Baldwin Historical Society & Museum

Baldwin Historical Society & Museum Founded in 1972, the Baldwin Historical Society & Museum collects, archives and displays stories and artifacts pertaining to the rich history of Baldwin, Long Island.
Open Sundays 1-4pm from April through December. Closed Jan through March.
Email for appo

For hundreds of years, Baldwin, Long Island, New York, has been the scene of a great deal of exciting and interesting history – some of which has been lost to obscurity. The Baldwin Historical Society is tasked with collecting, maintaining and telling this history - here it is, in very short form. In the 1640's, John Hicks of Flushing and Edward Spragg, an Englishman, settled on the salty meadows of Hick's Neck (now Baldwin Harbor). The Merokee Indians were established along Milburn Creek, on what is now the Freeport border. The Merokees were poor hunters but survived as fisherman and by making wampum, shell money, which they traded with other tribes. The shape of the land and Mr. Hicks' settlement determined the area's first name - Hick's Neck, which was generally located between Parsonage and Milburn Creeks. The first gristmill was built in 1686 by John Pine on Milburn Creek. Settlers took advantage of the convenient and affordable milling service and came to the community to establish farms of their own. Hick's Neck was not spared from the tumult of the American Revolution. Due to conflicting loyalties, Tories traded with the British and Whigs lost their farms and fish to the Redcoats. Sporadic violence did occur. After the Revolution peace was established and Hick's Neck transformed into an expanding village. Social life flourished in huckleberry frolics, barn raisings, quilting bees, the town meeting in Hempstead and local community meetings. Bethel Chapel, Baldwin's first documented church, was established in 1810 in an old abandoned schoolhouse (built around 1738) situated on the west side of today's Grand Avenue at St. Luke's Place. The Methodist house of worship doubled as our first schoolhouse and gave the area one of its numerous names, Bethel. A handsome church, with a towering steeple, on Merrick Road and Harrison Avenue, now serves as the hamlet's oldest denomination. Our Catholic population has been attending services at St. Christopher's for over a century, although today in a building constructed in the 1950's. Altogether, thirteen churches and synagogues now share the patronage of thousands of families. Nineteenth-century employment included farming, fishing, clamming and light industry initially encouraged by the area's supply of wool. Marshing - the practice of cutting salt grasses to feed livestock - afforded extra profits to the local baymen. Farmers fed their animals with the hay transported from the nearby islands in and around the Great South Bay. Transportation at first consisted of walking or horseback riding. From 1852 to about 1888 a stage coach traversed the "South Country Road" or the "Merrick and Jamaica Plank Road" which was a wooden plank road with tollgates now known as Merrick Road. This brought about several inns for weary travelers, one of which is still standing today. The structure, located at the corner of Merrick Road and Milburn Avenue now houses a gas station. Baldwin Inn, on the corner of Merrick Road and Grand Avenue was another popular old inn. Sadly, that building is long gone and the corner is now occupied by a vacant store. That inn was owned by F.W. Baldwin who was an early settler and popular politician whose family ultimately gave our community its name. Boats were a natural form of transportation as well. Lott's Landing, on the shore of Milburn Creek and Baldwin Bay, became the focal point of the area's shipping industries. Exotic imports as well as local specialties like shellfish and lumber all passed through here. Our proximity to the ocean brought tragedy in 1837 when the baroque, "Mexico" with 130 Irish immigrants aboard, ran aground and began to sink in a terrible winter storm. The courageous Raynor Rock Smith rallied a group of baymen to row out to the distressed baroque and was able to save eight passengers and recovered those remaining for burial in the Sand Hole Cemetery in Rockville Centre. At the dawn of the 20th century, the hamlet began to explode with "city slickers" boosting the population to an eye-popping fifteen hundred. In 1866 the South Side Rail Road sped through "Milburn", which was another of Baldwin's former names. By 1867 a modest railroad station was constructed and the name "Baldwins" was chosen to represent the town on its sign. Around 1900, the Long Island Traction Company supplemented the rail line with trolley service along Atlantic Avenue. It ran from Jamaica through Baldwin to Freeport, with several station stops, until about 1926. The all-volunteer Baldwin Fire Department began operations in February 1896. Previously existing bucket companies merged into an efficient unit that has never ceased reliable service since. Fire was not a stranger to Baldwin back then, as in 1919 one of the small buildings associated with the U.S. Navy Star Shell Plant exploded, claiming two lives. The most disastrous event in Baldwin's history may well have been the Sunrise Highway explosion of 1926. Gas used for interior illumination accidentally exploded, flattening the surrounding businesses, killing two people and injuring twelve. Although the Baldwin Public Schools were not recognized as such until 1896, School District Number 10 dates back to 1813. Fire destroyed the original School Number 1 as well as its replacement. Today there are seven active primary schools, a junior high school, a senior high school and a parochial school at St. Christopher's. Local citizens have aspired in every direction, including skywards. Two Baldwin farmboys, Albert and Arthur Heinrich, flew the first all-American built, American-powered monoplane in May of 1910 near the current-day site of Plaza School. Twenty years later, the mammoth Grumman Aerospace Corporation (now Northrup-Grumman) began operations humbly in a Baldwin garage on Brooklyn Avenue just west of Grand Avenue. Baldwin's leisurely pace had also attracted many stars of the stage and screen. Vaudevillian actress Sophie Tucker and actor/director Victor Moore lived here and lured many other performers to Baldwin over the years. Victor Moore even famously filmed a number of his popular "Klever Komedies" in Baldwin. Few individuals have contributed so much to our community and society in general as Willard Bixby. Bixby was a well-respected arborist who cultivated and studied thousands of specimen trees on his property in Baldwin. His writings have served as a source of scientific information for the entire world. Some of his specimens may still exist in town. Today, Baldwin is a dynamic community of more than 30,000 residents. Many beautiful and notable historic homes still stand on quiet tree shaded streets. Some of our historic commercial structures also stand, although maybe a little less boldly than they once did. History can be found in every area of Baldwin and the community continues to set the stage for new stories to be made.

