Local History

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

Flashback Friday – Good Old Jerry

Jerry was the first polo pony that Carl Fisher purchased, and he was his favorite right to the end. “In the Roaring Twenties if a young man flunked out of Harvard, Princeton or Yale, it was possible to salvage the family name by measuring him for a padded pith helmet and sending him off to… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Mon-toque

This week we are throwing down the glove, er, kitchen mitt and challenging readers to identify the whos and whats on their own. (Actually, we only know the names of two whos.) The photographer, Ray Smith, worked in high fashion and advertising, then proceeded to capture a whole different world on his camera here in… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Launching of The Fleet

When school starts this week the yellow buses won’t look so different from the first one Cliff Windsor sent out to transport Montauk students in the 1940s. He must have been proud; these photos come from an archival collection donated to the Montauk Library by his son, Clifford Jr., and his son’s wife, Clara Windsor…. Read more »

Throwback Thursday – The Forgotten Storm

Ocean waves tore through the dunes to breach Fort Pond. At least four feet of water flooded the highway on Napeague, and a radio tower toppled onto the train tracks there, blocking access to – or escape from – Montauk by that route. When Hurricane Carol struck the Northeast 68 years ago, on August 30,… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – On the Brink o’ the Beach

On the brink o’ the beach is right. The ocean hovers like a forgotten child in both these images of Gurney’s Inn. Warren and Maude Gurney managed the King Cole Hotel in Miami Beach for Carl Fisher, as well as a restaurant and inn in Forest Hills, before heading to Montauk to start a similar… Read more »

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 from the John Craft Moving Image Collection | 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… 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 »