Former farmhouse will become “Huntington Station’s museum,” Supervisor Petrone notes
Huntington Station – The Town of Huntington unveiled the latest addition to Gateway Park December 6 – an early 20th century farmhouse that has been renovated and redesigned to house exhibits on community history and cooking demonstrations linked to produce grown at the adjacent community garden.
The Max and Rosie Teich Homestead, named after the family that lived in the house, raised their family there and ran a dairy on the site, currently includes its first permanent exhibit: a recreation of the medical office of Dr. Samuel Teich, Max and Rosie’s son. Dr. Teich was a legendary community physician who delivered tens of thousands of babies and cared for thousands of patients over a half-century of practicing medicine in Huntington Station from 1935 to 1985.
“This is Huntington Station’s museum,” Supervisor Frank P. Petrone said at a ceremony marking the opening of the facility attended by representatives of community groups and members of the Teich family. “If we go back and look at Huntington Station, it had a great downtown. It was a blending of peoples, of families, of ethnic backgrounds. This was the place where people gathered from different ethnic groups. We have so many families that settled here of different ethnic backgrounds. They all worked and got along together. It happened in Huntington Station. And this now becomes the symbol for that.”
The Supervisor thanked the Teich family “for making this possible and their willingness to sell this piece of property so this becomes a historic site.”
The Town had been looking for some time to buy the 1.2-acre property as a way of expanding Gateway Park, which includes the very popular community garden. Four years ago, The Town learned that the family members – Max and Rosie Teich’s grandsons – were willing to sell the property to the Town. The Town purchased it for $270,000 and began making plans to renovate it for public use.
The Town applied for and received a $370,000 New York State Heritage Grant to undertake the renovations. The application was supported by the Long Island North Shore Heritage Alliance. The renovations included: replacing the roof and exterior doors; removing asbestos shingle siding, lead-based paint and other materials; renovating two bathrooms and kitchens – while preserving the original sink in the first-floor kitchen; rewiring the house; repaving the parking lot and adding handicap parking; and fixing the retaining wall on Academy Place. The Town had to demolish a garage and side shed that were beyond repair.
The Town also renovated the second floor, which will be rented to a caretaker whose presence will provide security for the homestead and the park.
As the renovations were going on, the Town began looking for exhibits that would be appropriate for the house and discovered the one of Dr. Samuel Teich’s office that had been curated by Toby Kissam of the Huntington Historical Society. Arrangements were made to recreate the exhibit at the homestead.
The Town and the Historical Society’s Kissam have already begun putting together other exhibits on Huntington Station history, and welcome contributions of memorabilia that residents might discover in closets and basements.
Currently, viewing the exhibits will be by appointment only. The Town is still determining the process for arranging a viewing