Stony Kill Farm: An enduring example of “Agriculture in Perpetuity”

Authored by Kat Baumgartner

Stonykill Photo

A December 5, 1957 photo of Stony Kill Farm with the Manor House visible in the background. Photograph of the land, Dec. 5, 1957, Box 10, Stony Kill 1942-1952, Farmingdale State College Archives, Farmingdale State College, Farmingdale, New York.

On November 9, 1942, John Bayard Rodgers Verplanck, James DeLancey Verplanck, and their wives Evelina and Susan gave a 750-acre property to the Long Island Agricultural and Technical Institute, now Farmingdale State College, in exchange for one dollar. The Verplanck brothers had a particular vision for this land: “In presenting the gift of the farm to the State it was specifically stated in the Transfer of Title that the primary function of the farm would be to serve as an outdoor laboratory enabling Institute students to receive a wider range of instruction than would otherwise be possible at Farmingdale. In addition, the farm was to be kept in ‘Agriculture in Perpetuity.’”2  Continue reading

Natural History Magazine: Photographs by Marjorie Gowie

Authored by Rachel Sferlazza

Amityville Public Library

Photo-journalistic essay by Marjorie Gowie inside

For my Academic Service Learning Project, I processed a previously untouched collection. This collection was kept in a box labeled, “African Handicrafts Collection,” which contained artifacts from South Africa, made by the Xhosa tribe. Included along with these items were a series of photographs taken by Marjorie Gowie, along with a copy of the Natural History magazine some of those photographs appeared in. The magazine, which is still currently published, contains six of the twelve photographs donated to Amityville Public Library. When I arrived at the Library, this collection had never been processed. Almost nothing was known about this collection, though the name “MARJORIE GOWIE” was stamped in capitals on the back of each photograph. The American Museum of Natural History’s Division of Anthropology has a similar collection of Xhosa artifacts, but its descriptions are also vague, in favor of photographic documentation (AMNH). My research would reveal that Gowie was a South-African-born photographer, who lived in Manhattan (, n.d.). Continue reading