Home of George Washington’s intelligence operative Robert Townsend, Raynham Hall is a time capsule of Long Island life in the 18th and 19th centuries. Purchased by Robert’s father Samuel around 1740 and expanded from a two-over-two farmhouse into a four-over-four town house whose land extended down to the bay and for acres all around, the Townsend family homestead was named Raynham Hall by Samuel’s grandson, Solomon, when he renovated it according to the Victorian taste of his own time, in the mid-19th century. Having shed most of its surrounding property around the turn of the twentieth century, the house’s final transformation came in the 1940s with the removal of the Victorian elements from the front part of the house, which was then restored back to its original Colonial appearance, but retaining the Victorian rear addition.
Valentine’s Day Poetry Contest
Calling all poets! Plans are underway for the 1st Annual Valentine’s Day Poetry Contest sponsored by Raynham Hall Museum and the Oyster Bay Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Raynham Hall is home to the first known Valentine in the United States of America. At the height of the Revolutionary War, on February 14th, 1779 Colonel John Graves Simcoe, commander of the British regiment the Queen’s Rangers, presented young Sally Townsend with a poem, which read in part: “To you my heart I must resign, O choose me for your Valentine!”
It’s easy to enter this poetry contest. Write a poem on the topic of love or Valentine’s Day! Click here for the contest entry form.
There are three age categories: 4th grade – 6th grade, 7th grade – 9th grade, 10th grade -12th grade. One entry per person. Entries must be received by January 31, 2019.
There will be a first-place, second-place and honorable mention winners for each age group. Winning contestants along with their families and teachers are invited to attend an awards ceremony at Raynham Hall Museum at 4 pm on Thursday, February 14, 2019.
Raynham Hall Museum, 20 West Main Street, Oyster Bay, NY 11771
Decorated for the Holidays
Come see Raynham Hall Museum festively decorated for the Holiday season! The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the holiday season. The museum will be closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. We will close at 3 p.m. on the eves’ of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.