PATCHOGUE: The Patchogue-Medford Library History Tours

Patchogue-Medford Library Community Engagement/Promotions staffer Brian Vann (in cap) as Michael Glynne during the PMLIB 100th Anniversary Walking Tour in May pointing out a feature on the Ackerly building. PMLIB is offering several tours this summer including an augmented tour for two weeks.
Photo by Ron Ulip.

Take a boat ride or a stroll and meet the historic movers and shakers from Patchogue 100 years ago. There are 20 stops offered by the Patchogue-Medford Library (PMLIB).

Celebrate our 1924-era people, businesses, and events on a boat ride down the Patchogue River this summer. Or take the walking tour on Patchogue’s Main Street with a map in hand or on your phone.

PMLIB also features a special edition historic walking tour, an augmented version, with costumed locals and staff emulating the movers and shakers from 1924.

Why 1924? That was the year the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce was created.

The village had a grand event in February, re-enacting the chamber’s first board meeting at the James Joyce Pub and Restaurant with attendees wearing flapper costumes, bow ties, and bowler hats.

PMLIB Promotions and Development manager Laura Accardi gave us the scoop.

“We’re still in development with the Patchogue River History Tour,” Accardi said, adding that the dates will be announced.

“We did it a few years ago but are bringing it back, 1924 style.”

The walking tour is already in place, starting at the Carnegie Library and ending at Shands (Shands General restaurant is now where the old Brick House Brewery did business. Shands General Store was the original historic building).

“More than one or two stops are in a cluster. It moves from the Carnegie, heads east to the Four Corners, then south on South Ocean Avenue to Terry Street, then back to the Four Corners east to the Ackerly Building, crosses the street to the chamber office on North Ocean, and goes to Shands. It’s not a typical history tour. We geared it to what was here in 1924.”

Accardi described the map.

“We have an old newspaper that shows ads from that year, and on the other side is the map of this particular tour. In May, we had characters enact the tour; they’re the same ones in the augmented tour. You never know who’s coming out of the building in 1924 attire. We’ve worked with

a company through the augmentation process and will have people come out on your phone. It will be QR-coded and available through mid-July.”

Accardi explained it’s a new technology for the library.

“All the characters on the tour, we green screened (a visual effects technique) them in character. At Stop 13, for example, before the Patchogue-Medford Library was built, Nettie Nichols played by Paula Green is the innkeeper’s wife for the Nichols Hotel, owned by Franklin Nichols. She comes out and says `what are you doing here?’”

Check out the mural along the Roe Walkway near Stop 13. You’ll see a tape measure there.

“Justice Roe owned a tape-measuring company behind the library, and there’s a tape measure on that mural,” Accardi said. “He manufactured the famous rolling 100 tape measure. So, his son, Howard (Dan Giacummo) is on the tour. We were able to find the original 100-foot tape measure online.”

Michael Glynne, the proprietor of Ward & Glynne’s, now Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, was the chamber’s significant founding member. “He narrated the tour,” Accardi said. “That was Brian Vann.”

For those looking to follow a map in hand, just visit the PMLIB and ask any librarian. Or go online  When you get to homepage, click on local history, then Walking Tours, then click on Chamber 100th Anniversary Walking Tour. The map comes up.

The QR code for the augmented 100th Anniversary Walking Tour.