Garden City Historical Society   
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Opera Comes to
The Garden City Historical Society

The Garden City Historical Society welcomed Opera Night Long Island and its guests to the beautiful Victorian setting of the Historical Society Museum on November 17, 2013 for a magnificent afternoon performance of selected arias from such favorites as Carmen, Madama Butterfly, Samson and Delila and La Boheme. Performers included, pictured above, Tenor Robert Murphy, Mezzo-Soprano Lorraine Helvick and Soprano Barbara Divis. Music accompaniment was provided by Isabella Eredita Johnson, the founder and director of Opera Night Long Island, which celebrates its tenth year bringing opera to local communities. To make the performance even grander, the Society received a donation of a Sohmer Baby Grand Piano, which debuted that afternoon.

Society Celebrates Seventh Annual
Professional Art Exhibit

The Society's fall Professional Art Exhibit showcased the works of 12 local artists. The artwork included sculptures, digital photography, pastels, pen and ink watercolors, and oils. This year's exhibit featured the work of three artists who are new to the Society's exhibit: Barbara Rocco, John H.W. Rhein III, and Marianne Reamer, who added artwork in stone, pen and ink watercolors, and oils. The long-running cultural event attracted the attention of County Executive Ed Mangano who presented the event's chair with a Proclamation. The exhibit was on display from November 3-10, 2013.

Historical Society's Spring (2013) Capital Campaign Event Sponsors








A. T. Stewart Sponsor: Peter and Kay Negri

Cornelia Clinch Stewart Sponsors: The Prime Family (in memory of William G. Fanuzzi) and an Anonymous Donor
  Apostle House Sponsors: Kenneth and Joanne Adams, Maureen Clancy and Family, Daniel Gale/Sotheby's International Realty-Dougall Fraser Vision, Doubleday Court/Condominum Residences, Sandra Engelke of Daniel Gale/Sotheby's, Ettelman & Hochheiser, P.C., Flushing Bank, Frank and Kris Harder, New York Community Bank, New York Community Bank Foundation, New York Racing Association, Inc., Tom and MaryJane Poole, Steel Equities LLC, The Donnelly Group, Maureen Traxler and Paul Dellacona, John and Beth Watras

Disciple House Sponsors:
Albanese Organization, Citi-Urban Management, Nelson and Sandy DeMille, William Edwards, Kevin and Christine Fee, Albert F. Intreglia, Brian A. Pinnola/NAI Long Island, The Hobbs Family, The Neil and Amy McGoldrick Charitable Foundation, Winthrop-University Hospital
St. Mary's-St. Paul's Sponsors: Edgar and Judith Alzner, Mary Jane Caldwell, Camark Realty Corp/The Efthimiou Family, Vincent and Judy Cashman, John and Rachel Cashwell, Andrew and Cathi Cavanaugh, Devonshire Home Design, Franklin and Ann Dickinson, Garden City Chamber of Commerce, GMG Asset Management/Tom Efthimiou, Kevin and Christine Fee, Joseph and Vicki Ferrara, Bruce Gengarelly, HLW International LLP, Kiwanis Club of Garden City, Inc., Dr. Peter and Carole Langan, Leo's, William and Mary Mahoney, Maureen McConnell and Walter Gross, Diane McGrath/State Farm Insurance Agency, Oxford and Simpson Realty Services, Inc., Friends of Ed Ra, Steven and Janine Racanelli, John H.W. Rhein III, Jacqueline Sandler, Dr. Laura Schramm and Michael Oleshefsky, Karl and Kate Schmidt, Henry and Sally Schreier, Taylor Warner Realty/Bob and Mary Krener, The Garden City Hotel, U.S. Bank, Blanche Volz

Srping (2013) Capital Campaign Benefit, top row from left: Historical Society President Albert Intreglia, Assemblyman Ed Ra, Mary Grippo Dolan representing Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Author Nelson DeMille, Actress Susan Lucci, New York State Justice Stephen Bucaria, Joe Giacinto representing NC Legislator Vincent Muscarella, and Town of Hempstead Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin; Front row from left: Benefit Honorees Maureen Clancy, Garden City Village Mayor John Watras, and Kris Harder.

