Memorial Day isn’t only about beaches, barbecue and shopping—unless you’re thanking a veteran while you do it. Approximately 1.2 million Americans have died in the line of battle in our 241-year history so that we may freely and peacefully enjoy all the East End has to offer. And what a bounty it is! In celebration of Memorial Day 2017, we’ve created a list of special East End anniversaries, all of which combined have led up to, and created, this crazy place we’re all so thankful to call home—thanks for making it all possible, veterans.
365 Shelter Island
Shelter Island’s first white settler, a Barbados sugar merchant named Nathaniel Sylvester constructed a house on the island for his 17-year-old bride, Grissel Brinley, in 1652. The decidedly grander Sylvester Manor—the topic of Mac Griswold’s 2013 book The Manor—which survives today, was built in 1733.
310 Sag Harbor
The first recorded mention of Sag Harbor in Southampton Town Records. A map from 1700 calls what is now the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike the “Cart Path to Great Meadows.”
240 Meigs Raid, aka The Battle of Sag Harbor
In 1777 Sag Harbor, like the rest of Long Island, suffered under British occupation. Just after midnight on May 23 of that year, Lieutenant Colonel Return Jonathan Meigs, with 170 men and a convoy of two armed sloops, landed in the vicinity of Long Beach and marched toward Sag Harbor. They went first to James Howell’s Inn on Main Street, where the American Hotel now stands, and captured the British commanding officer still asleep in his bed. From there they marched to a fort, described as “a breastwork, enlarged and strengthened by palisades” at Union and Madison Streets. A small skirmish ensued in which 6 British were killed and 53 captured. Meigs suffered no casualties among his men who made off with hay, grain, rum and other merchandise as well as a total of 90 prisoners. Meigs and his men then returned to Connecticut.
225 Riverhead Town
On March 25, 1792 the New York State Legislature passed a bill splitting River Head (the name was later combined) from Southold. Residents of what would become River Head complained that, as it was, the “town is so long that it is very inconvenient for [people of western regions of Southold] to attend town meeting, and also to transact necessary business.”
200 The Great Fire of 1817 in Sag Harbor
In 1817 the first of three major fires swept through the village fed by whale oil and high winds. This fire, which began in a small, hay-filled barn, quickly spread through the most densely populated part of the village and in less than 3 hours, 20 homes and many of the most valuable stores in the village were burned to the ground. As a result, the Otter Hose Company, the first volunteer fire company in New York State, was established.
190 Slavery abolished in New York State
In 1703 just under half of all New York City households owned slaves, second in the colonies only to Charleston, SC. A full 16 years after the American Revolution the state passed a law outlining gradual abolition. The law stated that children born to slave mothers were free, but were forced to work as an indentured servant for the mother’s master until their late 20s. Existing slaves would keep their status until July 4, 1827. Following their emancipation, black men were still not allowed to vote for another 43 years; black women, not for another 93 years.
175 Hildreth’s Department Store since 1842
John Tyler was president of the United States when Lewis Hildreth opened Hildreth’s first general store stocked with bread and crackers by the barrel, wheels of cheese, salt, flour, fruits & vegetables, sugar, coffee and tea, even buffalo robes and whaling harpoons as well as housewares and dry goods, which are still sold to this day. It was the same year Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd; when anesthesia was first used in medical operations; when merchandise came via ship to Sag Harbor and was carted by horse and wagon to Southampton. It was 1842 and 175 years later Hildreth’s is not only still prospering, it’s in the same 51 Main Street location and is America’s oldest department store. That’s living history, folks. Hildreth’s now has locations in Southampton (the original 51 Main Street location and 15 West Main Street, 631-283-2300) and East Hampton (109 Pantigo Road, 631-329-8800). hildreths.com
170 Sag Harbor’s “Million Dollar Year”
1847 marked the peak of the whaling industry in Sag Harbor. That year alone saw 3,919 barrels of sperm oil, 63,712 of right whale oil and 605,340 pounds of whalebone come into the harbor over the course of 32 different arrivals. Between 1820 and 1850 approximately $15 million came into Sag Harbor, the equivalent today of about $455 million.
140 Hampton Library Bridgehampton
The Hampton Library in Bridgehampton opened in May, 1877 with 3,523 volumes. It was a gift to the community from William Gardiner and Charles Rogers. 2478 Main Street, Bridgehampton. 631-537-0015, hamptonlibrary.org.
125 Clubhouse at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club officially opened in 1891, but its clubhouse, designed by Stanford White, architect of, among other landmarks, New York’s Washington Square Arch, opened in 1892. As a side note, White was later murdered by millionaire Harry Kendall Thaw, which led to a court case dubbed “The Trial of the Century,” 89 years before O.J.
