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Hallockville Museum Farm

Object Type: Folder
In root of collection


 Virginia Wines (1921-1993) spent her last thirty years collecting and writing about local history in the town of Riverhead and especially her Sound Avenue community. A great-niece of Halsey and Emilie Hallock, the last couple to raise a family in the Hallockville Museum Farm’s old Homestead, she collected newspaper clippings and original documents. She borrowed every local diary she could get her hands on and produced typescripts. She interviewed older members of the community. She repeatedly sat down with Ella Hallock in the old Hallock Homestead and filled many notebooks with information from those conversations. She made copies of old photos. Wines assembled the material she collected into twenty-three massive albums that she spent her final years arranging and rearranging. She organized it as only a person who spent their entire life immersed in the Sound Avenue community could – geographically according to where a person lived on the street. The albums start on the west end of Sound Avenue and continue to the east, each one including families that lived in a small area along the street. It took fourteen fat binders to cover the whole length of Sound Avenue. Another similarly organized series runs along Main Road from east to west, starting in Mattituck and Laurel and ending in downtown Riverhead. The geographic organization made perfect sense to her but makes little sense to anyone who did not grow up on Sound Avenue. The ultimate example of this intensely local mind set is the main table of contents, listing all of the material in each of the twenty-three albums. It is not found in Album I but rather in Album VII that covers the section of Sound Avenue on which she lived. When material did not fit into her geographic concept, she made it fit. For instance, information about a famous Hallock family farm in Orient is included in Album XIV that covers the Hallock’s on Sound Avenue. Similarly, a series of articles written by Henry Young, who left Sound Avenue to become a newspaper editor in Kansas, shows up in the album that includes the section of Sound Avenue where he grew up. She repeatedly counted the pages. Her final tally – in October 1993, less than two months before her death – 1,664 pages. But these are not actual pages, but rather plastic sleeves with items on both sides and sometimes with many more items stuffed inside. The actual total count amounts to well over 5,000 pages. She even weighed each album, calculating the whole collection at 181 pounds! Wines grew up on Sound Avenue, the daughter of potato farmers L. Leland and Mary Downs, descended on all her lines from the original seventeenth century Puritan settlers of the North Fork. She attended Riverhead High School and graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Home Economics. She married her childhood sweetheart, Robert Wines near the end of World War II. Six years later they bought an old house on Sound Avenue. He died two years later, but she lived there for the rest of her life.

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