Mission: Our group was founded in 1972 with the mission to collect, archive and display stories and artifacts pertaining to the rich history of Baldwin, Long Island.

05/11/2019

We’d like to pay our respects to all mothers out there.
Enjoy the love and the memories that they’ve given us all.
Respectfully, we will be spending our day with our families.
Happy Mother’s Day to all.

05/04/2019

Unfortunately, we will not be open this Sunday, May 5th, 2019.
We sincerely apologize for this.

04/21/2019

The museum is closed this Sunday as we celebrate the holy days of Easter
and
Passover.

Learn about "Little Known Aspects of Long Island’s Maritime History” when former Newsday writer Bill Bleyer presents...
03/18/2019

Learn about "Little Known Aspects of Long Island’s Maritime History” when former Newsday writer Bill Bleyer presents highlights of his latest book, “Long Island and the Sea: A Maritime History,” on Monday, April 8 at 6:30 pm at the East Rockaway Public Library.

Bleyer will talk about the development of submarines and torpedoes, the landing of Pan Am Clippers in Port Washington, the world’s most innovative whaling captain, and more.

The event is jointly sponsored by the Historical Society of East Rockaway & Lynbrook, and the East Rockaway Public Library,

Some pix from the unveiling of the Nunley's mural Saturday night! We also enjoyed riding the carousel!
03/11/2019

Some pix from the unveiling of the Nunley's mural Saturday night! We also enjoyed riding the carousel!

02/02/2019

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control,
We will not be open tomorrow.
Please enjoy Super Bowl Sunday with your family and friends.

12/31/2018

Wishing all a very
Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone all the joys of the season!
12/24/2018

Wishing everyone all the joys of the season!