125 Shinnecock Canal
The Shinnecock Canal opened to traffic in 1892, connecting Great Peconic and Shinnecock Bays.
125 Vogue Magazine
The American fashion and lifestyle magazine was first published as a weekly newspaper beginning in 1892. Shirley resident Anna Wintour has been editor-in-chief at Vogue since 1988; and Wainscott resident Grace Coddington was famously the monthly magazine’s creative director at large.
125 Morris Studio in Southampton
After 125 years on Main Street in Southampton, The Morris Studio closed earlier this year. The framing, photo restoration and art supply shop was originally opened in 1892 by George W. Morris. Seven years later, Morris moved to the location in which it would spend the next 118 years.
120 The Parrish Art Museum
The first art museum at Southampton, as the Parrish Art Museum was then known, was a single large exhibition hall. Constructed in wood and entered from Main Street, the hall was built during the summer of 1897. It was in Italy the previous year that Samuel Longstreth Parrish decided to build a museum in Southampton to house his rapidly growing collection of Italian Renaissance art and reproductions of classical Greek and Roman statuary. He purchased a small parcel of land adjacent to the original Rogers Memorial Library on Jobs Lane and commissioned a fellow Southampton resident, the architect Grosvenor Atterbury (1869-1956), to design a suitable structure. The new Herzog & de Meuron building has a permanent collection of more than 3,000 works of art. 297 Montauk Highway, Water Mill 631-283-2118, parrishart.org
120 East Hampton Free Library founded
Founded in 1897, the East Hampton Free Library was granted a charter by New York State and opened in one room of Clinton Hall on Main Street. It was financially supported by individual gifts and a small revenue from non-resident fees. Ettie Hedges was hired in 1898 as the librarian, and she continued in that position for 56 years, during which time she married Morton Pennypacker. Mr. Pennypacker gave to the Library his substantial collection of Long Island memorabilia, and it was that gift which formed the nucleus of the Long Island Collection. 159 Main Street, East Hampton. 631-324-0222 easthamptonlibrary.org
120 Westhampton Free Library
The Westhampton Free Library Association opened its doors on Main Street on March 1, 1897, with a charter granted by the University of the State of New York and signed by Melvil Dewey, creator of the Dewey Decimal System.
115 Schenck Fuels
You’ve seen their fuel tankers driving around town. So have your parents, grandparents, and some of your great-grandparents, too. Schenk Fuels has survived it all—wood, coal, oil, the Great Depression and two World Wars—and thrived through six generations on the East End. 62 Newtown Lane #101, East Hampton, schenckfuels.com
115/100 Wardenclyffe Tower
Wardenclyffe Tower, or Tesla Tower, built in Shoreham was finished in 1902. The tower, designed and built by Nikola Tesla, was an early wireless transmission station designed. It’s purpose was to transmit messages and telephony wirelessly, 88 years before the first website was uploaded and published to an early form of the internet. The tower was a demolished for scrap in 1917.
115 Happy Birthday John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California in 1902. In 1953 the writer rented a home on two acres across from the water in Sag Harbor in order to work on his novel Sweet Thursday. He was quickly taken with the village—and its residents—and purchased the house the next year. He split his time between this house and New York until his death in 1968. The owner of the village grocery store, a certain Schiavoni, once said of the Winter of our Discontent and Travels with Charley author, “He should have been born here and shouldn’t have been famous.” Of Sag Harbor, Steinbeck said, “I grow into this countryside with a lichen grip.”
110 Riverhead Polish Hall
The Riverhead Polish Hall, legally registered in Albany as the “Riverhead Polish Independent Club” was incorporated on October 21, 1907 with the purpose to promote and provide friendship, education and interest in all Polish-American arts and culture. 214 Marcy Avenue, Riverhead, riverheadpolishhall.com
110 Happy Birthday Ilya Bolotowsky
The famous Russian abstract painter, Ilya Bolotowsky was born July 1, 1907 in St Petersburg and emigrated to New York in 1923. For a time, he taught at Long Island University, now Stony Brook’s Southampton campus and lived in East Hampton, and was a contemporary of de Kooning, Porter, MacWhinnie and others.
110 Happy Birthday Fairfield Porter
You’ve seen his work at the Parrish Art Museum. He was born June 10, 1907 in Illinois, studied at Harvard, eventually finding his way to Southampton. “Subject matter must be normal in the sense that it does not appear sought-after, so much as simply happening to one,” he once remarked.
