Local History

Information, News, and features from Montauk Library’s local history collection.

Throwback Thursday – The Keys to Good Health

  Montauk’s first community medical facility opened on Main Street in the summer of 1974. That’s almost half a century ago, but it would be wrong to forget the ingenuity and can-do spirit that made it possible. Hoping to attract a full-time physician to Montauk, the Chamber of Commerce spearheaded a drive to raise money… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Signs of the Times

Still image from a digitized home movie reel | Montauk Library Archives Montauk Library Archives Need a room? A meal? A building lot? A cooler filled with fish? Right this way! This fleeting gem is among a handful of short home reels that the Montauk Library digitized for its archives. Can you imagine motoring through… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Nixon in Montauk

This photo of Richard Nixon and Al Holden in Montauk is dated “circa 1970s” in our archives. It seems likely that it was taken before Nixon’s resignation on August 9, 1974, in the wake of the Watergate scandal. The 37th president said at that time – in the second year of his second term —… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Beating the Heat

Carl Fisher opened the Surf Club – which was at first called the Casino – in 1927, primarily to cater to guests at the new Montauk Manor. A Mediterranean-style paradise, it featured a 150-foot saltwater pool with a diving board, 60 cabanas, 400 dressing rooms, a restaurant, a bar, a 1,000-foot boardwalk on the ocean,… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Subscribe to Happiness

It seems odd that a newspaper would give the farm away to persuade readers to take out subscriptions. The Daily Mirror even threw in a train ride to Montauk. This is how Hither Hills was developed: The Mirror’s 100-by-25-foot parcels sold for a mere $100 apiece, although you had to buy at least two. In… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Our Boat

Does anyone know whose boat this is or was? Lydia Shaternik, a friend of the Montauk Library, discovered a framed black-and-white photograph when she was sorting through donations for the rummage sale at the Montauk Community Church. She set it aside for the library, thinking it might be of interest. “Our boat we built 1950… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – At The End of The Line

Taken in July of 1937, this evocative photograph came to the Montauk Library Archives as part of a collection from the late Ellie Prado. She was a longtime Montauk resident whose husband, Marshall, was at one time Carl Fisher’s chauffeur. The railroad has played a significant role since it steamed into Montauk in 1895. People… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Sacred Territory

Fort Hill Cemetery, with its sweeping views of land and water, was officially dedicated 31 years ago on June 23. East Hampton Town had purchased the 30-acre property in the 1980s to preserve a sacred Montaukett burial ground and to create a cemetery for latter-day Montauk residents. The “fort” in Fort Hill is said to… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Pomp and Circumstance

  Chromebooks would have been the stuff of science fiction in 1934, when inkpots were still being used. We notice, too, that the Montauk School had only nine graduates. How adorable that there was a class prophecy, a class will, a class history, and a class poem. Note that the valedictorian was Perry B. Duryea… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Farewell, Great Pond

There wouldn’t be a Blessing of the Fleet on Sunday in Montauk Harbor – actually, there wouldn’t be a Montauk Harbor at all – if a channel hadn’t been cut in the 1920s to connect Lake Montauk with Block Island Sound. The lake used to be known as Great Pond and Lake Wyandance or Lake… Read more »