The museum’s logo has changed over the years. The current logo, designed in 2021, represents our local heritage with images of historic buildings and landscapes. The museum underwent a rebranding campaign in 2021 which includes a new logo and new name (Southold Historical Society became Southold Historical Museum.). The current logo was the winner among over 30 contest entries. The buildings depicted are the museum’s Ann Currie-Bell house, the Henry W. Prince Building, and the Horton Point Lighthouse. The water is a nod to our maritime history. The land represents our farming background. Taken together, the logo celebrates our past, present, and future.
The museum’s previous logos depicted a Native American and a Pilgrim in profile, based on the mid-17th century European settlement date of Southold (c. 1640). However, the depiction of the Indian was inaccurate for the period. The style of head dress is not that of an early colonial Algonquin which would have been present on Long Island. It is original to the Great Plains tribes such as the Sioux.
Traditionally, Algonquin men and women wore their hair arranged in two long braids while decorating their faces and arms with brightly colored paint. In some cases, men (primarily warriors and dancers) also wore "roach headdresses," which were often made of stiff animal hair, especially porcupine guard hair, moose hair, or deer's tail hair. It wasn’t until the early 1800s that some Algonquin chiefs began to wear large, feathered headdresses like their neighbors in the western United States.
Though it may seem purely aesthetic, the museum’s logo also signifies our attitudes toward local history over more than 60 years. The transformation suggests that though rooted in facts, history continues to be a fluid, developing idea.