The is updating its collection into the 20th Century with the addition of a 1926 Model-T Ford pickup truck and a new Village Garage to house the truck and other antique transportation memorabilia.
According to the council’s Director, Zachary Studenroth, local farmer Parker Wickham donated a 1926 Ford Model-T pickup truck to the council last year. Wickham, original owner and founder of the Mattituck Airport, owns a building on the back of the airport property, which at one time stored close to 50 antique cars, according to Mike Malkush, council trustee.
Malkush said Wickham approached the council last year with the truck, originally from the Fleet Farm, and asked the council if they were interested in the vehicle.
“It’s not every day that we’re given something this large and challenging," Studenroth said.
When the council accepted the truck, it had to make a commitment to store the vehicle properly. The council has spent the last few months obtaining variances to build on the historic Village Green in Cutchogue. In October, they had cleared many of the hurdles and plans officially got under way. Studenroth said the new building would be built between the schoolhouse and Case’s Lane.
“The actual barn is a post and beam, saltbox style kit from New England. We are trying to stay within the esthetics of the Village Green,” Malkush said.
Malkush added that since the project began, council members have met many North Fork residents who store antique cars on their properties and who are excited about the project. The new two-bay garage will look like an old gas station, according to Malkush, and will feature donations from locals including license plates, old tools, and other transportation related items.
“There are so many people into old automobiles. We have found that this particular donation will give us new interest and potentially new memberships,” said Studenroth.
Studenroth believes the new addition will encourage car enthusiasts to come out to Cutchogue to see the truck and spend the day on the North Fork. The council has already planned an antique car show for October on the Village Green, which will spotlight cars from the pre-World War II era.
Right now, the council is in full fundraising mode to pay for the new structure. There is currently a three-phase plan in place to raise the initial funds for the Village Garage.
“Our main fundraiser is a direct mailer. We have sent it to our membership and businesses who have expressed some interest in the project,” said Malkush.
In addition, profit from the DVD Through the Years, History of the Village Green, available at theand www.longislandwinecountrystore.com, will go towards the construction of the building.
Studenroth and Malkush have also been going out into the community and talking to local contractors about helping out with the building. Originally, the building was projected to cost around $50,000 but subcontracting the work out will reduce the overall cost of the project.
“We have local people coming forward to help. They are giving us great prices. Some are even offering to do it at their cost," Malkush said.
Once the building is open, the council will continue to fundraise to defray the costs. In addition to the antique car show in October, a tour of local gardens is planned for the summer, and Malkush said they would have a food event under the tent on the Village Green in September.
Malkush said construction on the project will begin in April and they hope to have the ribbon cutting ceremony in May.