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WWI: The Home Front

Our Community Takes Action

The Exhibition Catalog

WWI: The Home Front – Our Community Takes Action


An exhibition catalogue is available as a companion text thanks to the generous support of the Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation. The Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society is presenting 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 exhibition catalogue includes photographs, images of uniforms, newspapers, personal letters, and artifacts documenting military, suffragist, cultural and agricultural developments from the era.


The Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation provided a grant to the Historical Society for a 160-page full-color exhibition catalogue available for purchase at the exhibit. “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.


The exhibition spotlights women’s vital roles in assisting the U.S. campaigns on both sides of the Atlantic, in occupations that had previously only employed men, and as farmerettes who cultivated crops in Port Washington, across Long Island, and nationally. Patriotic initiatives, such as victory gardens and canning lessons on the Long Island Railroad are examined. Women’s contributions further ignited momentum for the concurrent suffragist movement, as is supplemented with photos and profiles of local advocates, the Silent Sentinels, and the women of the Sands-Willets House, now home to The Historical Society. There is also a focus on local youth scouts and their contributions during the war.

The exhibition catalogue supports the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation’s values and leadership in communicating the importance of preserving Long Island’s physical past and its related historical structures, artifacts and documentation, all for the benefit and enlightenment of our communities, made possible by the Foundation’s philanthropy.


For more information, visit , call 516-365-9074, or email The Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society is located at the Sands-Willet House, 336 Port Washington Blvd., Port Washington, New York.

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