On August 4, 1944 a small notice ran
in the Suffolk County News that read, "Persons interested in forming a
historical society for Sayville and this area are invited to gather in the
Sayville Court House on Monday Evening at 8 o'clock when a meeting will be held
to organize such a group."
The meeting, held on August 7th, was the inspiration of Clarissa Edwards, Gladys
Vunck, Mrs. Jewett Holt Smith, and John Bates, who served as the first officers.
They were supported by board members: Mrs. Viola Yarrington Lecluse, Mrs.
Charles Huntoon, Mrs. Paul Hitzigrath, Mrs. C.C. Griffmg, Mrs. Sarah Homan, Mrs.
Elward Smith, Mrs. Harry Palmer, Belinda Edwards, Louise Ockers, A.C. Edwards,
Judge James Willis, and Francis Hoag.
The group hoped to "acquire a collection of local relics and mementos of other
days," including antiques, genealogical information and photographs to display.
Judge Willis apprised the group the "it might use and covert the two-story barn
on the new Sayville Park property for assembling a collection." Membership dues
were set at $2.00 in the hope the society would become "part of the life of the
Clarissa Edwards and her cousin Sarah Edwards later donated land and three of
the buildings that now serve as the Society's home. the Town of Islip donated
the fourth building in 1966, when they were clearing the Budenos Dairy property
to establish the Islip Grange. The Society now has a large collection of
furniture, 1500 items of clothing, over 1000 photographs, and a wonderful map
collection. Visitors come for our informative programs and tours of the
Edwards Homestead. The Holiday House Tour is such a popular event, tickets sell
out quickly. The Society has indeed become a part of the community.