It all began as a small group of locals gathered in the 1810 House with a shared mission: to protect, preserve and promote the rich heritage of the Town of
Warwick and its villages.
The year was 1906 and the first few meetings revolved around establishing a name to support the mission. Naturally, the members decided on The Historical Society of the Town of Warwick. Less than 10 years after the Historical Society’s inception, membership had grown to more than 100 residents, the organization had published its first work, Warwick Historical Papers, and at its 1915 annual meeting, members of the Historical Society discussed the purchase of its first property – the Shingle House on then-Lake Street (present day Forester Avenue). A few members donated substantial sums to the cause and by July 1915 the Historical Society had raised enough to make the purchase. The board president signed a contract for the property and moved to incorporate the Historical Society.
Later, in the 1950s and 60s, the Historical Society took possession of a number of buildings and properties, including the Old School Baptist Meeting House (1810), what came to be known as Lewis Park, the Sly Barn (c.1825) and the 1810 House. More recently, in the past two decades, the Society has continued to grow, with the addition of the Azariah Ketchum House (1810), Hasbrouck Carriage House (1840s), the United African Methodist Episcopal Church (1906), and the Francis Baird Tavern (1766).
The Shingle House, which was built by Daniel Burt for his son, Daniel Jr., in 1764, is the oldest standing house in the village. It no longer acts as the Historical Society’s headquarters and is currently being restored with help, in part, through a grant from the State of New York.
In January 2011 the former Albert Wisner Public Library was purchased from the town, generously donated to the Historical Society and re-named the A.W. Buckbee Center (1927). Today, the structure is home to a historic textile and clothing collection, extensive archives, static exhibitions, and it acts as the Historical Society’s headquarters.