The Franklin Stove has been a staple of the Southside Sportsmen’s Club since 1875 in the billiard room. The Southside Sportsmen’s Club, now the Connetquot River State Park Preserve, …
The Franklin Stove has been a staple of the Southside Sportsmen’s Club since 1875 in the billiard room. The Southside Sportsmen’s Club, now the Connetquot River State Park Preserve, secured permanent rights to the stove with assistance from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.
“It is another milestone for the Friends of Connetquot being able to bring back an item that had been in the club before it became a state park. Every time we are able to return one of those items, it brings the property back closer to the way it was when the state took over when it was an active club. It makes it more of a living museum,” said Richard
Remmer, past president of Friends of Connetquot and a Long Island State Parks commissioner.
Remmer continued on to describe the significance in this permanent transfer, considering the ongoing relationship between Friends of Connetquot, New York State Parks, and the foundation.
“It is great when these public-private partnerships work,” he said. Judge Peter Fox Cohalan, a trustee for the foundation and a previous Islip Town supervisor, said that the New York State Historical Society, which previously had rights to the stove, is a great entity and has been the recipient of a considerable grant by the Gardiner Foundation. When the Gardiner Foundation suggested the historical society give perma- nent rights to the Franklin Stove to Friends of Connetquot, mentioning of a previous $1 million grant was not necessary.
“We feel very strongly about giving money to local entities for historical activities,” Cohalan said. “It was the focal point for the people on the cold winter nights to sit around the stove and talk, back over 150 years ago. It is local history, and the Southside Sportsmen’s Club plays a major role in our American history.”
Remmer explained that, with Friends of Connetquot forming in 1997, it was the organization’s duty to ensure the proper care of historical items.
“The partnership between the state and the Friends of Connetquot has proven to be very, very effective and it is now time to permanently return this incredible piece of American history to its home in the billiard room at Connetquot, where six U.S. pres- idents and countless others enjoyed its warmth,” Remmer said.