Local History

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

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 »

Throwback Thursday – The Manor’s Grand Opening

On June 1, 1927, the Montauk Manor opened with a splash – “a Carl Fisher masterpiece,” the East Hampton Star proclaimed on its front page, referring to the man who hoped to transform Montauk into a Miami Beach of the North. A reporter marveled that the luxurious, $1.5 million, nearly 200-room resort had been completed… Read more »

Throwback Thursday: Hit The Road, Jack

Traffic this weekend won’t be so tranquil, so here’s a look at Montauk’s parkway in the 1930s. We’re not sure if this is the stretch running through Hither Hills or the one at Montauk Point, but in either case we can thank Robert Moses, the former state park commission president, for the view. When Moses… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Oh Happy Day!

These dedicated supporters – and there were many more – looked pretty darn happy when the ribbon was snipped for the new Montauk Library on May 3, 1992. Anyone who missed that event, even those who had the pleasure 30 years ago, will have another chance this Sunday, May 22, to celebrate the newly renovated… Read more »

Throwback Thursday: Sweet Dreams and Flying Machines

When this blimp lifted off from Montauk on May 14, 1919, some hoped it would set a record by making a trip across the Atlantic to Ireland, eight years before Charles Lindbergh’s flight to Paris. During World War I the Navy operated a 33-acre air base near what is today’s downtown. Open fields provided a… Read more »

Throwback Thursday – Happy Mother’s Day

Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day an official holiday in 1914, “as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.” But seeds had already been sown – even by ancient Greeks and Romans, who honored the mother goddesses with festivals. In the 19th century, Anna Reeves Jarvis helped organize “Mother’s… Read more »