Sunday, February 4 marks the beginning of the Hallockville Museum Farm’s three-part series, “Good Book Winter Lecture Series: Exploring Land, History and Traditions.” Every other Sunday until March 4, the museum will explore parts of its core mission with three presentations from a journalist, a preservation technician and bookbinder, and a retired library director, respectively.
The Hallockville Museum Farm’s primary mission is to honor the land, celebrate history, and share traditions. Steve Wick, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the presenter for February 4, will explore the first of these values through a discussion of his 1996 book, Heaven and Earth: The Last Farmers of the North Fork. Through a study of two farming families, Wick traces the history of America’s oldest farming communities and documents a way of life that has been disappearing under the forces of a modern world. His lecture, titled “Honoring the Land” will be held from 1 to 3 p.m.
The second part of this lecture series considers the museum’s goal of sharing traditions. On Sunday, February 18, preservation technician Arielle Hessler of Stony Brook University will present “The Colorful History of Pigments and Poisons.” As a professional bookbinder, Hessler has many years of experience working with the materials and techniques of what has largely become a lost or automatized art form. Hessler will discuss indigo, lead, arsenic, and the unforeseen consequences of working with these materials. She will also share how these raw, natural materials became such a coveted commodity.
The final lecture of this winter series will address the final value of the museum: celebrating history. Suzanne Johnson, former Director of the Longwood Public Library and co-author of an upcoming book on the World War I training camp, Camp Upton, will be presenting. The book is not yet published, so attendees will have a special opportunity to hear excerpts from the book before its release. Camp Upton, for those not familiar, was a training camp in Yaphank during World War I. One of its trainees, Irving Berlin, was the author of one of the most well-known songs of the war (and arguably American history): the infamous God Bless America. Present day, the site is still under the aegis of the federal government as Brookhaven National Laboratory.
“Winter is the perfect time to cozy-up with a good cup of coffee and a great book! We want to celebrate the season by taking time reflect on land, history and traditions with wonderful local authors and scholars,” exclaimed Lisa Pepe, Assistant Director at Hallockville Museum Farm.
All of the lectures will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at the museum’s new Hallock State Park visitors center, which sits on the museum’s main campus. The series is sponsored by Hampton Coffee Company, which will provide a brief presentation and coffee samples before each lecture.
Hallockville Museum Farm is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of connecting the local community with its agricultural history. The site, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is 28 acres with 19 historic houses, barns, and outbuildings dating from the mid-18th century to Depression era.
Tickets are $15 each or two tickets for $25.
The visitors center is located at 6038 Sound Avenue in Riverhead. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling 631-298-5293, or by visiting hallockville.com.