Old Bethpage Village Restoration: A gem in our own backyard…

Red Barn, Conklin House

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.

Company E - 14th Brooklyn Regiment


My neighbor Robin is a re-enactor and was there that day dressed as Mary Todd Lincoln.

Robin is 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.

Reflection of Kerby House

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.

Interior of Powell Farmhouse

Still life - Interior of Powell Farmhouse

The Manetto Hill Methodist Church from nearby Plainview was the first building moved to the site.

Manetto Hill Methodist Church

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.

Layton's General Store

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.

Docent Kevin at OBVR

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.

Williams House, c. 1860

Williams House, c. 1860

The Dress, The Williams House,

At the Lewis Ritch Hat Shoppe there are several different types of hats on display.

Hats in Hat Shoppe

Hats in Hat Shoppe 2

Old Bethpage Village Restoration is a great place to visit and a wonderful place to shoot.

7 thoughts on “Old Bethpage Village Restoration: A gem in our own backyard…

  1. Oh yeah! What a great job you did Ellery! Terrific images and you have only scratched the surface. This should be a place you visit often and work to get a body of images. I look forward to many posts about this hidden (or in your face and you are a dope to not know its there) images.

  2. Nice post, thanks for sharing Ellery. Love the school house and hat images especially. And then of course there’s that great fisheye, lol. Say hey to Eileen for me. -Dan

  3. super job with the images e – I used to volunteer for the Friends of LI Heritage and volunteered at Bethpage for a time. Went there at Christmas a few years ago and it’s still true to its mission – Please post more pics soon! These are just wonderful!!

  4. The e&E blog tradition continues–hurray!! Lovely images all; I especially liked the quill pen & compass scene, the rack
    with hats & buckets and the chair with the window curtains.
    Missed you at the Sierra meeting last nite. They’re going to
    have another exhibit in the fall. Did you ever get email I sent?

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