Local History

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

Throwback Thursday- In Montauk Dear with You

“In Montauk Dear with You” was sung on this particular recording by Lilah Gosman in the late 1980s. Both Easter and Passover are being celebrated this weekend:  Easter lands on Sunday, April 4th.  Passover began on March 27th and will end on Saturday evening, April 3rd.  In celebration of friends and family members arriving in… Read more »

Throwback Thursday- Jazz at Gosman’s Dock

We first learned about Toots Thielmans from Pat DeRosa, the 99-year-old Montauk jazz saxophonist who was recently inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.  DeRosa recalled with delight the summer that Thielmans played jazz at Gosman’s Dock.  Thielmans had been catapulted to fame in 1969 after the release of Midnight Cowboy. The movie’s melancholic theme… Read more »

Throwback Thursday- The Lighthouse

The Montauk Lighthouse structure as we know it today received its daymark, or dark red horizontal band, in 1899.  It was done to help sea captains distinguish which lighthouse they were looking at during daylight.  A lighthouse at night, with its steady or blinking flash, dispersed location information to the sea traveler, but during the… Read more »

Throwback Thursday- St. Patrick’s Day Parade

For the second year in a row, St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Montauk have been cancelled because of COVID.  As we approach one of the most important days on the Montauk calendar, a photograph from the “Before Times” makes looking backwards a thoughtful journey. Herb Herbert donated this picture of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade… Read more »

Throwback Thursday- Women’s History Month

Here’s to Montauk Women!  In celebration of Women’s History Month, we recognize the hard work and contributions made by the women who have lived and worked in Montauk. A second installment of this history examining the legacy of Montaukett women will appear before the end of the month. Montauk women drove ambulances during wartime, opened… Read more »

Throwback Thursday- St. Therese of Lisieux Church

A few reference questions directed to the archives recently have centered around religious practice in Montauk before the construction of the two main church buildings in the village:  the Montauk Community Church (Presbyterian), dedicated in 1929, and St. Therese of Lisieux Church (Roman Catholic), which held its first public mass on August 31, 1931.  Both… Read more »

Throwback Thursday- Horse Rescue

Herb Herbert donated this photograph of the Montauk Fire Department rescuing a horse trapped in the ice near Deep Hollow Ranch.  Fireman Tom Grenci reports that the rescue was successful, and that the horse survived after walking out onto the frozen surface of the lake and falling in. Most Montaukers are pet-passionate and care deeply… Read more »

Throwback Thursday- Fashion Week

It’s Fashion Week in New York!  In honor of this twice-yearly event, now called American Collections Week, we’re posting a photograph from the 1950s to show off Montauk’s own version of ingenuity and high design. We believe Bill’s Inn is the venue where this annual Montauk Fire Department dinner was photographed.  To provide entertainment at… Read more »

Throwback Thursday- The Card Room

Montauk lost cable television during the recent snowstorm.  Before television, however, and long before cable, people played board games and cards to pass the time.  In fact, an entire room at the Montauk Manor was dedicated to card-playing, with tables set up for guests and members of the community who booked bridge clubs and card… Read more »

Throwback Thursday: Anna Viola Olson

Algot Olson was a carpenter.  He moved from Sweden with his family to Montauk in the 1920s, presumably to work for Carl Fisher.  His wife was born Anna Johannsen (Americanized to Johanson).  The Olson family had a strong presence in the community, and were stalwart members of the Montauk Community Church. This beautifully printed baptismal… Read more »