Local History

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

Throwback Thursday – One Smart Move

Given the price of land today, a waterfront building is more likely to be replaced with something grander than moved from one spot to another. Back in the day, though, homes and even restaurants (like Trail’s End) in the old fishing village on Fort Pond Bay were moved to other places like Shepherd’s Neck and… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Share Your Treasures

For years, Kathleen Ernst has staged amazing miniature exhibits in the Montauk Library’s little display case, and we are looking for more for when the expanded library opens on Friday, February 18. Don’t think that your fascination with driftwood or beach glass, pigs, horse or penguin figurines, train sets, floral watercolors, or children’s school portraits… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Repurposing a Resort

Imagine girls dancing with servicemen in the elegant lobby ballroom. Picture the grandly arched dining room transformed into a mess hall for military personnel. That’s what the Montauk Manor looked like during World War II after the Navy appropriated the luxurious resort to serve as a military barracks – portions of which can be spotted… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Two Giant Men

Richard T. Gilmartin and Frank Tuma Sr. certainly enjoyed surfcasting, as they were doing on this day in the early 1940s on the ocean west of Montauk Point. Tuma in particular was a pioneer of the sport, developing “a snap cast that was extremely efficient at catching striped bass,” according to the Images of America: Montauk book… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Friends of a Feather

Don’t feel bad if in the flurry of the winter holidays you forgot to observe National Bird Day on January 5. There are bald eagles, snowy owls, turkey vultures, sea ducks, even chubby little chickadees that are still worth a turn of the head. National Bird Day was created to honor birds that live in… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Girls’ Night Out

Ladies Auxiliary Christmas Dinner, circa 1974 Six color photographs Montauk Library Archives Can you identify these members of the Ladies Auxiliary at their Christmas dinner at the Blue Marlin in, we think, 1974? Twenty-eight women founded the Montauk Fire Department’s Ladies Auxiliary in 1949, mainly to provide food and water to volunteer firemen – mostly… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Christmas Card Fun

“The Borths’ Christmas Card,” 1948 Photograph by Dave Edwardes Illustration by Frank Borth Black and white photograph with illustration and holiday greetings added Dave Edwardes Collection Montauk Library Archives Frank and Barbara Borth sent a laugh along with their Christmas cards in 1948 – no surprise from a cartoonist and a wife with the good… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Meals at the Montauk Manor

Meals at the Montauk Manor, 1940s Manor staff carry buffet trays, 1940s Manor dining room, circa 1940s  Two black and white photographs depicting the splendor of meals at the Montauk Manor in the 1940s, and the enthusiasm of diners at the time.  Al Holden and Richard T. Gilmartin Collections Montauk Library Archives Seconds, anyone? In… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Wild Turkeys

“Wild Turkeys,” 1923 Black and white photograph Montauk Library Archives   Wild turkeys, once nearly extinct, have had a rebound, including in Montauk, as anyone who drives on “the new highway” in Montauk and spots them on the roadside will attest. They were highly prized by Native Americans and European colonists alike, and formed the… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Happy Birthday, Teddy Bear!

Roosevelt, Camp Wikoff Mascots, 1898 Black and white photograph of Teddy Roosevelt at Camp Wikoff with the camp’s mascots, which returned from the Spanish-American War with the troops Al Holden Collection Montauk Library Archives Readers might well ask what this photograph of soldiers playing with a mountain lion, a dog, and an eagle at Camp… Read more »