In December 2021, The Shelter Island Historical Society was awarded a $125,000 grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. The grant was used to create and install Digital Tapestry, a virtual reality experience which will focus on Shelter Island life during the American Revolution.
Digital Tapestry is an innovative, interactive, virtual experience. This exhibit will be narrated by Captain James Havens and his wife Elizabeth, who owned and lived in Havens House on Shelter Island throughout the Revolutionary War years. Havens House, now home to the Shelter Island Historical Society, was originally built in 1743. Captain Havens was a privateer and a Representative of Suffolk County in the New York Provincial Congress of 1776.
“We are honored that the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation chose our organization to participate in educating the public about this historic time period using cutting-edge technology. This experience is designed to connect the shared histories of Long Island towns and will link to historical societies exhibits enabling a reach to a broad audience,” stated Nanette Lawrenson, Executive Director.
Kathryn Curran, Executive Director of the Robert David Lion Gardiner said, “The importance of Long Island’s role in the American Revolution, and the history of slavery on Long Island are the first thematic offerings of our Digital Tapestry program. Linking sites all over Long Island that have a shared story will create a historic trail to other participating sites. This thematic approach to sharing our history from site to site is limitless. We are delighted to offer this new program to our historic stewards.”
The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation was established in 1987 to support the study of Long Island’s and New York State’s history and its role in the American Experience.