WELCOME TO THE ONLINE EXHIBIT OF
CHICKEN HILL: A COMMUNITY LOST TO TIME
Why exhibit Chicken Hill? The small working class enclave of Chicken Hill is typical of many such neighborhoods throughout the United States. These communities arose, functioned and disappeared for all kinds of local reasons but their legacy persists in the fabric of the communities that followed.
At Setauket, the Chicken Hill neighborhood was a mutli-national, multi-religious polyglot combining Eastern Europeans with Native Americans and African Americans. It's origins were mid-nineteenth century. As the wave of suburbanization in the 1960's swept over Chicken Hill, most were forced from their rented homes and the fabric of Chicken Hill was torn. Some were able to remain in the Three Village Community to raise their families.
The youngsters that forged relationships on Chicken Hill became the adults that established the core of the new community. They became government employees and representatives. They volunteered at fire departments. They formed and presided over fraternal organizations and church societies. To understand this subtle history of these people's lives is to provide insight into how and why our communities work today.
After viewing the online exhibit we invite you to visit the society’s History Center located at 93 North Country Road, Setauket to view the exhibit Chicken Hill: A Community Lost to Time. Through photographs, artifacts, and recorded interviews, the memory of this neighborhood has been preserved. The exhibit is a 2015 recipient of a Leadership in History Award from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH).
AT THE EXHIBIT:
Of Pianos and Rubber Boots:
Chicken Hill encompassed a half mile area surrounding the present Setauket Methodist Church. It had its roots in mid-nineteenth century industrial American with the Nunns and Clark Piano Factory and its primarily German work force. Nine years after the bankruptcy of Nunns and Clark, the Long Island Rubber Company occupied the premises. The initial Irish and African American work force was replaced by Eastern European Jewish immigrants in 1888.
We Came Together:
The exhibit examines Chicken Hill’s religious, social, and cultural development.
Our Families and Our Play:
See how family life and the passion that surrounded Setauket’s baseball teams shaped the community.
A touch screen computer station featuring interviews with former residents of Chicken Hill, who relate their personal stories and recollections of the events that engaged the entire community.
Why Exhibit Chicken Hill?
A presentation of the underlying importance of this community to the present day Three Villages.