The mission of the Long Island Museum is ...dedicated to inspiring people of all ages with an understanding and enjoyment of American art, history and carriages as expressed through the heritage of Long Island and its diverse communities. The museum offers the public a chance to participate in a number of programs and learn from a variety of changing exhibitions. The Long Island Museum also includes The Carriage Museum as an extension of its own mission.
The Long Island Museum's history originates in the early half of the twentieth century. Ward Melville, his wife Dorothy, and Robert Cushman Murphy established the Suffolk Museum to bring art to the public. The original building still stands today, however, the museum has since moved. The Suffolk Museum's collections grew through out the mid-twentieth century, and eventually they became too large for the space to house.
Ward Melville purchased land for the new museum in 1955. This land was originally the site of lumber mills, and the sign of their presence there can still be seen today. Melville also purchased the D.T. Bayles Lumber Mill as the new museum building.
The present location of the museum appears to be more of a village than a museum site. This is because that is what Melville had envisioned when purchasing the mill and surrounding land. It was constructed to look similar to a New England Village. This historic village opened in 1974, with the addition of the Carriage Museum in 1987. The Carriages had been apart of the original collection since 1952. The museum's collections continue to grow, and today, visitors to the site feel as though they have traveled back in time.