After more than 30 years, longtime Southold resident Peggy Murphy is retiring from the youth education program at the Southold Historical Museum.
Ms. Murphy has chaired the committee since its founding, shortly after the donation of Bay View Schoolhouse in 1990. Already a long-time teacher – she retired from the Southold School District with 29 years under her belt in 1995 – Ms. Murphy led the initiative to facilitate historically-themed school trips for local elementary school students, as well as other programs for children.
“I’m pretty proud of this resort, I think it’s a treasure. And the only way to keep that safe is for the young people going up to feel ownership or an affinity with the resort, ”she said, referring to the historic buildings maintained by the museum on Main Road. The education committee’s programs are “important in keeping history alive here,” she added.
Raised in Southold, Ms. Murphy already knew the local history and volunteered with the historical society when she joined the education committee. “My parents were very involved, especially my father, in the history here and various events that promoted her,” she said.
Perhaps one of his most significant accomplishments during his time at the Historical Museum is the annual History Week, which offers educational programs for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Activities range from a visit to Bay View Schoolhouse, where third graders write with a quill, to a fifth graders trip to the Old Burying Ground at Southold First Presbyterian Church, where students learn about the history of the American mourning rituals and how to do grave rubbing without damaging the stone.
“I enjoyed almost every minute,” Ms. Murphy said of her time on the committee, adding that she “can’t say enough about the quality of the people who volunteer… It wouldn’t have happened. without their enthusiasm. “
Executive Director Deanna Witte-Walker estimates that through her programming through the Youth Education Committee, Ms. Murphy has reached approximately 15,000 children over the years. At a party in honor of Ms Murphy last week, Ms Witte-Walker highlighted the vital role she has played in educating the youth committee and the historical museum in general.
“She has chaired and volunteered on many committees and programs,” said Ms. Witte-Walker. “When I find myself sifting through the minutes of years gone by, I find his name everywhere – exhibitions, candle light tours, social ice cream, harvest lunches, potlucks, etc. His passion knows no bounds. “
Ms. Murphy is proud that the youth education program has lasted so long and is “still as strong as it was when it started”. Some students who have participated in the committee’s programs have interned at the museum.
Cheryle Amara, Southold resident and Historical Museum volunteer, will take over from Ms. Murphy’s retirement. Ms Murphy said she told Ms Amara that ‘the only thing [she’d] would like to see happen is to develop a program for the seventh year in printing.