As time moves forward and most buildings come and go, Supervisor Anthony J. Santino and Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby made their way towards a corner of Uniondale Avenue Park, to a little farm stand that time seems to have forgotten. The Goehner family farm has been a cultural landmark to Uniondale residents past and present, and after a joint venture between Hempstead Town and Ernie and Marie Catanese of the civic group Uniondale Neighbors in Total Effort (UNITE), it looks to continue its historical traditions for future residents as the Uniondale Children’s Farm Museum makes its grand opening.
“Long-time residents of Uniondale have regaled me with tales of the farm stand’s humble beginnings,” began Santino. “From a family farm to a neighborhood grocery store, the historical significance of this farm stand is immense. We are thrilled that the farm stand will continue to be preserved and teach its enriching history for years to come.”
The Uniondale Children’s Farm Museum houses the historical remains of Goehner’s family farm. Inside are exhibits dedicated to showcasing the traditional farming techniques used in the early-to-mid 20th century. The museum features a detailed diorama depicting the farm community of yesteryear. It also contains early farming equipment such as pitchforks and hand plows as well as presenting a film that demonstrates what life was like for the average Long Island farmer.
“It’s important to know where we came from,” said Goosby. “And it’s important to teach our children and future members of our community about stories from our communities past, like that of Goehner family farm. The Uniondale Children’s Farm Museum preserves a key piece of culture from Long Island’s past, and that will keep Hempstead Town grounded in its rich history.”
Enthusiastic Uniondale preservationists Ernie and Marie Catanese have been at the forefront of this project since its inception.
“The Uniondale Community and Marie and I are thrilled that after so many years our dream has come true with the continued help from the Town of Hempstead and its wonderful maintenance crew,” said Ernie Catanese.
Hempstead Town has been actively working with UNITE to steadily preserve and refurbish the beloved farm stand. The town has aided in moving the structure to its present location at Uniondale Avenue Park and has provided park space, installed new footings, supplied new desks, and added lighting for the museum. Additionally, the town has completed exterior work for the building including walkways, fencing, and landscaping.
“History has always been a subject of great importance to me,” concluded Santino. “The Uniondale Children’s Farm Museum will allow our residents to truly experience the unique farming culture that is completely absent from the Uniondale that we know today. Come on down to Uniondale Avenue Park and experience Hempstead Town’s treasured, agricultural roots.”