Old Bethpage Village Restoration
Old Bethpage, 1303 Round Swamp Road
(Exit 48 of the Long Island Expressway)
The Village is Open for the 2014 Season
Wednesday through Sunday 10am - 4pm (last ticket sold at 3 p.m.)
Museum Admission: $10, adults; $7, children 5 - 12 (under 5 are free); and $7, seniors, volunteer firefighters.
For School & Group Reservations, please call 516 572-8408 for pricing & reservations.
For Restoration Farm reservations visit: www.restorationfarm.com
Click here for Google map
The reconstructed Exhibition Hall today. After 170 years the Long Island Fair continues as the only county fair sanctioned by New York State for the counties of Queens, Nassau and Suffolk .
Exploring Long Island's 19th-Century Living History Museum
OLD BETHPAGE VILLAGE RESTORATION provides visitors with a unique and wonderful opportunity to step back in time and experience life in a recreated mid-19th-century American village. The 209-acre village includes an assortment of homes, farms and businesses.
Each fall, the village hosts the Long Island Fair, a traditional county agricultural fair that draws tens of thousands of visitors. Most of the year the village supports a steady series of family-friendly events and exhibits. One of the events included are the old-time "baseball" tournaments.
Old Bethpage Village Restoration (OBVR) came into existence in 1963, when Nassau County acquired the Powell property, a 165-acre farm located on the Nassau-Suffolk border. The acquisition of the land and the plan to develop a historic restoration were timely, as rapid post-World War II development on Long Island had taken a toll on the area's landmarks.
Although OBVR never existed as an historic entity, it represents a typical rural Long Island farm village of the mid-19th century — one whose roots can actually be found in the earlier Dutch and English settlement of Long Island.
During the 1640s, the colonial settlers founded town "spots" throughout the region that functioned as commerical and social centers where taverns, general stores and meeting houses were built. Townsmen received a centrally located town lot as well as outlying fields to use for grazing livestock, growing crops or havesting firewood.
By 1700, the English had gained control of Long Island, townships controlled whatever land had not already been distributed and the economy had expanded to include trades dependent on the sea and land. Life remained quiet, unhurried and closely tied to nature — patterns that were evident until well into the 19th century and that can be experienced at OBVR.
|The Manetto Hill Church (above),
1857, and the Long Island
Exhibit Hall (above) are two of
the dozens of buildings at OBVR.
IN 1963, PLAINVIEW'S HISTORIC MANETTO HILL METHODIST CHURCH was the first structure to be saved and moved to the Powell property. Today, there are 51 historic buildings, seven reconstructions and the site encompasses 209 acres. Buildings were selected based on their architectural detail and historic significance, with the goal of establishing a representative sampling of historic structures.
After buildings were moved to the village, they were carefully restored to a specific point in their history and the lives of the former occupants thoroughly researched.
Each structure has been scrutinized for clues to its role in community life, authentic hardware, shingles and glass sought — with the help of wills, deeds and inventory lists — so the structures could be authentically furnished (in some cases with pieces original to the building).
Among the historic buildings is the Schenck House, built around 1730 and one of the oldest Dutch farmhouses remaining in the U.S. The house displays typical massive Dutch framing, particularly on the first floor ceiling joists, which span 32 feet.
Other notable features include a side gabled roof with flared eaves, round butt shingles, heavy window sash and a massive stone jambless fireplace.
Another is the Benjamin House, built in 1829 by William F. Benjamin, a Congregational minister, farmer and pastor to the Shinnecock and Poosepatuck Native American tribes. (One of Benjaman's brothers, Simeon, wasa prominent merchant and a founder of Elmira College, the first institution of higher learning for women.) The Benjamin House was constructed in the late Federal country style and its furnishings reflect the lifestyle of this relatively affluent farmer and respected minister.
Visit Old Bethpage Village to see these buildings and others and allow yourself to be transported into an earlier time in the history of Long Island and New York.
at Old Bethpage Village
IN 2007, THE COUNTY INTRODUCED the Restoration Farm at Old Bethpage Village. The farm, which is operated by a private business, Restoration Farmers, employs sustainable, organic agricultural principles and follows the "Farmer's Pledge" of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York. The farm itself is 7 acres and is located at the southern tip of the Village. The farm's produce is available to the public through a farm stand at the entrance to the Restoration Farm at 14 Bethpage-Sweet Hollow Road (Spagnoli Road) (Wednesdays
noon, June 2 through
October 30) and via the Community Supported Agriculture program.
For more information about Restoration Farm,
Mangano: Volunteers Needed for the
172nd Long Island Fair
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano today announced that volunteers are needed to work at the 172nd Long Island Fair, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 27th and 28th and Thursday, October 2nd through Sunday, October 5th on the Fairgrounds at Old Bethpage Village Restoration.
