Sayville Historical Society  celebrates 75 years
Sayville Historical Society chair Suzanne Robilotta and SHS president Roy Fedelem in front of the Edwards Homestead. SHS will be celebrating its 75th year in the fall.

SCN/Leuzzi

Sayville Historical Society celebrates 75 years

Story By: LINDA LEUZZI
6/6/2019


SAYVILLE—If you missed Sunday Afternoon at the Edwards Farm, then you weren’t among the 200 who swooped through the gate to the Edwards Homestead complex, the headquarters for the Sayville Historical Society.

Hopefully, those visitors who came this past Sunday represent a precursor of celebrants honoring the historical society’s 75th anniversary celebration in October.

“There were a lot of little ones in the crowd who sat and stayed,” said Suzanne Robilotta, SHS chair, of the annual farm event that attempts to replicate the area as it once was. The Edwards Homestead was built in 1785. 

“Clarissa Edwards, a descendent, lived in the house, started the historical society, then donated the house,” she said.

The farm day offered burlap sack races, quilting, corn grinding and the Home Grown String Band, along with animals kids could pet.

Robilotta and SHS president Roy Fedelem aren’t sure of the exact date of the 75th celebration; maybe around Columbus Day was tossed out.

“We’re hoping to do a Native American Thanksgiving Day enactment,” Fedelem said. 

Along with Sunday Afternoon at the Edwards Farm, their annual holiday house tours are a sellout, as well as a Candlelight Evening featuring English, Dutch and German Christmas traditions with St. Nick.

And don’t forget the book they compiled, “Sayville and West Sayville Pictured Through the Years.”

Right now, if you request a tour, there’s an exhibit called “School Days, School Days.” It chronicles John Wood, Sayville’s first schoolmaster, the first schoolhouse, a photo of Anna Green, the first student to receive a Regents diploma, a photo of Old ‘88 and the Sayville High School graduation Class of 1916 that was held in the old Sayville Opera House. There’s a Rules for the Government Regulation of Public Schools. No. 4 says: “Teachers shall so far as possible govern by kindness and appeal to the better nature of pupils.”

A band uniform worn by Charles Van Schaick is alongside a 1962 yearbook with him in it. “Sayville has a long history of music,” explained Fedelem. “If you applied to a music school and said you’re from Sayville, they knew about its excellence.”