Southold Historical Museum seeks funding for new exhibition on agricultural labor camps


The Southold Historical Museum is applying for a grant to build an exhibition on the ‘untold stories’ of 20th century immigrant farm workers in the town.

Funds would also go toward weatherizing the barn at the Maple Tree Lane complex, where the exhibit would be housed year-round, and improving ADA access throughout the complex in general with lighting and d other ground updates.

“The proposed site improvements will encourage visitors to stop, park their cars or bikes to explore the complex, which serves as a central plaza,” Executive Director Deanna Witte-Walker said Tuesday during a working session. of the city council. “Weatherizing our underutilized annex barn on site will allow us to have a new year-round exhibit on the labor camps. We think it would also help us integrate technology and offer things like translations. »

The expected cost of the project is $325,000. The grant could cover up to half of these costs. The plan is to seek more funding to cover the costs, but the historical museum‘s board is “committed to funding the game if necessary”, according to Ms Witte-Walker.

“We believe this is an important project that would welcome and encourage our audience,” she said.

City Council approved a resolution to support the consolidated funding request to the Long Island Regional Economic Development Board at a regular meeting later that day.

The Southold Historical Museum, founded in 1960, is a private, nonprofit organization licensed by the New York State Board of Regents. Renamed the Southold Historical Society last year, the organization organizes tours, events and fundraisers throughout the year to “celebrate the traditions and history” of Southold, according to Ms Witte-Walker.

“The mission of the Southold Historical Museum is to preserve and interpret collections and buildings that engage, educate and connect the public to the history and culture of Southold,” she said.

The three-acre Maple Lane complex includes more than a dozen historic buildings dating back to the 18th century. The Prince Building on Main Road houses museum offices, archives and stores where researchers can make appointments to examine documents or request research assistance.

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