History Made: Kismet Historical Society Fundraiser 2019

by Shoshanna M. |

From photo album to scanning bed, the virtual museum of Kismet Historical Society is being build from personal collections. (Photo by Bradlee White)

Every Fire Island community is distinct and unique, and  therefore are the histories that made them. In 2019 a longtime dream for the westernmost community of Kismet at last came to realization – a historical society of their own. With antique vehicles and memorabilia on display, local history authors authors on hand, and residents gathered up to have photographs from personal collections scanned for a virtual museum the Kismet Inn was hoping with excitement on Sunday, October 6, 2019.

Chartered earlier this summer, Islip Councilman John C. Cochrane presented the inaugural board with a Citation of Recognition, commending their undertaking and congratulating their successful founding. Kismet Fire Department Auxiliary also contributed a generous check of $1925 – a significant amount, and the year 1925 was when the maiden parcel known as Kismet was subdivided.

Before national seashore declaration, the Willys Jeep was the vehicle of preference for beach taxis on Fire Island. (Photo by Sarah Lessard)

The members of the first inaugural Kismet Historical Society Board include Sam Wood, President; Cheryl Dunbar Kahlke, Vice President; Lawrence A. Cole, Treasurer; Craig Abruzzo; Casey Cole; Tesse Lambie; Joe McKeehan; and Colette Weisser. Arguably perhaps no Fire Island historical society board is so diverse.

Our historical society is what I’m calling a modern historical society,” explained KHS President Sam Wood. “I have selected a board of directors that includes a 14 year old girl, a 16 year old girl, an 84 year old historian, a banker, a real estate guy, and others. We are constructing a virtual museum right now and this has all taken place in less than a year.”

Communities from neighboring Fire Island communities have had historical societies established years if not decades prior, but the only race here is against time, and there is no time like the present. We look forward to watching this seed take root and grow.

SEED MONEY: Courtesy of Kismet Fire Department Auxiliary. (Photo by Sarah Lessard)




About the Author

Shoshanna M.

Shoshanna McCollum is editor of Fire Island News. Author of two books, and award-winning journalist for multiple Fire Island and South Shore Long Island publications since 2000, she resides year round on Fire Island with her husband and many cats.

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