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Raynham Hall Museum in Oyster Bay opens new Education Center with dioramas and augmented reality project

July 27, 2021 5:21 PM | Christopher Judge

Visitors to the Education Center can take in dioramas created by Richard Schuster, one of which is of Oyster Bay in May of 1779 when the British Queen's Rangers left town, having cut down the Townsend orchard to build a fort on what is now known as Fort Hill. Hidden among the British was a young enslaved woman named Elizabeth, who is known to have absconded with the British troops when they left that day. Visitors’ experience of the museum will be enhanced by the addition of a new smart phone-based augmented reality app, known as "Digital Tapestry," created under the auspices of The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. Visitors to the museum's new shop can pick up copies of the museum's historian Claire Bellerjeau's new book, Espionage and Enslavement in the Revolution, as well as hand-painted toy soldiers, tee shirts, and other gifts.

The Museum was the home of Robert Townsend, a spy for George Washington, and welcomes nearly 10,000 visitors annually, including some 5,000 fourth-graders who come on field trips as part of their studies of the Revolutionary War. The plan to open the entire house to the public had been envisioned as long ago as 1974. The back of the house, once living quarters for Irish servants in the 19th century had been until recently used as offices and collections storage. The project was catalyzed by a 2011 acquisition of the neighboring building, purchased by the Town of Oyster Bay for the Museum's use on condition that the Friends of Raynham Hall, Inc., which operates the property as a museum on behalf of the Town, be responsible for raising any funds necessary for the adaptive re-use of the new education center building.

For more information, please contact the museum at (516) 922-6808 or visit online at

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