West Hempstead Historical Society
12/10/2018

West Hempstead Historical Society

In October, we had the chance to meet Gary Farkash of the Baldwin Historical Society. We plan to schedule our summer outing at his home base

11/29/2018

Just a reminder about this Sunday Tree Lighting at the Museum.
The fun starts at 3:30 and ends well after Santa arrives in his 8 cylinder fire truck.

11/22/2018

So many things to remember to be grateful for.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.

11/16/2018

Please join us at the Baldwin Chamber of Commerce annual tree lighting on Sunday December 2nd at 3:30 in front of the Museum. There will be plenty to do and see for everyone in the family. Santa will arrive in his BIG red BFD sleigh.

09/01/2018

The Baldwin Historical Society Museum wil be closed Labor Day weekend. Enjoy your holiday and see you next weekend.

07/21/2018

The museum will be closed this Sunday because our volunteers have other commitments.

06/17/2018

The museum will be closed today so everyone can celebrate. Happy Father's Day everyone!

Baldwin Historical Society & Museum
06/16/2018

Baldwin Historical Society & Museum

Thank you to Peyton Mahler for choosing to redo the roof and siding at the Baldwin Historical Museum for his Eagle Scout...
06/16/2018

Thank you to Peyton Mahler for choosing to redo the roof and siding at the Baldwin Historical Museum for his Eagle Scout project. The building looks great and we appreciate all the hard work that went into coordinating and accomplishing this. Some may recognize the Mahler name in connection with the museum - Peyton's grandfather Rolf was instrumental in establishing and building the museum.

Baldwin Historical Society & Museum
05/28/2018

Baldwin Historical Society & Museum

A great day at the museum and community garden with our high school students and volunteers working to make a beautiful ...
05/25/2018

A great day at the museum and community garden with our high school students and volunteers working to make a beautiful difference in our community.
Thank you!

We are super grateful to the talented art and tech students of Baldwin Senior High School who painted a mural, built Adirondack chairs and planters and planted a tree! It couldn’t have happened without the direction of their amazing teachers, Michelle Kelly and Vinny Leis. We’d also like to give a shout out to longtime resident Lenny Motel who constructed an adorable photo board. The garden is looking better than ever! And the students took video of the experience!

A big Thank You to Peyton Mahler who chose to restore the outside of the Baldwin Historical Museum for his Eagle Scout p...
05/03/2018

A big Thank You to Peyton Mahler who chose to restore the outside of the Baldwin Historical Museum for his Eagle Scout project. We're so excited and happy to see another generation of Mahlers involved in Baldwin and its history. He can use your help with raising funds for the project.

Mahler Realty is excited to announce that Peyton Mahler will be working with the Baldwin Historical Society for his Eagle Scout Project! Rolf Mahler, along with fellow Baldwinites, raised the money to build the Historical Society building over 40 years ago! Want to donate? Send check made out to Troop 182, C/O Mahler Realty, 1030 Merrick Rd. #fullcircle #givingbackmatters #family #baldwinpride

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04/27/2018

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Sonny's Canal House is a historic Baldwin business and the only waterfront restaurant in the community, They are seeking...
03/12/2018

Sonny's Canal House is a historic Baldwin business and the only waterfront restaurant in the community, They are seeking a variance for their deck (see the photos) from the Town of Hempstead Board of Appeals. The hearing has been rescheduled to April 18th. Comments are welcome and can be made on line.

Baldwin Library will be holding a program about Legendary Women of Long Island on Tuesday, March 13th at 1:00 pm.This mu...
03/05/2018
Baldwin Public Library

Baldwin Library will be holding a program about Legendary Women of Long Island on Tuesday, March 13th at 1:00 pm.
This multi-media lecture will highlight some famous and infamous women who lived on Long Island and were subject to scandal and gossip because of their actions.
Register in-person or online..

