Preserving the past and engaging the present for the future.
The Bayside Historical Society was founded in 1964 to collect, preserve and disseminate information concerning the history of Bayside, Queens, and its adjacent communities; and to advocate for preservation of its most historic structures and distinctive neighborhoods.
The birth of BHS was the culmination of several committees initiated by its founder, Joseph H. Brown. His aims were the beautification and protection of the environment and community in which he lived, and awakening civic pride in Bayside’s long history. In 1964, with Brown’s leadership, BHS was officially founded by a small group of residents with three goals: the preservation and restoration of the Lawrence Family Cemetery, Alley Pond, and Fort Totten.
Since 1984, BHS has been located at the Castle in Fort Totten Park. Built in 1887, the building was originally used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as their Officers' Club. The Gothic Revival-style Castle is a NYC designated landmark, and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today, BHS at the Castle serves as a learning destination, a resources for researchers and the community, and a venue for the visual and performing arts. BHS offers an array of public programs in the arts and humanities in conjunction with exhibits, collections, and current events, designed to engage audiences that are culturally meaningful, speak to contemporary life, and cultivate appreciation for the area's historic, natural, and cultural resources.