Wantagh Museum and Wantagh Preservation Society

1700 Wantagh Avenue
Wantagh, NY 11793

516-826-8767

About the Wantagh Museum:

The Wantagh Museum resides in three structures, The Station, The "Jamaica" Railroad Car and the Original Wantagh Post Office. The Station was built in 1885 and originally stood on Railroad Avenue, east of Wantagh Avenue. In 1966, The Station was moved to its current location to save it from demolition when the Wantagh Railroad service was expanded. After this move, The Station was restored to its 1904 appearance, and in 1982, the Wantagh Preservation Society opened the structure to the public as a museum. The ticket booth in The Station was restored to reflect the presence of Emma Whitmore, the first woman to serve as ticket agent in the Wantagh Station.

Built in 1912 for the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), The "Jamaica" was a magnificent parlor car complete with solarium, cooking facilities and an ice-cooled air conditioning system. It was donated by the LIRR to the Wantagh Preservation Society in 1972. The moving process, from the storage site at Grumman in Bethpage to the museum grounds, lasted two days and required several trucks, two dollies and a crane. Time and equipment were donated by local companies to complete this move, and to set the Car on its bed of hand-hewn ties and 80-pound rails.

Across from The Station stands Wantagh's Original Post Office, which is currently being restored. This 10 x 12 foot structure was built in 1907 and once stood on the corner of Wantagh and Railroad Avenues. (This location is now occupied by Mulcahy's.) At the time of its construction, Wantagh was a relatively rural town populated mostly by farmers. Used until the mid 1920s, the Original Post Office was operated by one person, who sorted mail into slots. Gertrude Ballem was the last person to work in the Original Post Office.

Together, The Railroad Station The "Jamaica" and The Original Wantagh Post Office offer visitors an opportunity to see important parts of everyday life from an era 100 years ago. The Station contains displays including a collection of turn-of-the-century photographs that depict life in early Wantagh. Several display cases feature memorabilia from Wantagh's past and exhibits of historical themes.

About the Wantagh Preservation Society:

The Wantagh Preservation Society is a non-profit organization based in Wantagh, Long Island. It maintains the Wantagh Museum and engages in other activities to improve the historical and environmental values of the community. The Wantagh Preservation Society was founded in 1965, in order to save Wantagh's Victorian Railroad Station from demolition, when plans for the present elevated railroad crossing called for its removal.

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