Volunteers are needed to welcome visitors, bring water to thirsty farm animals; peddle doughnuts, peanuts, pumpkins, apples or toys; judge corn husking contests and games of skill; work at the Flying Horses Carousel or wagon rides; set up and oversee displays of prize-winning crafts, fruits and vegetable, flowers and culinary items; or help visitors at the information booth.
Prospective volunteers must be at least 14 years of age and willing to serve one or more days. Attendance at an orientation meeting one week prior to the fair is required. For more information please call the Volunteer Coordinator at: (516) 572-8416, or visit the website at: www.lifair.org.
About the Long Island Fair
Every fall, Old Bethpage Village Restoration hosts The Long Island Fair; the official New York State sanctioned County Fair for Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Held on the re-created historic Mineola Fairgrounds, the fair combines the best of old time county fairs with prize winning competitions. Thousands of exhibits are entered and will compete for blue ribbons in areas including culinary, horticulture, livestock, needlework and even agricultural skills. In addition, a variety of bygone performances and demonstrations will be provided for entertainment such as jugglers, mimes, puppet shows, magic acts, and traditional dancing. Band concerts, horse drawn wagon also offer historic amusement in a modern day setting.
Mangano Announces the 172nd Long Island Fair at Old Bethpage Village Restoration
Old Bethpage, NY – Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano announced today that the Old Bethpage Village Restoration (OBVR) will host the 172nd Annual Long Island Fair over two successive weekends on Saturday and Sunday, September 27th and 28th and Thursday, October 2nd – Sunday, October 5th. The Fair, one of America’s oldest agricultural festivals, is a family-friendly festival offering a range of attractions, including exotic animals, reptile shows, pony and carnival rides, as well as traditional live music.
Visitors can enjoy magic shows, a petting zoo, and historical entertainment. Stilt walkers traverse the grounds, and entertainers enthrall families with puppets, juggling and storytelling. All of these festivities continue a 172-year tradition. Attractions such as livestock shows, tractor rides, Civil War reenactments, and Rough Rider demonstrations whisk riders back to another era. Visitors will also find:
- Historical demonstrations: hat-making, pottery, blacksmithing, weaving, and candle-making;
- Dance opportunities: brass bands, a fiddler, bluegrass band Buddy Merriam & Backroads, Homegrown String Band, and kids' singer-songwriter Patricia Shih;
- For tiny tots: a Farmer for a Day area and a hands-on Vegetable Orchestra;
- Tests of skill: sawing, corn-husking, and scarecrow-building contests; guessing the weight of a giant pumpkin;
- Tickets required: rides on camels, ponies, horse-drawn wagons, a hot-air balloon, and a 19th-century carousel; bounce houses;
- Eats for sale: candied apples, pumpkins, organic veggies, fresh-made candy, giant turkey legs, and funnel cakes.
Meanwhile, baseball fans can enjoy the end-of-season matches of OBVR’s Old Time Baseball League, which recreates “baseball” as it was played in the latter half of the 19th century, with teams competing in authentic uniforms and playing under the names of Long Island clubs of that era.
The Long Island Fair is the New York State-recognized county fair for Queens, Nassau and Suffolk, and involves the cooperation of the Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums and the Agricultural Society of Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Thousands of exhibits are entered every year in friendly competition, with blue ribbon categories including livestock, flowers and vegetables from farms and home gardens, culinary, needlework, hobbies, and a junior division for those 13 and younger. This year’s competitions will also include an “Advanced” category for new professionals, novices and students who are serious about their craft. Entries in this category will require a fee, with generous first, second and third place prizes; and the judges will be required to submit credentials in the specific classes.
The fair is unique among New York State County Fairs in that it maintains much of the historical ambiance of the 19th century. The fair was founded in 1842 and became known as the Queens County Agricultural Fair, but soon after was called the Mineola Fair when it moved to a permanent location in Mineola in 1866. The fair moved to Roosevelt Raceway in 1953 and to the newly opened Old Bethpage Village Restoration in 1970, where it is held on a 12-acre recreation of the original Mineola Fairgrounds.
Entrance fees are: $12.00 for adults, $8.00 for children (5 to 12) and seniors, Children under 5 – free. The Long Island Fair hours are as follows: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Specials - Saturday and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. - $7.00 each for everyone. Thursday and Friday are Senior Days - all Seniors (62 and older) $5.00 each all day long.
*The hot-air balloon rides will only be available on Sunday, September 27th and October 4th and 5th from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. weather permitting.
Old Bethpage Village Restoration provides visitors with a unique and wonderful opportunity to step back in time and experience life in a recreated mid-19th Century American village set on more than 200 acres. Old Bethpage Village is located at 1303 Round Swamp Road in Old Bethpage; for more information, please call: (516) 572-8401.
For more information about the Long Island Fair, visit www.lifair.org. For more information about the Parks Department, please visit: www.nassaucountyny.gov/parks or call: (516) 572-0200.