The recently completed four-month renovation of the Horton Point Lighthouse Historical Museum has volunteers excited for the influx of summer visitors.

This year, the museum will be different for returning visitors. While retaining some key elements of previous exhibits, the renovation emphasized local stories, including whaling, bay fishing, the history of the lighthouse and its keepers, and a scale model of the famous Dutch submarine.

There are several lighthouses on Long Island, but Horton Point in Southold is accessible from the mainland, making it an ideal location for a history museum and outdoor activities, including nature trails and outdoor lectures.

Deanna Witte-Walker, executive director of the Southhold Historical Museum, which operates the lighthouse, said the refurbished lighthouse looks more organized and the structure is better displayed. “Historically, museums have been cabinets of curiosities,” she said. “This museum is a collection of interesting things,” with no organizational flow between exhibits.

To create a more organized atmosphere, the volunteers decided to “put together artifacts that help tell a story in a clearer, more interesting and logical way,” Ms. Witte-Walker said.

Volunteers added labels to each exhibit to help clarify reinterpretations of events. Some labels are printed in English and Spanish, making the museum more inclusive. Their goal is to translate all labels as quickly as possible. Daniela Menjivar, Senior Client Support Coordinator at Southold’s Center for Advocacy, Support and Transformation, translated the English panel.

Ms. Witte-Walker believes it is time to make the museum more accessible to those whose first language is Spanish, and in early June, the museum hosted a bilingual “Historical Events Night” as part of CAST’s engagement, education and empowerment series. Throughout the evening, 35 mainly Spanish-speaking CAST customers visited the new exhibit.

Accessibility for children has also been increased. There are more interactive exhibits, including a “fishing” station where kids can use poles to catch magnetic fish from dumpsters. When they “catch a fish,” they put it in the net next to the barrel. There are different fish options as well as crab and lobster.

The Whaling Wheel of Fortune, which lets visitors spin “to learn about their fate as whalers,” has also proven to be a favorite with kids, according to a press release. “Usually, we’re just at museums looking at books. It’s nice to give kids something to touch; they engage more,” Ms. Witte-Walker said.

As the museum finishes finishing, more changes are planned and ideas for more interactive displays will be implemented, such as an informative touch screen in the room with a model of a Dutch submarine, an early submarine tested by the U.S. Navy in 1897 leaving the new suffolk.

Across the museum, one thing remains constant: the “Undercover: The Southold Rum Story” exhibit. The exhibit has been so successful in the past that volunteers decided to make it permanent.

The Nautical Museum is located in Holden Point Lighthouse (3575 Lighthouse Road, Southold) Summer Open Saturday & Sunday 11:30am-4pm until September 17th. Admission is $5 per adult and $10 per family. The entrance fee includes a “pass” for entry to the Maple Lane Complex at the Southold Historical Museum and the Princes Building Shops on Southold’s main road.

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