The board of trustees of the Oyster Bay Historical Society announced the recent appointment of its new executive director, Denice S. Evans Sheppard. She succeeds Philip Blocklyn, who retired from the position on Oct. 7. Sheppard, a lifelong resident of Oyster Bay, has been filled with a love of history ever since hearing wonderful tales of family history from her grandfather and others. She has dedicated herself to preserving that history as well as other local history.
Sheppard has presented historical lectures and authored two books, The Constant Struggle Within (2011) and Footsteps of a Forgotten Soldier: The Life and Times of David Carll (2016). She has served on various boards and panels including the Executive Council of the Montaukett Tribe of Long Island, the Long Island Native American Indian Alliance, the Hood AME Zion Church Harriet Tubman Committee, Cablevision’s Diverse Long Island, the Glen Cove Youth Board as well as the Oyster Bay Historical Society.
She continues to advocate for recognition of the Pine Hollow Cemetery as a state and national landmark and is actively involved in the Pine Hollow Cemetery Restoration Project. She collected and presented research when her family was interviewed for the Feb. 4, 2011 television broadcast of “Who Do You Think You Are,” which traced the genealogy of Vanessa Williams. On the program, Williams came to Oyster Bay and visited the grave of her illustrious Civil War forebear, David Carll.
Sheppard has received various awards for her service, including the 1998 Stand for Children Award (Child Care Council of Nassau), the 2012 Historical Education
and Cultural Leadership Award (Oyster Bay Historical Society) and the 2014 Woman of the Year (Town of Oyster Bay).
Sheppard brings many years of administrative experience to the Historical Society and even more importantly, great enthusiasm to her new position of leadership. She is anxious to work together with all community members and organizations of Oyster Bay to bring its multifaceted history to the fore.