Dear Fishers Islanders:
I am once again incredibly appreciative of the community’s support for the Museum and its work. Together, we have had a very productive year. Our Land Trust achieved many milestones, our storage areas were upgraded, and our popular exhibits and programming attracted audiences of all ages.
Thanks to contributions from twelve generous donors, funds from the Town of Southold, and a land parcel donated by FIDCO, 21 acres in the critical watershed area near Middle Farms Pond were added to our Land Trust. In addition, the New York Natural Heritage Program (NYNHP) completed a two-year inventory of the Museum’s Land Trust parcels. A team of ten NYNHP scientists conducted surveys for rare plants, signiﬁcant natural communities, and a variety of animal groups. In a joint eﬀort with the F.I. School, we created a new wheelchair-accessible ramp at the eastern trailhead of Treasure Pond Trail. The ramp leads to a platform with a bench that provides year-round scenic views of Middle Farms Pond.
As part of our effort to build our collection of art relating to Fishers Island, the Museum’s new Art Fund acquired several paintings and photographs, including a 1912 landscape purchased by funds donated in honor of a Fishers Islander. Inside the Museum, new vertical shelving greatly expanded our basement storage capacity. Equipment was also added that makes possible recording and remote monitoring of temperature and humidity levels.
This year’s annual exhibition, The Sketchbooks of Charlie Ferguson, revealed new facets of his art and proved very popular. In addition to exhibit viewers, our Sunday lecture series brought in more than 600 in-person attendees with hundreds of others logging in to attend virtually. The subject areas ranged from great white sharks to plastic proliferation, to modern houses on Fishers Island, to the Gilded Age. Pierce’s talk on the history of electric power generation and distribution on Fishers Island was dramatically (and quite ironically) interrupted by an island-wide power outage. If you missed any of our popular programming, you may watch the recordings that are posted on our website.
We held nine children’s programs at the Museum, sponsored two for the young age group at IPP, and an additional three programs at the Fishers Island School. These programs were cumulatively attended by more than 150 children. In addition, we ran our week-long nature series for children, Fishers Island Nature Discovery (FIND) for 14 children between the ages of 5 and 10. We hope to grow this program in the future. Complementing our other nature programming, Board member Terry McNamara led nine nature walks.
These exciting activities and initiatives are made possible through your support. In addition to this annual appeal, which covers the Museum’s operating costs, I have included a holiday wish list. Please let us know if you are interested in partnering with us on a specific project.
The Henry L. Ferguson Museum
Photo Credit: Museum In Snow, 2006 by Pierce Rafferty