The Shelter Island Historical Society is a great place to spend an afternoon learning about the island’s history. Headquartered inside the 18th-century William Havens farmhouse that was built by one the island’s founding families, walking through the home is like walking through time.
Your visit would not be complete without a stop inside the Havens House store, but the scene here is very much 21st century. You’ll see the current works of Shelter Island’s artists, writers and craftspeople. And the shop is moving toward showcasing the island’s own creations and products, rather than purchasing merchandise to sell.
“We’re going more toward consignment,” said Alexandra Binder, Havens House’s business and store manager. “Our mission is to get local vendors, local artists, authors and craftspeople and then work with them to come up with a consignment price.”
All store sales and merchandise go toward funding programs at the historical society, as well as preserving its collections. The crafters are also compensated.
“Our goal is to feature local artists,” said Binder. “We want to keep it local, but we don’t want to compete with other local shops, so we’re trying to find different vendors, different people, different things to feature instead of the same merchandise.”
The store features a variety of products, including gift cards, kitchen towels, jewelry, soaps, bath and body products and childrens toys. There’s also an entire corner dedicated to books by local authors.
Binder says that, so far, the consignment process is working out well for both the store and its vendors.
“Some of the vendors have brought in other vendors, so it’s a nice relationship,” she said.
While the store has a website where shoppers can view products, it is not yet set up to take orders. People are instead asked to call the shop directly at 631-749-0025 to make a purchase. The store will ship most items.
The Shelter Island Historical Society is located at 16 South Ferry Road in Shelter Island. The Havens House store is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To see items for sale, visit www.shelterislandhistorical.org