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Bayles Local History Room

The Thomas R. Bayles Local History Room, located in the Adult Department, is a room full of local history. Most of the books, pamphlets, postcards and photographs were donated by Mr. Bayles in 1976. The collection was dedicated in his honor on October 4, 1980. The portrait of him by Audrey Swanson Marlow that hangs in the room was donated by his wife, Gertrude Bayles and his son, Donald M. Bayles.

Mr. Bayles lived in Middle Island all his life. He was born February 4, 1895 and died June 29, 1977. He spent most of his life working for the Long Island Rail Road. He got his start in the freight office at Camp Upton during World War I. His father, Richard M. Bayles, had been a Suffolk County historian who wrote several books on the history of Suffolk County. When Thomas retired in 1958, he wrote a local history column for years entitled “Footnotes to Long Island History” for the Long Island Advance. He also published over 50 pamphlets on the history of Long Island. Several were published by the Town of Brookhaven during the Bicentennial.

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