Street Address
20 West Main Street
Oyster Bay, NY 11771
Mailing Address
20 West Main Street
Oyster Bay, NY 11771
phone: 516-922-6808
fax: 516-922-7640
General Admission is $4 for adults; $3 for students and senior citizens; members and children six and under are free. Extra fees for special events/audio tour may apply. Guided tours for groups of all ages are available by reservation.
Museum Type(s)
Harriet Gerard Clark, Executive Director


Raynham Hall is one of the pearls along the shores of Oyster Bay. Home to three generations of Townsends, this historic home reveals life from the American Revolution in the 1770's through the affluent Victorian period in the 1870's and the beginning of the Gold Coast era. Most notably, it is the home of Robert Townsend, alias "Culper, Jr.", one of General Washington's chief spies during the Revolution. Raynham Hall offers special events year round; including Haunted History Ghost Tours, Holiday Candlelight Tours, military reenactments, and a variety of workshops for children.


The Friends of Raynham Hall, Inc. opened Raynham Hall Museum to the public in 1953. It has been offering educational, historical and cultural events to the communities for over 50 years.

Artifacts Collections

The artifacts range from military items from the Revolutionary and Civil War, journals and documents of the Townsend family from the early 1700s, clothing and linens from the 18th and 19th century, original Townsend furniture and china and nearly 4,000 other objects. The current exhibit, 'General Washington's Letter,' debuts a never before displayed original letter written by Gen. George Washington in 1777.

Educational Programs

Raynham Hall Museum's school programs complement the New York State Education Curriculum and are conducted by trained museum interpreters.

Ties that Bind Grades 3-5 1 ½ hours. The Colonial & Revolutionary War Era - 1740-1790: Students learn of the exciting role the family played during the American Revolution with emphasis on the intriguing spy story of Robert Townsend (alias Culper, Jr.). They consider family life, gender roles, transportation, leisure activities, labor and childhood itself as they existed in Colonial America. In addition, comparisons are made to Victorian times and their lives today, by means of "treasure hunts" (data retrieval), question and answer sessions and hands-on activities.

NEW!! Servants, Merchants and Transition Grades 5-7 1 ½ hours Civil War and the Victorian Period - 1850-1880: Students will examine the development in technology, transportation, and the overall industrialization that came hand in hand as a result of the Civil War. Since the Townsends were a wealthy merchant family, particular attention will be placed on economic and social issues. Social class roles, such as the Irish Immigration experience, the roles of servants, and the changing roles of women will also be covered. Students will have the chance to explore the house first-hand, guided by a visual "treasure hunt sheet", in order to discover the monumental changes the country went through in the gilded age.

Then and Now Grades K-2 45 min. - 1 hour

A special introductory museum experience for the young which includes an interpretive tour stressing the differences and similarities between everyday life 250 years ago and present day. Many hands-on activities and/or period stories are included.

Decorating a Victorian Christmas Tree Pre-School 45 min.

Children will share the familiar experience of the Christmas holiday as a way of beginning to talk about the then and now. Each participant is asked to bring a handmade holiday ornament to decorate the Museum's Victorian Christmas tree. Holiday stories and a sing-a-long are included. Available the first Friday in December through New Year's.

Customized Tours
All ages

The museum offers customized tours for students, adults, special interest groups, teacher in-service tours, boy and girl scout groups and specific holiday events. In past years historical societies, universities, senior facilities and junior high and high school Social Studies clubs have been among the groups who have visited. Please contact the education department to discuss a tour that will suit your group's needs.

In the wake of the huge success of The Colonial Heritage Traveling Trunk, Raynham Hall Museum is proud to continue its outreach program for schools by offering a Victorian/Civil War Era Traveling Trunk. Filled with exciting reproduction hands-on items from this era, this traveling program helps students imagine what it would have been like to live in the turbulent years of the mid-late 1800s. The cost is only $60.00 for a two-week rental.


Access: General Public

Appointment required: Yes


There is a quarterly newsletter called 'Culper, Jr.' that is mailed to memebers and is also available by request at the museum.