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Posted on: August 13, 2019

A Tour Through Kings Park History

Kings Park Heritage Museum

Rep. Tom Suozzi Joins State, County, and Town Leaders in a Tour of the Only School-Community Managed Museum in the Nation

On Friday, August 2nd, Congressman Tom Suozzi joined Supervisor Ed Wehrheim, along with Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick, Assemblyman Steve Engelbright, Legislator Rob Trotta, Legislator Leslie Kennedy, Comptroller John Kennedy, Councilwoman Lisa Inzerillo, Councilman Tom Lohmann, Superintendent of Highways Robert Murphy, Leo Ostebo and Joann Galletta Hahn of the Kings Park Heritage Museum, members of the museum’s board, and curators in a special tour through the heritage and history of Kings Park.

The tour began in the hallways, looking through old maps of the hamlet, into the many rooms filled with rich history of Kings Park’s sons and daughters. Highlights of the tour included the Cusick Military History Room, which houses historic artifacts, starting with the Spanish-American War and Revolutionary War through World War II, Vietnam, and present day Iraq & Afghanistan wars. The room represents the extraordinary high number of soldiers from Kings Park who chose service to Country, over civilian life. At the entrance of the Military Room, an impressive display adorning the photos of every Kings Park Military Academy candidate, which Leo Ostebo has dedicated his lifetime to offering scholarship/enrollment assistance. The display reflects over 350 million dollars worth of education. 

The tour included a State Hospital timeline, from how the Irish immigrants came to work and settle in Kings Park to the day the hospital doors closed. David and Larry Flynn served as expert guides through the Flynn Family Room, which covers seven generations of history, the Nissequogue River, the Algonquin Indians, the Stattel Farms, and even displays the first patented electric piano.  

Fun Facts:

Supervisor Wehrheim was a Student in Leo Ostebo’s English Class.

The Kings Park Heritage Museum is the only one of its kind in the USA. 

The Museum is available to all students who wish to learn more about their community roots.


Established in 1994, the Leo P. Ostebo Kings Park Heritage Museum launched after the closing of one of the country’s largest, oldest, most medically significant occupational therapy mental hospitals located in Kings Park. With a gathering of some high school students, retired KPHS English/History teacher Leo Ostebo, and two other townspeople, the only school community managed museum in the United States is the continuous result of almost 25 years. 

Developed, maintained, and cultivated for educational purposes, the Leo P. Ostebo Kings Park Heritage Museum's mission is to preserve the town's rich historic past and educate the youth, the community and the public. This two time National Award winning museum, under the supervision of the Kings Park Central School District, has maintained independence by soliciting no funds or work from the school district.

Awards earned by the Kings Park Heritage Museum include the Distinguished Public Service Award from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a Certificate of Appreciation from the American Legion, and a Certificate of Recognition from the New York State Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development. Leo P. Ostebo earned an Award of Merit from the American Associate for State and Local History for his leadership in history in founding and curating the Leo P. Ostebo Kings Park Heritage Museum.

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