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Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Photo Event to be Held in Port Jeff

Will take place at Port Jefferson Village Center.

In conjuction with the Recreation Department of the Incorporated Village of Port Jefferson, and Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society and Conservancy, a new event will be held this month called, "Mirrors of the Past: Lake Ronkonkoma in Old Photographs."

There will be over 120 photographs on display at the Port Jefferson Village Center located at 101A East Broadway.

The display opens on January 9. There will be a free opening reception on January 15 from 1-3 p.m. with light refreshments.

The exhibit, “Mirrors of the Past,” includes rare views of Martin Metzner’s Lake Towers, the Hotel Gables Casino, W. E. Coleman’s General Store, John Kirk’s “Castle” and the Lake Ronkonkoma School.

According to the folks at Port Jefferson Village Center, you can expect the following material in the exhibit:

  • Vintage images of Straub’s Market, the Ronkonkoma Fire Department, Camp Acadia, the Indian Hill Café, Adolph Wiechers’ Italian Gardens, the motor launch DARK CLOUD and Newton’s Garage are featured.
  • There are also views of Turner’s Corner Park, the original St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, American Legion William Merritt Hallock Post 155, the Bavarian Inn, iceboats, Hollywood Pavilion and the Cenacle Retreat Center.
  • Photos of John W. Cleary, first chief of the Ronkonkoma Fire Department; Ann Farnum Curtis, author of THREE WAVES, a history of Lake Ronkonkoma; George C. Raynor, the developer of Raynor’s Lakeview Beach; and Rosemary Cleary, founder of the Cleary School for Deaf Children are displayed.
  • In addition to photos , the showcases are filled with projectile points, tools, postcards, calendars, books, newsletters and other memorabilia. Maria Hansson captures the grandeur of bygone Lake Ronkonkoma in her painting of the Petit Trianon, an exclusive inn once located at the end of Motor Parkway.
  • Maps round out the exhibit, including one of the Lake Ronkonkoma environs  in 1917 and another showing the locations of the pavilions, beaches, hotels, inns and restaurants surrounding Lake Ronkonkoma during the 1930s and 1940s.
  • The photos are from the collections of the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society, Helen Hethy Mulvihill, Dolores Holzapfel, Marty Slater, Richard Crucet, Ralph Hilbert and Kenneth Brady.
  • The images were enhanced, printed and catalogued at the Port Jefferson Digital Archive at Harborfront Park by Brady, who is spearheading a photo preservation project through his work as Port Jefferson village historian.
  • Robert S. Feather, James Mooney, E. E. Brown, Oscar Stephan and H. S. Conklin are among the talented photographers whose pictures are on display. Some of their work appears in IMAGES OF AMERICA: LAKE RONKONKOMA, a book recently released by Arcadia Publishing  and written by Keith Oswald and Dale Spencer, the latter curator of the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society. 

The Port Jefferson Village Center is located at 101A East Broadway and is open seven days a week, except holidays, from 9 am to 9 pm. Admission is free. Call 631-802-2165 for additional information.

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