THINGS TO DO
HISTORIC WALKING TOURS
COLD SPRING HARBOR HISTORY
Things to Do
Village Events and Shopping:
Indoor Things To Do:
Outdoor Things To Do:
The museum offers walking tours of Cold Spring Harbor's Main Street for the public, particularly in the Spring and Fall - check calendar for dates.
Tours for Groups
We also offer privately booked tours for groups.
A "group" constitutes of a minimum of 10 visitors, or the admission price of 10 adult or senior visitors. Note coupons or discounts are not accepted on admission for group visits.
Whaling History on Long Island Tour for Groups
(Regular Museum Admission + $30 Educator Fee, A Flat Fee for up to 30 Participants)
Explore our galleries with a Museum Educator, who will verbally recreate the fascinating whaling story behind our 19th century whaleboat with you and your group. Find out about 19th century life on Long Island and the impact of the whaling industry on the region, and see select artifacts from the museum's collection up close.
15 minute film about an introduction to whaling included. 1 hour.
Group Craft Add-Ons: (Extra $3 Per Visitor )
Enjoy seeing our collection? Now express and create your own in our Museum Workshop with a number of crafts offered as a keepsake. Guided by a Museum Educator. Approx 25-30 minutes.
- Scrimshaw Carving - Carve a synthetic whalebone scrimshaw keepsake box. Sketch, hand-carve, and ink your own design - Our well-loved classic through the years!
- Sailors Valentine - Arrange a geometric shell craft based on sailors' gifts from the Caribbean in the 1800s. We use an assortment of small, colorful shells as a mosaic.
- Clay Vessels - Be inspired by the many oil lamps in the collection, and create your own hand-sculpted vessel out of clay.
Please call Katie Kelly during weekdays at 631-367-3418 x10, or write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
COLD SPRING HARBOR HISTORY
Geology & Landscape
Glaciers carved out Cold Spring Harbor 18,000-20,000 years ago, leaving behind large boulders, hills, springs, and a five-mile harbor.
In 1653, the Matinecock sachem Asharoken agreed to sell land from Oyster Bay to Northport to a group of English settlers in an arrangement called the First Purchase. The document today resides in the Huntington Town archives.
European settlers named the area after the abundance of freshwater springs.
The Jones Family
Two notable entrepreneurs were Water R. Jones and John H. Jones, great grandsons of Major Jones, who oversaw many business operations in town. One of their biggest notable ventures was launching the Cold Spring Whaling Company.
Cold Spring Harbor offers a view as a quintessential 19th century microcosmic whaling village. The whaling era lasted 1836-1862 with a fleet of nine vessels. The museum's exhibits and collections document this development.
Steamers visiting from New York City in the 1880's brought day-trippers looking for a bucolic picnic setting, a Victorian-age custom. Three fashionable hotels arose: the Glenada, Forest Lawn, and Laurelton Hall.
The Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery was founded in 1883 and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 1890.
The area was originally known as "Wawapex," or "at the good little water place." Cold Spring River was first known as nachaquetack, or Oyster River. The spring-fed stream located near current-day Spring Street just behind Main Street was once the site of a flourishing Matinecock village.
Unfortunately, little evidence of pre-European settlement survives today. Bone tools, arrowheads, and pottery shards have been found, some of which are in the museum's collection.
Mill Town & Early Trades
Mills have an early history in Cold Spring Harbor, which were pivotal in helping the town grow economically. A gristmill and sawmill were built by a 1682 across the Cold Spring River. A woolen mill followed in 1700, with additional woolen mills later on, and a paper mill in 1782. The first school was built in 1790.
Local shipyards, brickyards, and blacksmith shops were born. Farms grew wheat, hay, corn, and other crops, and sheep pastured on fields. 500 residents lived in "downtown" Cold Spring Harbor by 1850.
The museum's store sells the following publications, among others, which explore local history: