Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rye's Quaker Meeting House and Bird Homestead

I spent about an hour at the Quaker Meeting House in Rye last evening talking about Long Island Sound to Suzy Allman, a local film-maker who is producing a series of short videos about various aspects of the Bird Homestead, which is next door to the Meeting House.

The building, which like the Bird Homestead, is owned by the City of Rye and is being renovated under Anne Stillman’s direction by a local group called Save the Bird Homestead, was originally a schoolhouse and then an Episcopal chapel and finally a Quaker Meeting House. Some of the old pews are still there, and I sat in one, answering Suzy’s questions about the Sound and the local environment (a sort of secular prayer), and sweltering in the early evening heat and humidity.

The two properties together cover almost 2.5 acres and give a great sense of what things must have looked like a century or more ago. Best of all, te sit on Blind Brook, at the head of Milton Harbor, have a nice strip of viable salt marsh and eventually, when a ramp is built, will be a place where folks can put in a canoe or kayak to get access to the Sound. Here's some information about the Bird Homestead and here's one of the video's Suzy Allman has already made about the Meeting House.

She said the one she's doing with me will be ready in about two weeks.


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