Events at Bayside Historical Society in the new year, including castle tours 

In 2024, in depth tours of The Castle, home to the Bayside Historical Society, will be available.

With the motto of “hold the past for the future,” the Bayside Historical Society offers a range of events for history buffs looking to learn more about how the borough they know today was shaped.

But not all of the historical society’s upcoming events are history related. Its roster for the first months of the new year offers a chance for visitors to laugh and witness the culture of other countries too.  

Tours of The Castle 

Starting in 2024, the Bayside Historical Society is bringing back free guided tours of The Castle, a historic army clubhouse located in Fort Totten Park steps away from Little Neck Bay. The tours will be held on the second Sunday of each month from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. You can reserve your spot in advance for one of the two tours that last approximately 45 minutes and are led by staff members and volunteers. 

The Castle, built in the 1870s and upgraded to its current state in 1887, is a well-maintained example of gothic revival castellated style architecture in the city. It formerly served as an Officers’ Mess Hall and Club for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers School of Application. Now it is the headquarters of the Bayside Historical Society

RSVP for the first tour of the new year on Jan. 14. The next tour will be on Feb. 11. 

NYC History Author Talk 

Learn about the people behind the names of the city’s iconic places at Bayside Historical Society. Photo courtesy of BHS

For a deep look into the people whose roads, bridges and neighborhoods across the city are named after, BHS is hosting a discussion led by local author Rebecca Bratspies, who penned Naming Gotham: The Villains, Rogues and Heroes Behind New York’s Place Names.

She will be giving a talk at the Castle on Jan. 16 at 7:30 p.m. to take attendees on a journey through the people behind places such as the Van Wyck, FDR Drive and Major Deegan to name a few. 

Bratspies is an environmental justice and human rights professor at CUNY Law School. She’s written four other books, including several environmental justice comic books. Bratspies is also a longtime Astoria resident who serves on NYC’s Environmental Justice Advisory Board, as well as the EPA’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee. 

Tickets are $10 for BHS members and $15 for non-members. In case of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled to Jan. 23. 

Passport Concert Series: Traditional Korean Dance and Music

As part of its Passport Concert Series, BHS is hosting the Korean Traditional Music Dance Center’s KTMDC Dance Group to showcase the traditional dance and music of Korea. On Sunday, Jan. 21, there will be several performances that utilize drums, as well as a bamboo fan dance. 

KTMDC was founded in 1987, and is the oldest Korean performing arts organization in the city. The group works to preserve and disseminate Korean heritage to the local community as well as across the country. 

Tickets are $10 for BHS members and $15 for non-members. 

Comedy and Dessert Night 

BHS is combining comedy with a cocktail hour and desserts to help locals beat the winter blues. The event on Friday, Feb. 2 will start at 7 p.m. with a cocktail hour followed by stand-up specials. Desserts will be served at 9:30. 

More details and ticket information to come.