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The Long Island History Project

It’s a long island with a long history. Want to hear it? Interviews with historians, scholars, authors and anyone with a story to tell and a passion for this unique region of New York.

Jun 12, 2020

Maryann Almes, president of the Oakdale Historical Society, joins us to discuss the organization's role in preserving and celebrating the history of Oakdale. Located in Islip on the south shore of Long Island, Oakdale has a storied past as a gem of the Gilded Age. For decades in the late 19th century, a string of mansions, most prominently William K. Vanderbilt's Idle Hour, lined the Great South Bay and attracted national attention.

The Society received Preservation Long Island's award for Organizational Excellence, and Maryann details for us just how much work and effort goes into achieving that excellence. The to-do list includes constant advocacy, innovative public events, and a community committed to the place where they live.

Today's episode marks the end of our week-long celebration of the 2020 Preservation Long Island Preservation Awards. We have visited the shores of Sag Harbor and the headwaters of the Speonk River. We have seen inside sawmills and firehouses and traced the mysteries of local preservation laws.

I want to thank all the award winners for their time and interviews. I especially want to thank Sarah Kautz and Preservation Long Island for letting us help host this week of celebrations. We hope you've enjoyed listening and that you are inspired to take a look around your own corner of Long Island and get involved in determining what history gets saved and what gets remembered.

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