A rendering of the new Dominick-Crawford Barn Exhibit and Education Center...

A rendering of the new Dominick-Crawford Barn Exhibit and Education Center that will use elements from the 1847 barn. Credit: Three Village Historical Society

A 19th-century barn that had stood on an Old Field farm is set to become the centerpiece of a Setauket history museum.

The Three Village Historical Society plans to rebuild the barn inside a new $1.3 million museum under construction at the society's North Country Road headquarters. Ground was broken Saturday, and the museum is scheduled to open next year, society officials said.

The Dominick-Crawford barn, seen here at its old location in...

The Dominick-Crawford barn, seen here at its old location in Old Field before it was dismantled, will be rebuilt as part of a new Three Village Historical Society museum under construction in Setauket. Credit: Three Village Historical Society

The museum will be called the Dominick-Crawford Barn Exhibit and Education Center, referring to two of the barn's previous owners, the Dominick and Crawford families.

Historical society director Mari Irizarry said she hopes the barn helps future visitors feel like they have gone back in time.

"Once you look inside and look up, it’ll make you feel like you’re in the old building," Irizarry told Newsday. "We envision it to be this new hub in the Three Village area where the society and community members and beyond can look at this space [and] they can come and create."

Three Village Historical Society president Jeff Schnee and director Mari Irizarry...

Three Village Historical Society president Jeff Schnee and director Mari Irizarry stand in the field where the society will rebuild the 1847 Dominick-Crawford barn. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

The museum will include the society's archives, including papers from the families of developer Ward Melville and Revolutionary War-era Culper spy ring supporter Anna Strong, Irizarry said.

Those archives currently are stored in the society's cramped headquarters and at the Emma S. Clark Memorial Library in East Setauket, she said.

The barn had stood since 1847 on Old Field Road in the Village of Old Field until about a decade ago, when the village donated it to the historical society.

The barn was dismantled and its pieces cataloged so it could be rebuilt at its new home in Setauket, historical society president Jeff Schnee said. The 2½-story museum will be built around the barn, which will serve as a focal point for public exhibits, he said.

Wood from the 19th-century barn will be used to build...

Wood from the 19th-century barn will be used to build the new structure. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

The society has been given a $300,000 state grant for the project and received $350,000 from the nonprofit Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation of Hampton Bays, Irizarry said, adding the society plans to raise additional money through fundraisers and private donations.

"We’ll need all the help we can get to raise the remaining $650,000," Irizarry said. "We’re confident our community will really come through and help out."

Assemb. Steven Englebright (D-Setauket) said the new museum will join other local landmarks in Setauket's historical district.

"They give us a sense of place, a sense of continuity and connection to our past and connect us to the present generation, and give us a sense of what the community foundations, if you will, have been," Englebright told Newsday. "The historical society is very important to the self-image of the community. It gives us an opportunity to view, through the programs and activities, who the people were who created the community and, to a certain extent, it’s like passing the baton to the next generation."

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