At the core of Southold Historical Museum’s mission is education.  The organization’s bylaws describe two standing committees dedicated solely to education as well as many other committees who promote education via various other methods (exhibitions, collections, lighthouse, museum docents, etc.) Those two dedicated committees are entitled Education of Youth, which focuses on programs for local students and Museum Education which encompasses education of various populations.


Recently, the Museum Education Committee has been focusing on writing.  The committee is composed of a number of volunteers who are published fiction and non-fiction writers as well as researchers. Southold Historical Museum is pleased to offer “History As You Like It.”  “History As You Like It” column is a history-based column with periodic selections written by our Museum Education Committee.  Some articles will have a creative flair.  Other writers will employ a document-based approach with notes and references.  It will depend on the style of the writer.  All of the articles will have a connection to Southold and are meant to spark interest in our local history! 


The committee is particularly looking for YOUR FEEDBACK.  Would you consider sending us a line or giving us a ring to let us know what you think about “History As You Like It”? info@southoldhistorical.org or 631.765.5500 ext 2.

Old Ink by Joel Reitman

As I turn the brass knob on the faded blue door, the smell of printer’s ink invades my senses, as it always did when I came here to write my stories. This building has been here a long time; no wonder the hinges scowl and the floor creaks as I walk a past the now idle press. It’s Tuesday, and we didn’t print the The Traveler-Watchman until the night before publication - a schedule followed since 1871, set by Llewellyn F. Terry, the Long Island Traveler’s first owner and editor. I walk upstairs, and yes, those still creak, even the small, bare writers’ room creaks as the wind howls through the siding. 

Corn Pounder Headstone by Melissa Andruski

Among the grave markers in the three acre Willow Hill Cemetery, is one that stands out.  Not because it’s the tallest or most elaborate, but because of its uniqueness.  

A samp mortar made from granite marks the resting place of octogenarian Cutchogue farmer, horse-trainer, and auctioneer Charles F. Smith.  His name is engraved in the stone with his birth and death dates, 1840-1924, and can be found in the southeast section of the cemetery.

Epher Whitaker’s Lasting Legacy by Jacqueline Dinan

Although the name Epher Whitaker evokes sentimental nostalgia among long-time residents of Southold, newcomers may stumble over its pronunciation and wonder—what’s the big deal? 

An Interview With Horton by Joel Reitman

Wow, the lighthouse is so big and so white, and it’s right here in Southold. You wonder, why am I here? Well, my editor asked me to do a piece about the eight lighthouses in our town. I chose this one first, since it’s easy to get to being the only one accessible by land.

The Icehouse Cometh by Rosemary McKinley

My fascination with ice houses stems from my past. My grandfather was an ice man in Sea Cliff, NY in the 1920’s on. So, when I stepped into an icehouse in Southold, from long ago, I was hooked.

Mary Who? by Jacqueline Dinan


“Behind every great man is a great woman,” as the saying goes. In the case of Barnabas Horton (1600–1680), the great or more precisely, the influential woman was his second wife, Mary Langton. Their marriage of convenience propelled Barnabas to New England and ultimately to Southold. Without Mary, Barnabas would have probably died in England, unknown in America today.