Members of the Ancient and Honorable Huntington Militia dressed in colonial costumes and fired their guns in a salute outside the Manor of St. George in Mastic Beach to kick off Tri-Hamlet Community Day on Saturday.
More than 1,000 people were transported in buses to the manor, William Floyd Estate, downtown Mastic Beach Village, the Woodhull Family Cemetery and Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge in Shirley for a day full of free historical and educational activities.
“We’re trying to highlight some of the treasures of our community,” said state Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), who helped organize the event through the Tri-Hamlet Renaissance Project, an initiative started last summer by elected officials and other civic leaders to bring more attention to the historical aspects of the area. “This neighborhood is rich in tradition and we want to entice people to come visit us.”
At the Manor of St. George, the Huntington Militia taught visitors about the food, weapons and clothing used during the Revolutionary War. The yard of the manor along the Carmans River is where the Battle of Fort St. George took place on Nov. 23, 1780.
“I’ve lived here for a number of years and I didn’t know this was here,” said Miguel Rivera of Mastic Beach. “It’s nice to get a sense of the history of this place and I’m getting to meet my neighbors.”
A 10-minute drive from the manor took visitors to downtown Mastic Beach Village, where a car show of about 20 vehicles from the 1950s was on display. The car show included food from village vendors as well as live music.
“People need to see the diamonds in the rough of this area,” said Mike Lubrano, vice president of the Mastic Peninsula Historical Society and member of the Tri-Hamlet Renaissance Project. “We were looking for ways to cross-promote sites -- that way the history buffs can see the car show and the car guys can see the wildlife refuge.”
At the William Floyd Estate, visitors toured the home where Floyd and his wife lived. James and Diana Davies of Mastic Beach were dressed as William Floyd and his wife, Julia, and took photos with guests.
“We’ve been dressing up as the Floyds for years and now it’s kind of our thing,” said Diana Davies.
At the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, visitors could go on a trail hike or meet some of the birds and creatures of Long Island.
“This is an event where everyone can appreciate something,” said Lubrano.
Above: Diana and James Davies, as Julia and William Floyd, greet guests at William Floyd Estate during Tri-Hamlet Community Day in Mastic Beach. (June 9, 2012)