Throwback Thursday- Carl Fisher’s Surf Club Aerial View

     Ken Weldon worked from 1963 through the 1980s at the Montauk Beach Company selling real estate. The 1960s were high times for sales in Montauk housing developments like Culloden Shores.
     Some of the maps and paper records used by Ken were donated to the Montauk Library by Ken and Loretta Weldon, as was a group of older photographs of Montauk dating to the 1930s, such as this aerial image focusing on Carl Fisher’s Surf Club. Further back in the picture plane sit the St. Therese of Lisieux Church and, to the east (to the right), the Montauk Community Church.
     If the photographer had taken this picture 70 years later, the Montauk Library would have been included in its visual landscape. The library building is located across the road from the Community Church, an empty lot that was covered with trees in the 1930s. As we prepare in 2020 for construction on Montauk Library’s renovation, this photograph makes us stop and pause. It elicits reflection. We are poignantly reminded of how Montauk, and the Montauk Library, have evolved.
     Ken Weldon had been living in the Westhampton Care Center when he died in April 2020 of the corona virus. Eulogized as a softball pitcher with a legendary arm and eagle eye, that eye can also take credit for recognizing the beauty and significance of aerial views like this one.


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    Richard Theinert Reply

    Does anyone know when the surf club was rebuilt.
    I thought I had worked on the new construction during the 80’s.
    Thanks, Rich Theinert

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    britmansir Reply

    Hi, Rich — Completed in 1927, the Surf Club, with its oceanfront Boardwalk and cabanas, became enormously popular with Montauk Manor guests and members of the public.

    The 1938 hurricane destroyed the Boardwalk and caused much damage, but the Surf Club was rebuilt.

    Hurricane Carol in 1954 did almost as much damage, but again, the Surf Club survived.

    Finally, in the 1960s, this landmark building with salt-water swimming pool was demolished due to structural concerns. However, it is still remembered with great fondness by Montaukers and tourists who spent summer days here.

    If you worked on new construction in the 1980s, then you worked on the structure that replaced the original Surf Club mentioned above. The “new” Surf Club resort, which still stands today, is the accommodation that became the Surf Club condos. Our Throwback Thursday photograph of September 8, 2021, “A Toast to the Ebbing Days of Summer!” provides a glimpse of the 1980s-built Surf Club in the background.

    Thanks for your interest in the Montauk Library, Rich. If you want more pictures, google “Surf Club Montauk,” and you will see many images of the Surf Club that presently sits on the beachfront in Montauk.

    Maura Feeney, Local History Librarian

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