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Sag History on the School Board Agenda

Wed, 01/25/2023 - 16:32
The Annie Cooper Boyd House is the home base of the Sag Harbor Historical Museum, formerly the Sag Harbor Historical Society.
Christine Sampson

The Sag Harbor Historical Museum has approached the Sag Harbor School Board with a proposal that would see the museum benefit from a public tax levy that the school district would collect on its behalf, similar to the way the school collects tax money for the John Jermain Memorial Library.

“This, for me, is very important,” Sandi Kruel, the school board president, said during Monday’s board meeting, because the museum (a new iteration of the former Sag Harbor Historical Society) consistently offers lively and informative programs that are free to view or attend.

“It goes back to Mrs. Sage,” Ms. Kruel said, referring to the philanthropist Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage, who in the late-19th and early-20th centuries left an indelible mark on Sag Harbor. After the death of her husband, the railroad builder and banker Russell Sage, she donated significant sums of money as well as land to build Pierson Middle and High School, the library, and Mashashimuet Park.

Though no specific amount of money was mentioned during the preliminary discussion — that will be forthcoming after further talks with the school district’s business office — school officials have indicated their early support for the idea.

“We’re looking forward to potentially expanding if we have this financial support,” Zachary Studenroth, vice president of the historical museum, told the school board. “Our primary focus” is on education, he said.

Voters can expect a separate proposition on the May 16 budget ballot to establish this line item for the museum, which operates out of the Annie Cooper Boyd House on Main Street. And fans of the museum can look forward to a collaboration later this year with Pierson art and photography students about important houses as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the village’s board of historic preservation and architectural review.

The museum is also working with the village on a restoration of the old burying ground and hopes to build a climate-controlled storage unit on its own property to be able to safely store its collection of artifacts and documents.


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