Did you know that Montauk’s first St. Patrick’s Day “parade” took place in 1947, years before the Montauk Friends of Erin was founded?
On St. Patrick’s Day 76 years ago, four men decided to take a march down Main Street. They came to rest at what today is Shagwong Tavern (thus initiating a traditional pit stop for Grand Marshals on the parade route.) Fifteen years then went by before a dozen men – “the original 12” — formed the Montauk Friends of Erin. Their goal was to stage a parade to honor Irish culture – which they did for the first time in 1963. Mike Egan, one of the four marchers in 1947, was the first official Grand Marshal.
The parade took off like a baton that slips free, as an 8-millimeter film shot in 1964 will demonstrate. A gift from the Friends of Erin to the Montauk Library Archives, the little movie can be seen both on YouTube and on a big screen in the library’s Local History Exhibit Center. There’s also a new slideshow that showcases St. Patrick’s Day parades through six decades.
Also new to the Local History Center is a slideshow highlighting some of the more spectacular flora and fauna of Montauk. This collaborative creation combines photographs from the archives with those contributed by library patrons and staff members, offering an illuminating range of perspectives of local nature.
Fauna of a different sort – livestock like horses and cattle – star in a slideshow about Deep Hollow Ranch. Billed as the oldest cattle ranch in the United States, Deep Hollow has a long history going back to its days as an inn as well as as a working ranch and as a dude ranch. The slideshow features photographs from the library’s archives, while an accompanying promotional video – with sound – comes to the library by way of LTV’s local TV programming.
On the subject of fauna, there is an ongoing display of decoys and other waterfowl-related artifacts in the Local History Center as well as a slideshow of related archival photographs mixed with an interview with the library’s archivist, Aimee Lusty. This exhibit, which will be up until the end of March, was the result of a collaboration with the East Hampton Historical Society.
Meanwhile, a bird’s eye perspective appears on another screen. Aerial photographs from the archives – of Fort Pond Bay, Montauk parkland, the downtown area, and more – offer yet another perspective of Montauk in all its glory, both natural and manmade, over the course of recent history.
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