- Posted September 26, 2013 by
Oyster Bay, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Photo essays: Your stories in pictures
On the way home from Billy Joel's motorcycle museum Saturday I stopped by an arts festival in the historic town of Oyster Bay Long Island and met some "souls" as they would call it this time of year near approaching all Hallow's eve campaigning for and telling us all about the fall events coming up at the Raynham Hall Museum in Oyster bay, said to be the second most haunted house on Long Island which was the childhood home of Robert Townsend Jr. who was a member of General George Washington's notorious Culper spy ring at the height of the American Revolutionary war and went under the code name of Samuel Culper Jr.
The crafty ring used codes to send messages to each other during the British occupation of NYC, mostly used between 1778-1781, it's heyday. Among the techniques they used were coded messages published in magazines and newspapers with invisible ink!
Women who were supposed to be quiet politically during that time were also involved. Anna Strong a Long Island resident passed along messages by posting signals when one of the spies was ready to submit intelligence. If she hung a black petticoat on her clothesline it meant Brewster was in town in his whaleboat. She also hung an assortment of white handkerchiefs which indicated the hiding places he could be located. The lady spy that went under the code of 355 was believed to be the only female caught by the British and hung!
A particulary fun presentation was by the artist and historian Michael Goudket who showed us how to write using a quill pen as was the method of writing and drawing in colonial days. Most of your favorite old time book illustrators such as Beatrix Potter and Arthur Rackham, "The Wind and the Willows" used this technique.
I was impressed with the enthusiasm of the children and some adults who waited on line with much anticipation to see their name appear on paper in such a method.
Raynham Hall is currently trying to raise funds to expand their plans for future cultural artistic and historic events for the community. Upcoming events a Masquerade Ball at the hmm.. haunted museum, a haullaballoo party for kids and a night of Victorian Spiritualism and Automatic drawing also at the museum.
Location: Raynham Hall Museum- 20 West Main St. Oyster Bay, New York. 516-922-6808
#1- Michael Goudket-artist educator and Emily
#3- Alex Sutherland- Education director and Theresa Skvarla- PR director.
September 22, 2013.