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.
Christmas Open House
1:00 – 5:00 pmRaynham Hall Museum
This event is free to the public.
Raynham Hall Museum on West Main Street in Oyster Bay will be holding an open house on December 6 beginning at 1 p.m., featuring two visits from Ebenezer Scrooge, an exhibition of folk-art miniature Christmas trees, an exhibition of toy soldiers, and Victorian caroling.
The exhibit consists of more than thirty miniature trees meticulously festooned with family keepsakes, created by the late Estella Shepherd Bush, her daughter Cora Michalis, and granddaughter Helen Bonebrake, and will run through Twelfth Night, on January 5. (The opening reception for that exhibition will take place Thursday, December 4, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., and is $25 per person). Also on exhibit will be miniature Revolutionary and British soldiers, prepared for battle, created by artist Michael Goudket.
Ebenezer Scrooge generously has planned two visits on December 6th, the first at 1 p.m. and the second at 2:30, at which he will re-tell the classic by Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, edited for brevity and as a first-person narrative. Children will add to the fun by participating in the storytelling with sound effects and shouting, “Bah, humbug!” As an intermission, at 2 p.m., Victorian carolers will drop by and cookies and cider will be offered.
Visitors will be free to tour the museum and enjoy the holiday spirit of the past, in the present!