In a time of more formal dress, the men and women of Bayside wouldn’t walk out the door without a hat upon their head. Today, visitors to the will be able to take a stroll down memory lane viewing the “If the hat fits…” exhibit.
The exhibition features approximately 20 hats from the Bayside Historical Society’s archival collection. The hats were chosen as they offer an overview of prevalent styles from the late 19th century all the way to the pill box, made famous by Jackie Kennedy in the 1960s. The hats came from local donations.
“It’s just fun and we had so many hats in our collection from both and women,” says Alison McKay, archivist/exhibit coordinator of the Bayside Historical Society. “Hats have been used to define social status, occupation, group membership, and to show individuality or to conform to social standards.”
Highlights of the exhibit include a hat from the Bayside Volunteer Fire Department, a bowler, a fedora, a top hat, hats made of feathers, a bonnet and a cloche.
Across from the hat collection and unrelated is a group of 10 frames with two photos in each showing before and after of current spots throughout Bayside. The exhibit, which was put up last year, offers some recognizable Bayside spots and some not so well-known.
“Some of the photos show that things have not changed, and few show how things have been knocked down,” says McKay.
Next year, the current exhibition space will house a new exhibit that will focus on the medical aspect of history during the Civil War. “A hospital was built here in Fort Totten to tend to the soldiers,” says McKay.
A highlight of any trip to the Bayside Historical Society is the sight itself, which is actually the restored Officer’s Club. Called “the Castle” because of its architectural style, the building was originally built in 1887 and is now a New York City landmark.
The Bayside Historical Society exhibitions are open to the public Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; all other times by appointment. A $3 donation is suggested for admission.
Visit www.baysidehistorical.org for more information.