color, making for a great backdrop. The scale-model of the Dutch Reformed Church in Sayville is also available for rent, with many people getting married or doing photoshoots there.

The Islip Grange encompasses 12 acres with various structures of historical significance located on the property. Founded in 1974, according to Visit Historic Long Island, the aim of the grange is to demonstrate what a local hamlet would have looked like in the 19th century. There are signs posted outside the buildings to give an explanation on their history. The Mill, which was built in 1895 and owned by the Powell family, stands tall before the great expanse of lawn. The carriage shed is a replica of one found in St. James. It sports a lean-to roof, which was characteristic of construction in the 1860s. The Percy Williams cottage has most definitely seen better days, but it is an important piece of history from the estate of the vaudeville theater owner and renowned business owner who died in 1923. The structure at the Islip Grange was once on the ground of the Pineacres Estate in East Islip. This particular cottage was one of many smaller buildings on the property that had various uses. The Tuthill Case house is one of the larger buildings on the property and one of my favorites, as it is quite beautiful and classic. Originally in Sayville, the house was built by Capt. Benjamin Tuthill in 1850 and then later sold to John F. and Lizzie Case in 1970. Lillian Robinson then purchased the home from Case descendants in 1946 and then in 1974, the house was donated to the Town of Islip and moved to its current location at the Grange. The Robinson Cottage is one of the first buildings you’ll stumble upon if you enter through the main entrance. The cottage is made of stucco and built by George Robinson in 1926. It was originally located on the northwest corner of Main and Greene streets in Sayville. According to the signage outside the cottage, the building was used by Lillian Robinson as a real estate sales office and as the bicentennial cottage in 1976. On the property at the Grange, it has been used as offices and a gallery. My favorite building at the Grange is the scale-model of the Dutch Reformed Church in West Sayville circa 1867. It is a great photo spot!

Besides visiting the Islip Grange to just walk around, many town events, historical and not, are hosted at the site. I recently attended the 13th annual Civil War Weekend at the Grange, hosted by Company K, 67 New York Volunteer Infantry, Civil War Reenactors and Living Historians. So, whether you decide to take your dog for a walk, snap some family photos, or want to explore some Town of Islip history, add the Islip Grange to your list of places to visit this fall. 

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