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Exploring History at Islip Grange in Sayville

Exploring History at Islip Grange in Sayville

As a repository for historic buildings, Islip Grange is home to pre-Civil War living on Long Island.

Islip Grange, founded in 1974 and located in Sayville, was planned as a repository for historic buildings and landmarks to be placed in a park-like venue that reflects the aspects of living in pre-Civil War Long Island. This 12-acre site is owned and maintained by the Town of Islip, and is home to a number of Long Island’s 19th-century period structures.

In addition to its historic significance, Islip Grange is valued as the site for many activities that take place in the Town of Islip.

Exploring the Historic Structures at Islip Grange 

American Farm Windmill

The Islip Grange windmill is one of the only working ones in existence. Originally located at Handsome and Greene avenues, this windmill was built in 1895 by the Powell family. It is an example of a farm water pumping mill, used in old times to provide a fresh water source into people’s homes.

american farm windmill at islip grange
Built in 1985, this windmill was moved to Islip Grange in 1975.

Carriage Shed

This structure is a reproduction of the carriage shed found in St. James opposite the St. James Episcopal Church on North Country Road (NYS 25A). The original carriage shed was built circa 1860, showing the framing and roof construction characteristic of the 19th century.

Dutch Reformed Church

This church is a three-quarter-scale-model reproduction of the original 1867 building. The congregation used the Protestant Dutch Reformed Church until 1907, where they outgrew it. The congregation then moved to Cherry Street, now known as Cherry Avenue. The original building still exists on the east end of West Sayville on Main Street, and has been altered to house retail space on the lower floor.

dutch reformed church islip grange
This three-quarter-scale replica of the original 1867 Protestant Dutch Reformed Church of West Sayville was built in 1977.

Estate Manager’s Cottage

One of the original buildings from the estate Percy Williams built in 1901, the lower floor of the cottage being used as a private office. The second floor was used as a game room for cards and gambling. The cottage is in danger of being lost due to heavy damage to the roof, but is being repaired by the Town of Islip sometime in the future.

The Gazebo

One of the most photographed sites at the Grange, it has been used for wedding days and Sayville High School’s pre-prom events every year. It has also been used for concerts and plays in the past. This building, being out in the open, is usually spotted first by onlookers.

Ockers’ Barns and Outbuildings

The Ockers Estate in Oakdale, which once stood on the north side of Montauk Highway, still stands as the centerpiece of the Islip Town Senior Citizen’s Housing Complex. The four buildings at Islip Grange, at least three of which were on the Ockers Estate in Oakdale, provide office space for the town, according to The barn dates back to 1800, having been sold to Henry Ockers in the mid-1800s. It became known as the Ockers Estate, named after Henry. A four-seat outhouse and a chicken coop also accompany the property.

Robinson Cottage

George Robinson built the cottage in 1920. It was close to the southwest corner of Main Street (now SC 85) and Greene Street (now Greene Avenue), and was intended as a real estate office for his wife. The inspiration for the design comes from English thatched roof countryside cottages. Its charm attracted many customers to her office. In 1976, the cottage was used as the official Bicentennial office for the Town of Islip. 

robinson cottage at islip grange
This stucco cottage was built in 1920 for use as a real estate office.

Tuthill-Case House

Benjamin Tuthill built this house sometime between 1850 and ‘60. In 1850, a deed was signed off from the original site on Main Street to Joshua Tuttle and his wife. The house first appeared on a map in 1888. It was moved to Islip Grange in 1975 as a gift of Anthony Yeni and Benjamin Block.

Seasonal Activities at Islip Grange

Farmers’ Market

The farmers’ market, open from June through early November, is held every Saturday from 9am-2pm. Many purveyors are featured and offer customers fresh fruits and vegetables, jams and jellies, breads, flowers, plants, and more.

islip grange farmers' market
Spelman Studios
A sampling of what you can find at the farmers' market at Islip Grange in Sayville


Annual Events at Islip Grange

Americana Fair

One of the largest Islip annual festivals, the Americana Fair is typically held on a weekend in June. The fair features craft vendors, a farmers’ market, live entertainment, and petting zoos.

The Apple Festival

Enjoy the annual Apple Festival, which is nominated for the Bethpage Federal Credit Union 2016 Best Festival of Long Island. The fair is free, promoting its flavor of old fashioned goodness. Enjoy nearly 300 craft and merchandise vendors, local businesses with various foods, and a kid’s fun zone with crafts and pumpkin picking are available for a day of fun-filled shopping.

The fair is typically held in October. There are plenty of exhibits and demonstrations, including live entertainment, children’s crafting tents, carousel rides, pony rides, a petting zoo, an apple culinary contest, and a large festival food court.

Civil War Weekend

Typically held in mid- to late September, this annual free event features a three-day weekend full of action-packed fun.

The first night is a movie night under the stars featuring “Gods and Generals,” exploring the early years of the civil war and the motivations behind the soldiers. Refreshments are served, and bringing family and friends are encouraged.

Hosted by the New York volunteer infantry on the second day, the Civil War Reenactment is an action-packed front row seat to the Civil War. Interact with soldiers and learn more about 19th-century living. Observe the camp life, watch civil war cannons in action and other weapon demonstrations, and explore historic buildings. Plus try on some 19th-century clothing for a unique photo op.

civil war weekend at islip grange
Spelman Studios

See a re-enactment of the 1862 Battle of Antietam at Islip Grange's Civil War Weekend.

Don’t miss the climactic 1862 Battle of Antietam on the final day, during which the assault from Robert E. Lee’s forces against the Confederate troops bombards the fields with canon fire, musket shooting, and flag waving action that will leave you breathless.


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