Local History

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

Throwback Thursday – Land Grab

Throwback Thursday – Land Grab

In the summer of 1924 at about this time, Robert Moses set out to appropriate 1,700 acres of private land to create a state park at Hither Hills. Moses was head of the Long Island State Park Commission, whose negotiations with the properties’ owners had come unraveled. One landowner was Carl Fisher, who wanted $300… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – *The* Place to Be

Throwback Thursday – *The* Place to Be

Below, a three-piece band on the Lakeside stage, 1950s. | Dave Edwardes Collection, Montauk Library Archives And so, just like that … the summer season is off to a start. As one could have expected … all roads, all invitations, all Instagrams lead to Montauk … And more specifically, The Surf Lodge. All of social note… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – A Good Friend Lost

Top photo, Bob-E Metzger, chairwoman of the Friends’ Book Fair at the time, looking over boxes in the storage area maintained by the organization, circa 1990s. Below, clockwise from left, Bob-E shelving books moved from the small house across the street into the present, now-renovated library building in the early 1990s; Suzanne Gosman and Bob-E… Read more »

Throw Back Thursday – Fun & Games

For what could be more ideal than dining and dancing in the cool moonlight of a summer evening, with beams from a high, sailing moon sprinkling diamonds on the water, and sweet strains of soft music luring you to a glistening dance floor?  — Montauk Beach promotional brochure, referring to the Star Island Club in… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Fish & Ships

The children don’t look very happy but the boat sure is beautiful. Also, the Blessing of the Fleet is on Sunday, June 11, and Father’s Day is a week after that, so the photograph seems timely. The 42-foot Ban-Gee was custom-built in 1956 by Rybovich Boats of West Palm Beach. A Rybovich sportfishing boat was… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Surf’s Up!

The New York Post reported this week that an 800-square-foot trailer at Ditch Plains Beach is in contract to sell for $3.75 million. That is a very far cry from the rates offered above: a mere $220 to rent a spot on the ocean for more than a full summer season. The site of the… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Memorial Days

Kirk Park was dedicated in 1962 to the memory of Major General Norman T. Kirk, surgeon general of the U.S. Army during World War II as well as, as the park’s memorial plaque said, “village doctor, fisherman, friend.” Gen. Kirk was married in 1917 to the sister of Perry B. Duryea, Anne, who had been… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Property Management

A small collection of color and black-and-white aerial photographs of the west side of Lake Montauk is included in the Montauk Library Archives. Because they were taken in the 1970s, prior to many subdivisions and developments in the 1980s and beyond, they could be useful to illustrate what have undoubtedly been shrinking swaths of eelgrass,… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Hopelessly Overextended

Carl Fisher’s Montauk Beach Development Corporation went into receivership in May of 1932, leaving court-appointed custodians in charge of his holdings – the Manor, the Surf Club, the Montauk Downs Golf Club, the Montauk Yacht Club, and more. The properties were valued at about $10 million: Fisher and other investors had poured some $7 million… Read more »