Meetings at 12:30 p.m.
1st Monday of the Month
Gillette House
Address: PO BOX 382
Sayville, NY 11782
Established 1914

In March of 1914 Mrs. Lena Hoag, wife of the editor of the Suffolk County News, called a meeting of local women at the office of her husband's newspaper with the idea of forming a civic organization. She was amazed by many women concerned with the betterment of Sayville. The issues that concerned them then are the issues that concern us now: the desire to make Sayville a better place in which to live.

The first issue they addressed was the dumping of garbage. This was a way of life for the people of 1914. The group petitioned the Board of Health to limit garbage dumping to the area called "The Meadows"' where the Fire Island parking lots exist today, as well as to the area near Easy Street.

A beacon light was erected at the end of the breakwall by the entrance to Browns River for the safety of the baymen.

During World War I, a local branch of the Red Cross was established and Honor Boards were erected for the local servicemen, one of which still hangs in the Library.

They then decided to see if they could start a library. They wrote to Andrew Carnegie as they heard that he was funding libraries around the country, one of which was in Patchogue, but he never wrote back. So the ladies set aside space in their meeting room and went about getting shelves, furniture, books donated and volunteers. By August, it was open for business. The Society's involvement with the library continued until 1965. Even today books are donated to the library to honor deceased members.

In 1924, the Society determined that Sayville should have its own bathing beach. The Blue Points Oyster Company agreed to sell some of its shore front property to the Society for $5,000. The women raised the money through fundraisers and door-to-door solicitations. The beach was opened on July 1, 1925. An engraved marker is embedded in the wall of the present bathhouse.

Other ongoing projects have been:

The beautification of downtown Sayville and a committee called the "Greenthumb Committee" begun 40 years ago. It uses redwood boxes made by students at the Junior High School, filled with flowers planted by members, to beautify our main roads. The fundraiser for the event is The Holiday Cocktail Party, held the first Saturday of December at our own Gillette House. Today this Committee is called the "Beautification Committee" and redwood planters have been replaces with 48 attractive stone planters.

Our newest project has been sign directories: informative guides surrounded by beautiful plantings in areas that were long neglected. To date three wooden signs have been erected and one Trompe L'Oeil painted on the side of the building at Gillette Avenue on Main Street.

In the 1960s Honey Locust trees were planted on Main Street to replace the dead or dying elm trees. In the 1980s the Society offered diseased resistant elm trees which the community could purchase along with a plaque, to be placed on main roads throughout the town.

Another major fundraiser is the ANTIQUE AND COLLECTIBLE FAIR held the third Sunday in Main in Gillette Park. An 85th Anniversary Cookbook, a collection of the ladies favorite recipes, is now in its second printing.

Whether large or small, serving a high school senior with our Annual Scholarship award or our local needy with food, toys or coats, our Society has always dedicated itself to the betterment of Sayville.

SO WELCOME TO SAYVILLE! Please join us! We hope you love it as much as we do and will dedicate yourself and your family to making it a batter place in which to live!


Sayville Village Improvement Society, Inc.