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About this collection

Longwood Public Library

The Thomas R. Bayles Local History Room, of the Longwood Public Library, is a room full of local history.  Most of the books, pamphlets, postcards and photographs were donated by Mr. Bayles in 1976.  The collection was dedicated in his honor on October 4, 1980.  The collection has grown over the years with numerous donations from local residents.  We now have many primary and secondary source materials of interest to researchers from all over the country.

 

Mr. Bayles lived in Middle Island all his life.  His father, Richard M. Bayles, had been a Suffolk County historian who wrote several books on the history of Suffolk County.  Thomas was born February 4, 1895 and died June 29, 1977.  He spent most of his life working for the Long Island Rail Road.  He got his start in the freight office at Camp Upton during World War I.  When Thomas retired from the LIRR in 1958, he wrote a local history column for years entitled “Footnotes to Long Island History” for the Long Island Advance.  He also published over 50 pamphlets on the history of Long Island.  Several were published by the Town of Brookhaven during the Bicentennial.

 

It is our goal to make as much of this information as possible available in a digital collection.  Please check back from time-to-time as more of the collection becomes available online.

 

Visit the Longwood Public Library website

Thomas R. Bayles Collection

Collection of paintings of historic landmarks in Coram, Ridge, Yaphank and various other sites on Long Island, using watercolors.  These were painted by Peter Haase and donated by Donald M. Bayles.

Bayles Pamphlets

Written by Thomas R. Bayles covering the history of the Town of Brookhaven. The majority of these pamphlets cover the communities of Coram, Middle Island, Yaphank and Ridge.

Camp Upton Postcards

A collection of postcards, dating primarily from 1914 through 1918, which document the daily lives of the soldiers and civilians serving on Camp Upton, New York.  They depict a variety of scenes, including camp buildings and barracks, soldier recreation, trenches, and even military vehicles, such as some of the earliest examples of armored tanks.  In addition to the pictures, many postcards have messages on the reverse side, shedding additional light into the lives of the soldiers.

Longwood Historic Photographs

Photographs of the communities of Coram, Middle Island, Yaphank and Ridge. Includes photographs of the Randall, Davis, and Bayles families, as well as historic houses and pivotal events.

Longwood Scrapbooks

A collection of scrapbooks created by the Bayles family, which contains photographs, postcards and ephemera.

 

 

 
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