School Programs

Plan Your Visit

Raynham Hall Museum invites students and teachers to experience the rich and complex history of Oyster Bay during the American Revolution through on-site visits, as well as in-class or virtual programs. All of our programs are led by experienced museum educators and align with the New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework and Next Generation learning standards.

School programs cost $8 per student. If you are a Title I School, scholarship funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact us as early as possible to book a program.

To learn more about our educational offerings or to book an in-person or virtual program, please reach out to Justinne Lake-Jedzinak at

Samuel Townsend: Colonial Merchant
2nd Grade and above, 60 minutes
Discover how Samuel Townsend prospered as a ship-owning merchant during the mid-1700s, trading highly valued items from ports around the Atlantic Ocean, such as sugar, indigo, cotton, rice, and lumber. Topics of community life, agriculture, transatlantic shipping, and commerce come alive through this special interactive program on the Townsend family of Oyster Bay and their involvement in global trade networks.

The Townsends in the Revolution
4th Grade and Above, 90 minutes
Learn about how ship-owning merchant and patriot Samuel Townsend helped in the American Revolution. Hear from Col. John Graves Simcoe, commander of a British regiment called the Queen’s Rangers, who occupied the Townsend home during the war. Meet the Townsends’ son Robert, who joined a daring group of covert agents – the Culper Spy Ring. Communicating through letters written in secret code and invisible ink, Robert risked his life to provide critical information to Gen. George Washington.

Standing Where They Stood: Slavery and Freedom
5th Grade and Above, 90 minutes
Learn the complex history of slavery throughout New York and Long Island in the period before and after the American Revolution. Explore the rich and complicated true stories of individuals who were enslaved in Oyster Bay, including Tom Gall, the first person on Long Island who was freed, Jupiter Hammon, the first published Black poet in America, and a regiment of African Americans who fought alongside British Col. John Graves Simcoe’s Queen’s Rangers in 1780. 

Spy Craft 
4th Grade and Above, 60 minutes
Explore the history of real spies who operated on Long Island during the American Revolution and discover their secret spy techniques. Learn historic spy craft, including codes, ciphers and invisible ink, and receive the tools to create secret messages long after the program has ended. Learn the exciting true stories of both British and American spies such as Nathan Hale, Robert Townsend, Major John André, and Benedict Arnold.

Engaging with the Townsends: A Family Legacy of Civic Participation
9th grade and Above, 60 minutes
Meet several generations of the Townsend family and discover how they participated in American democracy from its earliest days. Learn how Samuel Townsend joined the New York Provincial Congress, which voted to ratify the Declaration of Independence on July 9, 1776. Examine the complicated story of Robert Townsend, who joined the New York Manumission Society even as his family continued to enslave people at his childhood home in Oyster Bay. Meet the women of the Townsend family, such as Helene DeKay, who supported the political careers of her husband and sons, and was active in the community throughout her life.