George Efthimiou and his musicians delighted guests with a wide variety of songs.

The evening was long on fun and fundraising, and short on speeches.

The Spring Benefit included Silent and Chinese Auctions that helped the Society toward its goal of $500,000 for the preservation and restoration of the exterior of The Garden City Historical Society Museum, 109 Eleventh Street, Garden City, NY, and the creation of a Reading Room, adjacent to the Society's Archives on the building's second floor. The Society has over 1,200 artifacts in its Archives. For information regarding the types of antique or historic items that the Society is seeking as donations, or to inquire about items in the Archives, contact the Society at

“The Vanderbilt Cup Races of Long Island”

The setting: The dawn of the 20th century in the Village of Garden City, Nassau County, Long Island. Automobile promoter Willie "K" Vanderbilt launches the Vanderbilt Cup Races to encourage the development of the automobile in America, which lagged behind the advancements in Europe. Automobile Club of America helps initiate the Races. Winner receives a 31-inch, 30-pound Silver Cup trophy designed by Tiffany & Company.

At the Society's presentation, speaker Howard Kroplick narrated his audience through the crazy days of the Races (1904-1910) before they were discontinued on Nassau County local roads, because of the many dangers involved and the deaths and serious injuries to participants and on-lookers.

Mr. Kroplick is a research volunteer at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum, and a member of the Vanderbilt Race Cup Centennial Committee and the Long Island Motor Parkway Panel. He is a proud owner of a 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350H and a Segway. He is CEO/President and owner of The Impact Group, one of the largest independent medical communication companies in the world.

Interesting facts:
bulletThe races started with some 10,000-20,000 spectators, and by 1910, more than half a million people watched the Races, all at a time when Nassau County was home to approximately only 60,000 residents.
bullet1904 also saw the opening of the New York City subway system with a 5-cent fare.
bulletThe 1906 Vanderbilt Cup race was the first race to use the now-popular and distinctive "checkered flag".
bulletTwo local Village haunts for drivers and mechanics were Garden City's Porrier's Garage and the early 20th century Garden City Hotel's well-known garage on Seventh Street.
bulletThe best preserved section of Vanderbilt's post-Race toll road, the Long Island Motor Parkway, lies in Garden City.
bulletThe only remaining Motor Parkway toll house is now the home of the Garden City Chamber of Commerce, located on the eastern end of Seventh Street.
bulletThe toll houses were designed by architect John Russell Pope, who designed the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. and the New York City Museum of Natural History.

Guest Lecturer Howard Kroplick




Nassau County Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin, left, installs Historical Society officers and directors, from left, President Brian Pinnola, Director Dale DeMasco, Secretary Gloria Jones, Nominating Committee Chair Maureen Clancy, and Archive Cataloging Chair Betsy Patterson.



For information on the early Vanderbilt Cup Races, visit



For further information on the Long Island Motor Parkway, visit


“Architecture, Garden City, and Recording Our Past”

Art historian Donald Dwyer presented a slide presentation on residential architecture. The lecture took place in conjunction with the kick off of the Society's Historic Structure Survey, a cataloging of pre-1935 residential and non-residential structures in the Village of Garden City.

The Society is seeking the help of owners or occupants of local pre-1935 structures in our effort to compile data and photographs. As we compile this data, the survey results will be posted on this Web site. Have further questions? Contact us at


Professor Don Dwyer

Cradle of Aviation Lecture and Tour

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of manned flight (December 2003), the Garden City Historical Society sponsored a lecture and tour at the Cradle of Aviation Museum (Garden City, Long Island, NY) in November. Our guests heard an informative presentation by Nassau County Historian Ed Smits, who traced the museum's history from its earliest visions in the 1960s to its opening nearly two years ago. He also previewed some of the museum's upcoming projects, including the acquisition and future display of a 50% scale model of the Concord SST. Guests toured the museum's extraordinary exhibits, and took in a show at the IMAX theater.

Above, a museum docent, left, explains the intricacies of flying the early airplanes to our guests.

The Garden City Historical Society presents its lecture series in fulfillment of the educational mandate in its charter, granted by the University of the State of New York in 1975.

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