When there’s a chill in the air and the colors of autumn begin to cover the landscape, Sagtikos Manor Historical Society ushers in the new season with their annual Fall Festival. The event, …
When there’s a chill in the air and the colors of autumn begin to cover the landscape, Sagtikos Manor Historical Society ushers in the new season with their annual Fall Festival. The event, which will be held this Sunday, promises a bevy of activities for all ages and a lesson in history from some of the manor’s spirits, too.
Throughout the day, indoor tours will be given of the historic manor and grounds, now owned by Suffolk County. The property has been the home of many prominent Long Island families since 1692. During the Revolutionary War, it was taken over as the headquarters for British troops under Gen. Henry Clinton. Then, after the war, President George Washington spent the night there on April 21, 1790.
Phyllis Chan-Carr, co-chair of the festival, said since its inception over a decade ago, this event had gone through an evolution, from being staged as a haunted house to an attraction less threatening to some. “It was too scary for the kids,” she said. However, some elements of the original tour still remain. “We decided to [feature] ‘Mourning at the Manor,’ focusing on Victorian customs and a funeral procession,” she added. “And it will include a spirit tour at the cemetery.”
The colonial reenactment group, Third NY Brigade of the American Revolution, participates in providing a living history encampment and leads the funeral procession to the cemetery, which is located on the manor grounds. Chan-Carr said that it’s a popular activity. “They love it. We get calls from people wanting to be a part of the procession.”
At the cemetery, volunteers dressed in period-appropriate attire take on the role of historic figures buried there. “This year we will be honoring Jonathan Thompson,” Chan-Carr noted, who died at the manor around 1846.
In addition to mourning, though, there will be a lot of very cheerful things to do. “The rest is for families to enjoy,” added Donna Devine, another co-chair of the festival.
Devine explained that in addition to many craft vendors, there will be plenty of skilled craftspeople there such as potters, basket weavers, broom makers, quilters, and even historic cooking will be displayed.
“People will get to see how [those things] were made.” And there will be a sheep shearer on-site. “The sheep shearer is a big highlight of the day,” she added.
There will be many hands-on children’s activities as well.
“It will be very engaging for children and parents. A fun-filled day,” Devine said.
Kids’ activities include apple-bobbing, pumpkin-painting, making birdfeeders, jumping in open bales of hay, playing 18th-century games, listening to live music, storytellers, and learning about George Washington while watching a puppet show.
“We had over 600 people last year, the first one post-COVID,” said Devine. “I think this year it’ll be even bigger.”
The Fall Festival will be held on Sunday, Oct. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults; $10 for seniors; $6 for children (6-14) and is free for 5 and under.
Sagtikos Manor is located at 677 W. Montauk Highway, West Bay Shore. For more information contact the website at: www.sagtikosmanor.org.