I recently went to Old Bethpage Village Restoration with my good friend John Barclay and several other photographers who were taking an HDR workshop with him. My previous visit to OBVR was in July, 2009 when there was a Civil War Re-enactment held on the grounds.
My neighbor Robin is a re-enactor and was there that day dressed as Mary Todd Lincoln.
On this visit with John and his workshop group, I was totally blown away with the wonderful images that were available for us to shoot. Here, visitors can step back in time and experience life in a recreated mid-19th-century American village. The 209-acre village includes an assortment of homes, farms and businesses.
OBVR never existed as an actual village. It represents a typical rural Long Island farm village of the mid-19th century — one whose roots can actually be found in the earlier Dutch and English settlement of Long Island. The only building originally on the site of Old Bethpage Village Restoration is the Powell House, a mid-18th-century farmhouse.
The Manetto Hill Methodist Church from nearby Plainview was the first building moved to the site.
A nearby one room schoolhouse the District No. 6 Manhasset School was moved to OBVR.
Layton’s General Store sells candy and has on display many objects that people would have needed if they lived in the village.
The staff members of the restoration, dressed in period costumes, recount the history of each building and describe the enterprise that originally took place in the building.
The Williams House, restored to 1860, was once home to a certain Henry Williams, farmer and carpenter, and stood in New Hyde Park. A seamstress named Esther once lived there as well.
At the Lewis Ritch Hat Shoppe there are several different types of hats on display.
Old Bethpage Village Restoration is a great place to visit and a wonderful place to shoot.