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Niche museums on Long Island

Quirky telephones, whale bones, police gear -- you wouldn't necessarily expect to see them in a Long Island museum. But there they are, on display along with other niche historical relics at lesser-known museums around Long Island. Admission is cheap (or even free), giving you one more reason to pay a visit.

American Guitar Museum

1810 New Hyde Park Rd. New Hyde Park,
Photo Credit: Nancy Borowick

1810 New Hyde Park Rd. New Hyde Park, NY; 516-488-5000

Price: Free

The American Guitar Museum, owned by New Hyde Park-native Chris Ambadjes, has nearly every type of fretted instrument, from an 1830 La Cote Classical Guitar to a 1959 Gibson Les Paul.

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Annie Cooper Boyd House

174 Main St. Sag Harbor, NY; 631-725-5092 Price:
Photo Credit: Ian J. Stark

174 Main St. Sag Harbor, NY; 631-725-5092

Price: Free; donations accepted

Dating back to 1795, this domicile once belonging to artist Annie Cooper Boyd was actually home to another family prior to the Coopers arrival in the 1870s. Through restorative efforts, the Sag Harbor Historical Society has made this a museum and place to view objects and other finds that help tell the story of Sag Harbors history.

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Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society

31 Bellport Lane Bellport, NY; 631-286-0888 Price: Free;
Photo Credit: Photo by John Griffin

31 Bellport Lane Bellport, NY; 631-286-0888

Price: Free; donations accepted

The Whaling Museum and Education Center

301 Main St. (Rte. 25A) Cold Spring Harbor,
Photo Credit: Handout

301 Main St. (Rte. 25A) Cold Spring Harbor, NY; 631-367-3418

Price: $6, $5 ages 4-18 and seniors, $20 families; Sun. before noon admission is by donation only

In a picturesque village of galleries and shops, this 4-room museum contains memorabilia such as a 19th century 30-foot whaleboat (one of a dozen in the world), harpoons, scrimshaw and a diorama of the whaling port in its 1850 heyday. Visitors can listen to the song of the humpback whale and participate in the hands-on activity center.

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Freeport Historical Museum

350 S. Main St. Freeport, NY; 516-623-9632 Price:
Photo Credit: Ian J. Stark

350 S. Main St. Freeport, NY; 516-623-9632

Price: Free; donations accepted.

This historic structure holds and displays locally significant artifacts such as old newspapers, photographs, and a postcard collection.

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Bay Shore Historical Society Gibson-Mack-Holt House c. 1820

22 Maple Ave. Bay Shore, NY; 631-665-1707 Price:
Photo Credit: Erin Geismar

22 Maple Ave. Bay Shore, NY; 631-665-1707

Price: Free; donations accepted

This 1820 Victorian style house with turn-of-the-century furnishings boasts a kitchen with a cast iron stove and one of the first coal hot water heaters and ice boxes manufactured. It is one of the oldest tradesman's houses remaining in Bay Shore.

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Hicksville Gregory Museum

1 Heitz Place Hicksville, NY; 516-822-7505 Price: $5,
Photo Credit: Nancy Borowick

1 Heitz Place Hicksville, NY; 516-822-7505

Price: $5, $3 seniors and children

The Hicksville Gregory Museum dates back to 1895 and initially was the Hicksville Town Hall and courthouse. Today, this museum houses minerals, fossils and local history exhibits.

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Levittown Historical Museum

Levittown Historical Museum: 150 Abbey Lane Levittown, NY;
Photo Credit: Erin Geismar

Levittown Historical Museum: 150 Abbey Lane Levittown, NY; 516-735-9060

Price: Free; donations accepted

This museum houses a collection of memorabilia, photographs, furnishings and appliances from original Levitt homes. A simulated Levitt residence with original living room and kitchen furniture, appliances, and fixtures dating back to Levitt homes of the late 1940s and early 1950s offers a glimpse of Levittown's history, beginning with recollections, photographs, and personal belongings of the first World War II veterans to return to Long Island in search of affordable housing.

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Maritime Explorium

101 East Broadway Port Jefferson, NY; 631-331-3277Price: $5,
Photo Credit: Photo by John Dunn

101 East Broadway Port Jefferson, NY; 631-331-3277

Price: $5, children under 1 year free

Interactive three-dimensional exhibits anchored in the historical, scientific and artistic dimensions of Long Island's maritime heritage and the unique ecosystem of Long Island Sound. Summer programs and Saturday drop-off programs

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Nassau County Police Museum

1490 Franklin Ave. rear of the Nassau County
Photo Credit: Photo by Pablo Corradi

1490 Franklin Ave. rear of the Nassau County Police headquarters Mineola, NY; 516-573-7620

Price: Free

This museum features police memorabilia, like uniforms and vehicles, dating back to 1925. Mannequins are used to recreate what it was like at a police station-house back in the 1920's.

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Sag Harbor Whaling Museum

00 Main St. Sag Harbor, NY; 631-725-0770 Price:
Photo Credit: Ian J. Stark

00 Main St. Sag Harbor, NY; 631-725-0770

Price: $6, $5 seniors and students, $1 younger than 12

This museum is housed in a striking Greek Revival structure. Enter through the jawbones of a whale, which sets the tone for memorabilia that fills the first floor. Included are paintings, log entries, scrimshaw, harpoons and other items associated with the industry that once made Sag Harbor one of the world's foremost whaling ports.

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Suffolk County Police Museum

30 Yaphank Ave. Yaphank, NY; 631-852-6174 Price: Free
Photo Credit: Photo by

30 Yaphank Ave. Yaphank, NY; 631-852-6174

Price: Free

Like the Nassau County Police Museum, the Suffolk County Police museum recreates a police station-house dating back to the 1920's with mannequins and old displays. Members of the Suffolk County Police Department make up the Suffolk County Police Historical Society and work to maintain the history with items like old police vehicles and photographic evidence.

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New Vision Pioneer Museum

445 Commack Rd. Commack, NY; 631-543-1371 Price: Free
Photo Credit: Barbara Alper

445 Commack Rd. Commack, NY; 631-543-1371

Price: Free

Verizon Telcom Pioneers maintain this volunteer-run museum, which also houses a library. This museum displays the re-creation of Alexander Graham Bell's workshop, the wire used in the first telephone transmission and models of early telephones.

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FOR MORE

Bayport Aerodrome Society's Living Aviation Museum: Bayport Aerodrome Vitamin Drive off Church Street Bayport, NY; 631-472-2393

This 24-hangar complex with privately owned antique and experimental aircraft is equipped with 2 hangars, both with museum exhibits.

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