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The Way It Was for September 21, 2023

Thu, 09/21/2023 - 06:05

125 Years Ago                1898

From The East Hampton Star, September 23

The smoky atmosphere observed here the first of the week seems to have existed in many parts of the country. Dispatches from Illinois, New Hampshire and Massachusetts reported the smoky appearance of the atmosphere on Monday and Tuesday. The phenomenon is unaccounted for.

School will open next Monday, with the following corps of teachers. W.S. French, principal, Miss Barrows, Miss Laselle, Miss Strong, Miss Beaman and Miss Hedges. The school building has been thoroughly cleaned the past week, the lawns mowed, and the institution is in apple pie order for the reception of teachers and pupils. It is probable that there will be a larger attendance this term than ever before, as the tendency of everything in East Hampton is to grow, and it is also evident, from the fact that the school has been closed about four months, that all hands will have to labor pretty hard in order to accomplish the required amount of work during the term.

For the past two days there has been no telegraphic communication between this village and Montauk over the Western Union line, owing to a “ground” between here and Amagansett. A lineman is endeavoring to locate the trouble.


100 Years Ago                1923

From The East Hampton Star, September 21

The firemen were called out about 2:30 o’clock last Saturday afternoon to put out a fire in the Johnson cottage on Dunemere lane, occupied this summer by Walter Merrall, of the firm of Acker, Merrall & Condit. A lively fire had been built in one of the fireplaces and, due to the construction of the flue, having wood on all sides, the chimney caught fire.

John G. Collins, jr., entered eight of his prize fowl in the poultry contest at Riverhead this week, and carried away first prize and an honorable mention. Mr. Collins raises the Jersey Giant breed of poultry and had exceptionally good luck in raising them this year. His birds were up against stiff competition, there being many entries of the same breed.

Richard Newton, jr., of Water Mill, has been held by Justice Oscar F. Fanning to await the action of the grand jury on a charge of assault second degree. At a hearing last Thursday afternoon in the village courtroom, Assistant District Attorney George W. Hildreth representing the people, and Lawyer Harri M. Howell appearing for Mr. Newton, the plaintiff, John Miller, of Water Mill, swore that Newton attempted to run him down with his horse.


75 Years Ago                1948

From The East Hampton Star, September 23

Entries in the Guild Hall Poetry contest are beginning to come in, according to Dorothy Quick, who originated the contest through the Guild Hall News last year and has announced the end of September as the deadline for this year’s entries.

Today East Hampton prides itself on being one of the most beautiful villages in the United States. Main Street, bordered by an avenue of lofty elms, the neatly clipped village greens and tranquil Town Pond, are visible proof of generations of care and foresight. The Village and Town Boards and civic organizations all strive diligently to preserve this emerald oasis on the narrow peninsula, bordered, as it is, by sand dunes and scrub oaks.

September 21, 1938, began as a beautiful, warm fall day. The leaves were still on the trees. Children were enjoying their second week of school. At 11:30 a “year-rounder” who had been listening to a New York City weather report remarked casually, “Guess we’re in for a nor’easter. I’d better get the rest of the tomatoes off the vines and take down the awnings. Time they were down anyway.”

On Wednesday morning while surfcasting just east of the Shinnecock inlet in Southampton, Clarence Thomas of East Hampton landed five striped bass weighing a total of 102 1/2 pounds. The largest fish, 39 1/2 inches long, weighed 27 pounds. Mr. Thomas, who attributes at least part of his success to the fact that the fish were patriotic and were lured by his red, white and blue feathers, believes he could have caught at least ten more if his arm hadn’t given out.  


50 Years Ago                1973

From The East Hampton Star, September 20

The International Meditation Society will present an introductory lecture on transcendental meditation at the East Hampton office of the Valley Bank at 8 p.m. Monday. The twice-a-day, 20-minute procedure will be described by a pupil of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Concern for the loss of one of the few remaining pieces of undeveloped oceanfront at Amagansett has resulted in the submission of an alternative plan by the Group for America’s South Fork. The plan, which resembles one separately prepared by East Hampton Town’s professional planner, appeared to cheer the large audience attending the meeting of the Town Planning Board Sept. 12.

A scheduled public hearing to consider preliminary approval of “Gansett Dunes” had drawn a crowd which filled the courtroom at Town Hall. The proposed subdivision involves 43 acres of land, some of it low and marshy, between Treasure Island Drive and Mako Lane, bounded north by Bluff Road and south by the Atlantic.


Reports have been heard that Mrs. Jacqueline Onassis, with her sister, Lee Radziwill, and their children were visitors to a square dance at the Deep Hollow Ranch last Saturday night. Arthur Godfrey was a guest at Gurney’s Inn last weekend, while Dick Cavett and Tennessee Williams were seen on the riding trails.


25 Years Ago                1998

From The East Hampton Star, September 24

East Hampton Town has had mixed results in two airport-related lawsuits this month. Last week a State Supreme Court justice dismissed a suit brought by a group of residents who opposed the reconstruction of the main runway at the East Hampton Town Airport, a project that has generated one of the town’s most longstanding debates.

Earlier this month, a Federal judge dismissed portions of a $29.5 million lawsuit concerning the administration of the airport, while allowing some of the claims it makes to go to trial.

Some 100 films will be screened at the sixth installment of the Hamptons International Film Festival, which will take center stage in East Hampton Oct. 14 to Oct. 18.

New features within the festival, including “spotlight films,” categories concentrating on films about performers and films about filmmakers, and an emphasis on comedy on the big screen are what the festival organizers hope will set this year’s model apart from its predecessors.

Silent until now, the attorneys for Ira Rennert, who has begun construction in Sagaponack of what would be one of the largest houses in the country, went on the offensive last Thursday before the Southampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals.

In a blistering counterattack, Anthony Tohill of Riverhead dismissed neighbors’ objections to Mr. Rennert’s compound as “fantasy, chemically induced by hysteria,” and chided the neighbors’ attorney, John Shea of Twomey, Latham, Shea & Kelley, also of Riverhead, for failing to do his legal homework.



Montauk Beaver Meets Its End on Highway

A beaver that likely arrived at Hither Hills State Park in the ocean surf last April and then built a lodge in a secluded part of Fresh Pond in Hither Woods was found dead on the side of Montauk Highway Tuesday morning. 

Jun 13, 2024

A Surprise Guest at ACAC Meeting

The Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee had a surprise guest Monday night, Natalie Mongan, a junior at East Hampton High School. Ms. Mongan presented her own independent research, done through an A.P. research seminar, showing the level of erosion at Atlantic Avenue Beach that can not only affect shoreline defense, but shift the coastline itself.

Jun 13, 2024

Item of the Week: Remembering Dorothy Horton, 1899-1917

This tintype photo from the Fowler family photographs shows young Dorothy Horton seated in front of what is likely the Fowler House in East Hampton.

Jun 13, 2024

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