Giving Substance to Historical Ghosts

  • “Walking with ghosts from 300 years of Islipians,” is how guest speaker Islip Town Historian Rob Finnegan described his topic to the Sayville Middle School social studies classes. During his presentations on 18th Century Long Island, Mr. Finnegan referenced the Battle of Long Island, remarked on the self-sufficiency of the local industries such as fishing, farming, and timber, and explained how George Washington and Benjamin Franklin debated over the type of military uniform (Traditional Western European versus the “Hunting Frock”) that the soldiers should wear.


    However, Mr. Finnegan shared more than historical facts with the Seventh-graders—he also brought authentic-styled costumes for the students to wear as part of the demonstration.


    Allowing the students to dress the parts, however, was the cleverest part of the history lesson. It gave the wealth of his information more substance with tangible and memorable costumes.

    (Special thanks to Mrs. Cindy Klahn who arranged for Mr. Finnegan’s historical visit!)