We would like to recognize the achievements of Pulitzer Prize winner and Baldwin resident, the late Moneta Sleet Jr., as...
02/28/2018
Moneta Sleet Jr., 70, Civil Rights Era Photographer, Dies

We would like to recognize the achievements of Pulitzer Prize winner and Baldwin resident, the late Moneta Sleet Jr., as Black History Month draws to a close. http://www.nytimes.com/1996/10/02/nyregion/moneta-sleet-jr-70-civil-rights-era-photographer-dies.html

Moneta Sleet Jr, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer who captured many of the images that defined the struggle for racial equality in the United States and Africa, dies at age 70; photos (M)

12/31/2017

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year as 2017 heads into the history books.

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12/11/2017

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12/05/2017

The Baldwin Historical Society Museum will be closed this Sunday, December 10. Our volunteers have other obligations. Please visit us another time.

A wonderful Baldwin tradition this Sunday sponsored by the Baldwin Chamber of Commerce by the museum. The museum will  b...
11/29/2017

A wonderful Baldwin tradition this Sunday sponsored by the Baldwin Chamber of Commerce by the museum. The museum will be open during the celebration so stop by and check out our displays and holiday decorations!

Thank you to all our sponsors for making this event possible! 🎄

Remembering those from Baldwin who served with distinction.
11/10/2017

Remembering those from Baldwin who served with distinction.

Did you know that Baldwin is home to two Medal of Honor recipients? John James Kedenburg (July 31, 1946 - June 14, 1968)

During the Vietnam War, while on a mission in a Laos jungle, John James Kedenburg's unit was attacked and surrounded by a battalion of North Vietnamese forces. Thinking quickly, Kedenburg assumed command and, after trading heavy fire with enemy forces, broke out of the encirclement. As the team retreated through the jungle, Kedenburg, while providing rear cover fire so his unit could escape, called for air support and rescue helicopters.

Learn more here - baldwinpl.org/john

#JohnJamesKedenburg #VietnamWar #VeteransDay #BaldwinNY #BaldwinNYVeterans

The museum will be open during Oktoberfest! Stop by and say hello while you're checking out the festivities.
10/07/2017

The museum will be open during Oktoberfest! Stop by and say hello while you're checking out the festivities.

Looks like a fun afternoon...and the museum will be open that day as well.
09/25/2017

Looks like a fun afternoon...and the museum will be open that day as well.

Tap into Baldwin's German past! Come to the first BCA Oktoberfest at the community Garden, Saturday, October 7th at 1pm. Games, food, craft vendors, and beer sampling!

09/02/2017

The museum will be closed this Labor Day weekend. Hope to see you next week.

Drop by Baldwin Park this Saturday for Baldwin Day!
08/04/2017

Drop by Baldwin Park this Saturday for Baldwin Day!

Don't forget Baldwin Day is this Saturday, August 5 in Baldwin Park. FREE PICNIC, FREE CONCERT, AND FIREWORKS thanks to our sponsors! Don't miss it!!! See flyer for details.

07/29/2017

The museum will be closed this Sunday. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Happy Independence Day!
07/04/2017

Happy Independence Day!

07/01/2017

The museum will be closed this Sunday. Hope everyone enjoys the holiday weekend.

We received word last week that the Kellogg House was unanimously nominated for the New York State Historical register. ...
06/21/2017
Century-Old Nassau Home Likely To Be Named Historic Place

We received word last week that the Kellogg House was unanimously nominated for the New York State Historical register. Awaiting the letter with the final designation.

https://patch.com/new-york/merrick/s/g5oz0/century-old-nassau-home-likely-be-named-historic-place?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_term=community+corner&utm_campaign=autopost&utm_content=merrick

The Kellogg House is on the list of places to be added to the state's list of historic places.

06/18/2017

Happy Father's Day! The museum will be closed today so our volunteers can spend time with their families.

05/12/2017

Happy Mother's Day. The museum will be closed so our volunteers can celebrate the day.

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04/27/2017

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Address

1980 Grand Ave
Baldwin, NY
11510

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