On The Rock: The rebels are coming to Shelter Island

shelter island historical society's one day in history

Photo by Beverlea Walz

Take a Saturday in early August, mix in animals, live music, crafts for kids, an auction, good food, a bake sale, demonstrations of what life was like in colonial times, then toss in the rebels, the uniformed 3rd New York Regiment recreating the daily life of soldiers and their families in the late 1700s, and you’ve got One Day in History.

That’s what the Shelter Island Historical Society (SIHS) has planned for visitors to this much-anticipated annual event on Saturday, August 3, although the fun begins early in the evening on Friday, August 2, when authentically-uniformed Revolutionary soldiers arrive and set up pup tents and cook tents on the Havens House grounds, where they will prepare their meals and spend the night.

Several years ago, this group of re-enactors from the Brigade of the American Revolution, dedicated to bringing history to life, participated in One Day in History, and the Society is pleased that they are coming back. The re-enactors represent elements of all the armies involved in the Revolution: Continental, Militia, British, Loyalist, German, French, Spanish and Native American forces plus civilian men, women and children. And, there will be cannons!

In addition to the soldiers, visitors can watch Carrie Wood at her spinning wheel and learn about colonial herbs from Sarah Shepherd.

Hands-on activities for the kids will include creating animal masks with Stephanie Lebowitz and getting crafty with Phyllis and Bernie Gillespie.

A petting zoo of small animals, always popular with children of all ages, will be on the grounds.

Chair Janet D’Amato has organized the event so that it’s interesting, entertaining and also educational. And, she said that anyone who buys an item from the bake sale can have a free cup of coffee to go with it.

There will be picnic-type food for sale — hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon and soda and water.

Another highlight of the day is the ever-popular Chinese auction run by Jean Dickerson, where “bidders” can improve their odds of winning one particular item by placing all their raffle tickets “in one basket,” or they can bid on all 35 items or just some of them. Bidder’s choice!

And what a choice. How about a $100 gift certificate to SALT? There are ferry tickets, rounds of miniature golf, four hours of house cleaning, a Raphael Winery tour, a Hap Bowditch sculpture, a framed Peter Waldner cartoon and a kayak, just to name a few.

The Havens House will be open for tours and the newly renovated and stocked Museum Store will be open as well.

One Day in History is Saturday, August 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Havens House grounds on Route 114. The cost is $10 for ages 17 and up; $5 for kids, 4 to 16; 3 and under, free. For more information, call (631) 749-0025.