Small communities are show cases for history, genealogy and crafts. Huntington, NY is no exception. On a recent visit, I attended a “Sheep to Shawl Festival” in Huntington offered by the Huntington Historical Society. This was on a Sunday afternoon in May and held at one of the Society’s properties, the 1795 Dr Daniel W Kissam House. Dr. Kissam had a stroke; so, he had the room next to his examining room converted into a bedroom and apparently continued to treat patients as he was able. This was around 1800.

The volunteers are full of stories about their ancestors; and, of course, they dress the part.

There was a free tour of the house, barn and other outbuildings. The Society had tables for crafts; staffed by a large number of talented quilters and artists who  made things as they did 200 years ago. It was fascinating; especially when you consider that old people are fascinated with their past and with the things people made on their own.

There was a sewing machine that a young boy made; simple and pedal operated but it still worked. There was a lady shearing sheep; people weaving; and, a man who was into wood carving making small, simple whistles.

The society has numerous events over the year and several properties that you can visit. It also sponsors  a genealogy workshop that includes and annual trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

The point is that I spent an interesting and educational Sunday afternoon.

I learned how simply people lived two hundred years ago and met people who were recreating history. There was even a revolutionary war contingent that had set up camp across the street; cooking in a dutch oven and firing their muskets, much to the delight of children.

You can find these Exhibits and programs in towns all across the US; and, they are worthy of a visit. They are local and done with a passion that you don’t find elsewhere.

You could travel across the US on your own mobile American History Course; and, with a little work, could make it reflect your ancestors and their place in American History. You can even start at Ellis Island.


Old Tools in Huntington, NY


Sheep Shearing at the Sheep to Shawl Festival on May 3, 2015 in Huntington, NY.

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