• A Visit To Yesterday School Program (The Sands-Willets House)
  • Visits to Schools
  • Scout Programs
  • Adult Groups

To arrange an educational program, please contact Carole McDonald, our Education Director, at  

To see what groups have visited us recently, click here!

A Visit To Yesterday School Program- At the Sands-Willets House

The Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society provides an extensive educational opportunity to learn about history where it happened. The Sands-Willets House Museum (c. 1735-1845) conducts a hands-on program designed to show how children lived on Long Island farms in the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as how the region was settled and developed. The school program runs weekdays from 9:30 to 12:30, and can be specifically tailored for grades K- 8.

The Society's Director of Education conducts the program. Their teacher and adults accompany classes. Upon arrival at the Sands-Willets House Museum, they are greeted in period fashion and are invited to "turn back time" as they are introduced to the families who once lived there. The museum is full of eighteenth and nineteenth century period artifacts. Visitors readily see how life was lived.

Classes are broken into four groups. Each group works simultaneously, rotating so each child gets to participate in every activity. Under adult supervision, students participate in various activities: a) prepare food traditionally cooked in the open hearth ,usually apple pie and corn bread (class is required to bring some ingredients), b) try their hands at period crafts- stenciling, quill penning, making ink, quilting, charcoal portraits, still life drawing, c) play the games which helped children learn skills that they would need later in life, d) dress up in period fashion, e) listen to and make traditional music representing this rich heritage, f) experience woodworking in the old Dutch Barn with antique tools, g) tour the fully furnished museum learning about chamber pots, oil lamps, and other accoutrements. Relevant historical commentary brings the past to life. If a special exhibit is in place, that exhibit is worked into the class activities. Students bring their own lunches to enjoy in a picnic style celebration of their accomplishments. Students enjoy the "fruits of their labors" as the warm corn bread and apple pie are served!

Visits to School

The Society's Director of Education conducts visits to schools.  A special presentation of Colonial Times in the 18th century and history of the local region includes discussion of life for children including children's duties, chores and school.  Varieties of artifacts are explained as students interact and experience period clothing, cookware, toys, and more.


The Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society offers a variety of Scouting Programs designed to complete badges and activities for scouts. Activities are held at the Sands-Willets house-museum (c. 1735) and the Thomas Dodge Homestead (c. 1721) on Millpond, both in Port Washington, NY. Programs are customized, hands-on, experiences integrating appropriate historic information of our country and community, demonstrating everyday life in the 18th century. The programs are offered after school and on weekends, and run approximately 1 ½ - 2 hours. At least four adults must accompany each group. Badges are not provided.


"Our visit was enjoyed by all the girls, and event the parents. We plan on sharing our experience with other Brownies, and we will be donating our paper quilt to our local library so it may be displayed for everyone to see" - - Brownie Troop # 1422

"Our Tiger Cubs really enjoyed themselves and learned a lot about our history here on Long Island. I do believe the high point for most of them was making the apple pie! We will be sure to tell the other groups in our Pack about our wonderful experience." - - Pack 8 Cub Scouts

The Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society
336 Port Washington Blvd., Port Washington, NY 11050-4530
(516) 365-9074  .