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Craft fair raises money to help restore historic buildings

Artist Janis Cutler Gear, of Branchville, N.J., shows

Artist Janis Cutler Gear, of Branchville, N.J., shows off her porcelain pottery at the Heritage Crafts Fair in Huntington. (Aug. 19, 2012) Credit: Ursula Moore

Eileen Darwin always finds great buys at the Heritage Crafts Fair.

It’s one of her favorite places to shop for unique items at great prices. In the past, she’s purchased serving dishes, pottery and earrings.

“I always come here because I always find great gifts to give to my family,” said Darwin, of Huntington.

The Huntington Historical Society hosted its third annual Heritage Crafts Fair, held on the grounds of the Daniel Kissam House Museum. The fair features 40 vendors selling items including clothing, natural skincare products, art, jewelry, handbags, clocks and pottery.

Huntington Historical Society executive director Robert “Toby” Kissam came up with the idea to have a craft fair.

“Toby is a direct descendant of the Kissam family and he has a huge interest in artifacts and antiques,” said Wendy Andersen, Huntington Historical Society director of education. “He thought it would be a good idea for vendors to show their work at the Heritage Craft Fair.”

With hundreds of individuals perusing the items on display, Andersen said, the fair grows each year.

“The first year, we raised $3,000 and the second year was $6,000,” she said.

Melanie Prior especially enjoyed tasting the raw black-and-white brownie bar from the Within Food tent.

“It is good,” said Prior, of Huntington. “It tastes like fudge.”

Bob Deck, of Bethpage, suffers from a bone spur and decided a chair massage was the perfect solution to his pain.

“I have a bone spur in my neck because I have arthritis. I always feel a little tightness when I turn to the right,” said Deck. “This massage here is better than a chiropractor.”

Gregory Heim, of Huntington, says he finds the most creative items at craft fairs.

“I like the handmade items because it makes them unique and I also like that everything here is locally made,” said Heim.

Huntington Historical Society director of operations Claudia Fortunato-Napolitano was excited to purchase great treasures at the craft fair.

“I always go home with something great from the craft fair,” said Fortunato-Napolitano. “I recently bought a new house and there are great pieces of art and hand-painted glassware here that I will put in my house.”

The Huntington Historical Society is a nonprofit that maintains four national register historic properties, including the Dr. Daniel Kissam House Museum, the David Conklin Farmhouse, the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building and the Huntington Sewing and Trade School.

As of Saturday, the event raised $6,000, which will go toward maintaining and repairing the Conklin Farmhouse and Daniel Kissam House Museum shop.

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