This aerial postcard of the Bridgeford Cottage Colony on East Lake Drive came into the Archives with the one cottage already circled, a message from a guest to the addressee, “this is where we stayed!” Edwin Bridgeford owned this cozy group of cottages, advertised as “Your Country Estate at the Sea Shore.” The Bridgefords lived in Montauk and were active in the East End area; family members appeared regularly in East Hampton Star articles starting in the 1950s.
Edwin, Jr. advertised his water skiing classes in the Star on July 11, 1963, in a small business card-sized ad with a fancy, fine-line border: WATER SKIING. Expert Instruction or Tow, Standard and Trick Skiing. All ages from 6 to 60. If you can walk you can learn to ski. Taught by Edwin W. Bridgeford, Jr., located at Bridgeford Cottage Colony, 1 to 5 rooms, East Lake Drive.” The blonde man in the photograph at the top left could be Edwin, Jr. His stance conveys the ease of an instructor teaching a new student — the young woman to his right, for example — in this beautiful, watery classroom known as Lake Montauk.