Thursday, August 11

Revolutionary War Spies Come Alive Sat. in Special Tour

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The story of a Long Island spy ring that helped foil the British and win the American Revolution came  alive in a special tour last Saturday.

The Three Village Historical Society, Tri-Spy Tours, the Long Island Museum and the Ward Melville Heritage Organization sponsored a self-guided tour of spots involved in the spy ring’s history during the fifth annual Culper Spy Day activities.

That’s only part of the festivities that involved costumes, re-enactments, cooking and music as these spies who helped win independence were commemorated.

“The Three Village area is full of hidden intrigue and stories of how America’s first spy ring came together secretly to provide General George Washington the information he needed to turn the tide of the American Revolution,” according to organizers.

On September 14th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., adult visitors who paid $25, ($5 for children age six to 12 and free for those younger and veterans) traveled back in time in one example of how Long Island is seeking to reclaim its history.

“Build your own revolutionary war story,” the organizers said. “Travel throughout the Long Island Heritage Trail from location to location. Tour historic sites, take part in interactive activities, view battle re-enactments and enjoy spy-themed dining.”

Time travelers learned about Anna Smith Strong’s clothesline and the role it played in the spy ring, viewed Revolutionary War encampments and toured Caroline Church of Brookhaven and Setauket Presbyterian Church in this crash course in the Culper spy ring.

“Take part in an invisible ink demonstration,” organizers said of a a means used to send messages secretly and, ideally, safely.

The day included a blacksmith, colonial music,  colonial food and cooking demonstrations and original Culper Spy Ring letters written by George Washington and on display at Stony Brook University.

“Meet Benjamin Tallmadge, Abraham Woodhull, Robert Townsend, Anna Smith Strong and Big Bill the Tory,” organizers said of names torn out of the pages of history. “Visit the historic Brewster and Thompson Houses in Setauket.”


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