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Huntington Station’s history captured in 1940s doctor’s office

Huntington Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia, seen Thursday, Oct.

Huntington Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia, seen Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, at a Huntington Station exhibit of Dr. Samuel Teich's home and medical office. The exhibit looks at the community's history going back to the 1800s. Credit: Randee Daddona

With a nod to Huntington Station’s past as a bustling small town complete with a beloved local doctor, an exhibit featuring a 1940s-era medical office is opening in the childhood home of Dr. Samuel Teich, a physician and obstetrician who delivered about 10,000 babies.

Teich, whose career spanned from 1935 to 1985, lived in a circa-1900 farmhouse at 12 Academy Place. The lot is now part of Gateway Park and its community garden.

The exhibit that officials say is to open by the end of the year includes a re-creation of Teich’s office, which had been at 1090 New York Ave.

“We have his examining table, scale, desk, chair and some dangerous-looking stuff, including a sun lamp and some goggles you had to use so you wouldn’t burn your eyes — all things that were used back in the day,” said Toby Kissam, a Huntington Historical Society board member and former president. “We have some really interesting stuff.”

The historical society is curating the exhibit.

In addition to the 1940s-era doctor’s office, the exhibit includes a photo display of Huntington Station as a bustling community starting in 1868 when the railroad came in, to 1968 when urban renewal destroyed much of the hamlet. Joan Cergol, director of the Huntington Community Development Agency, said the town has a “unique” opportunity to use the former homestead to study Huntington Station’s early beginnings.

“Saving Teich House to become a permanent fixture on Huntington Station parkland is the town’s way of paying homage to what once was as we carry forward with new downtown development unfolding under the revitalization program,” she said.

Huntington Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia said Teich had “great bedside manner.” The doctor delivered her two children, including Assemb. Andrew Raia (R-East Northport).

“He delivered, I think, three-quarters of the babies in Huntington for a while,” Jo-Ann Raia said. “He had a remarkable personality, he cared, he counseled, I have such fond memories.”

The house and property were acquired by the town with open-space park funds in 2013 for $270,000, doubling the size of Gateway Park. The house had been undergoing renovations since last year to update it and install public amenities, including an accessible restroom for parkgoers and gardeners.

The kitchen has been renovated to allow community gardeners to share their knowledge with the public on the preparation of produce grown on site, town officials said. Interpretive programming and revolving exhibits at the farmhouse that speak to the early agricultural use and general history of Huntington Station will be a revolving feature of the house.

The building will be known as the Max and Rosie Teich Homestead in honor of the doctor’s parents. They operated a dairy farm at the property in the early 20th century.

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