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WWI: The Home Front

Farmerette, Regiment, Suffragette

Our Community Takes Action

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    CONTACT: Adina Genn, 516-650-4897,


WWI: The Home Front – Our Community Takes Action

May 10, 2023 – November 2023

Photographs, uniforms, newspapers, and artifacts tell the story of how Long Islanders responded to the war effort, supported U.S. soldiers, protected the homestead and fostered the suffragette movement.


PORT WASHINGTON, NY – The Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society presents WWI: The Home Front – Our Community Takes Action, a first-of-its-kind nine-room major exhibition that examines how and why the U.S. entered into the First World War and how this impacted communities on Long Island, throughout New York State and across the country. The docent-guided exhibit includes photographs, uniforms, newspapers, personal letters, and artifacts documenting military, suffragist, cultural and agricultural developments from the era.

The 75-minute guided exhibition tours take place on a variety of dates and times to accommodate all schedules and are limited to a maximum of 10 people per tour. The museum is also offering general admission days without a guide, and private group guided tours for up to 10 people by appointment. The entry fee is $12.

“This exhibition is not about the war, it’s about the home front,” said Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society President Chris Bain. “The exhibition showcases what was happening on Long Island during World War I. The story of the home front is a personal one, and hasn’t really been told in this way.”

Military training began in hometown communities including Port Washington and across the country.  Visitors can view photographs and artifacts of Port Washington’s Home Defense Force, considered one of the most well disciplined in the state. Training camps included Port Washington’s Main Street School and Manorhaven’s Locust Grove Pavilion, with military bases in Garden City and Yaphank.

Women played a vital role assisting the U.S. campaigns on both sides of the Atlantic. The exhibition spotlights their work in occupations that had previously only employed men, who at wartime were drafted or enlisted in the military.  Women helped defend the homeland and provide for the men on the frontlines. Farmerettes cultivated crops in Port Washington, across Long Island, and nationally.

Women’s contributions further ignited momentum for the concurrent suffragist movement, as demonstrated in the exhibition. This is supplemented with photos and profiles of local advocates, the protests of the Silent Sentinels, and those in the Sands-Willets House, now home to The Historical Society.

This exhibit showcases the patriotic initiatives, including victory gardens and canning lessons on the Long Island Railroad, that civilians led to support Americans overseas at war. WWI: The Home Front also focuses on local youth scouts and their contributions during the war.

The exhibition is made possible by the ongoing philanthropic support of James and Karli Hagedorn. Additionally, a generous grant from the Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation provided support for the Historical Society to produce a 160-page full-color exhibition catalogue, as a companion text. The catalogue was just awarded the Excellence in Design Award of Distinction by the Museum Association of New York.

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