The origins of Massapequa date back to the 17th century and students in Massapequa High School’s History Club gained some insight into their long-settled hometown during a special presentation with local experts.
Members of the Massapequa Historical Society recently visited the club after school and shared their vast knowledge of the South Shore community, which was part of the 1658 Massapequa purchase. First Vice President William Colfer and trustee George Kirchmann talked about the old estates that once dotted present-day Merrick Road, including on the site of the high school. However, they noted, while it is one of the oldest communities in the United States, there aren’t many old buildings left as most of Massapequa was developed after World War II.
Some of those remaining old buildings are just a few blocks west of the high school at the Historical Society’s complex. Colfer and Kirchmann talked about the different buildings there, including an old church, cottage and the community’s original library, as well as a cemetery.
They also discussed the evolution of Massapequa’s school system. For more than two decades, Fairfield Elementary School was the district’s only building and as the population grew, classes were taught in various locations around town until more schools were built.
History Club co-advisers Dana Robbins and Laura Siegel said that the purpose of the presentation was to give students an appreciation of Massapequa’s history and make connections between the past and the present. They hope that it encouraged them to participate in Historical Society activities.
“History is local,” Siegel said. “Massapequa has a deep history and there’s so much here that they might not be aware of.”
All History Club members received a copy of Kirchmann’s book, The Massapequas: Two Thousand Years of History.
—Submitted by the Massapequa School District