105 Happy Birthday Jackson Pollock
Whether you think his famous drip paintings are meaningless and chaotic or superbly organized and visually fascinating, Jackson Pollock is one of the most famous modern American painters. He was born in Cody, Wyoming on January 28, 1912; moved to Springs in 1946; and died in August, 1955. The house in which Pollock and his wife, the artist Lee Kranser, lived is now the Pollock Kranser House and Study Center, a National Historic Landmark. 830 Springs-Fireplace Road, East Hampton. 631-324-4929, stonybrook.edu/commcms/pkhouse/
105 East Hampton Free Library moved
The East Hampton Library moved to its present location at the corner of Main Street and Buell Lane in 1912, on land donated by Mary Lorenzo Woodhouse. The architect Aymar Embury designed the building, which was also donated by the Woodhouses. The Library was designed in a neo-Elizabethan style since many residents of that era wanted East Hampton architecture to conform to that of a pre-17th century Kentish village, similar in looks to the one the original settlers had left behind.
100 East Hampton Post Office Building
The building at 1 Main Street, on the corner of Newtown Lane, in East Hampton—currently occupied by Elie Tahari—used to be a post office, built by the Millard family of Brooklyn in 1917, which they then leased to the government for $900 per year. The New York Telephone Company occupied the second floor of the building, eventually installing a common battery switchboard. In 1927, the building was sold to H.C. Bohack, Inc., a supermarket chain.
100 Happy Birthday Little Edie Beale
Little Edie Beale was born in New York on November 7, 1917. The American socialite and fashion model was a cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy and Lee Radziwill, though she is perhaps best know for the 1975 documentary Grey Gardens in which she was featured, along with her mother of the same name.
95 Sag Harbor Variety Store
Known to locals as “the five-and-dime,” the current Sag Harbor Variety Store first opened by Edward Hansen in 1922 as Hansen’s Variety. In 1970 Philip and Roseann Bucking purchased the building. Stop in and say hello to their grandchildren, some of whom help the family business thrive. While you’re there, grab some chips, candy, party favors, arts and crafts supplies or any of the myriad items available. 114 Main Street, Sag Harbor, sagharborvariety.com
95 Good Ground becomes Hampton Bays
Eleven separate hamlets collectively know as Good Ground amalgamated under the name Hampton Bays in an effort for the hamlet to advantage on the increasing Hamptons tourism trade from New York City in 1922.
90 Lindberg takes off from Roosevelt Field
On Friday May 20, 1927 Charles Lindberg strapped himself into his custom made Spirit of St. Louis and took off from Roosevelt Field in Mineola. Thirty-three-and-a-half-hours later Lindberg landed on an airfield just outside Paris to 150,000 well-wishers. Today you could make the same flight in about 7 hours and 45 minutes.
69 Artists and Writers Softball Game
The game had modest beginnings in 1948 and has since evolved into an important source of revenue for charities providing vital human services to Long Island’s East End. The game was originally played by such artistic luminaries as Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Philip Pavia, Jackson Pollock and Joan Mitchell. Everyone brought a dish. Some brought drinks. All this took place in Wilfrid Zogbaum’s front yard. The artists had moved to the East End for cheap rent, larger studios and an easier life (ah, the good ol’ days). Writers joined the artists in the ’60s and ’70s. Irwin Shaw, Willie Morris, James Jones, Jimmy Ernst and Carl Stokes, the mayor of Cleveland were among the group that expanded to include politicians, actors, musicians, publishers, editors and television personalities. The game has included governors, mayors, senators and a Supreme Court justice.
65 P.G. Wodehouse moves to Remsenburg
Wodehouse and his wife Ethel stayed frequently with friends in the hamlet of Remsenburg and finally purchased a home there in 1952. He spend his remaining years there and publish more than 20 novels, two collections of short stories, an edited collection of letters, memoirs, and a magazine articles. Wodehouse died at Southampton Hospital in 1975.
60 Tennessee Williams Windmill
In the summer of 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tennessee Williams lived the windmill now on the property of Stony Brook Southampton. During his stay he wrote The Day on Which a Man Dies—a response to the death of his friend Jackson Pollock, who died the previous year.
57 Dan’s Papers
Has it already been 57 years of faithfully reporting all that’s happening with wit and charm from Montauk to Manhattan!? We don’t look a day over 29.
50 East Hampton Rotary
Since 1967 the East Hampton Rotary Club has been fulfilling its promise “to represent all aspects of life in the community, using the experience and connections the members bring to improve conditions, facilities and knowledge for people who can benefit from our support.” 90% of funds raised by the East Hampton Rotary support local charitable organizations, from The Retreat, food pantries, Meals on Wheels, Southampton Hospital, to scholarships for local students. easthamptonrotary.com
45 Dan’s Kite Fly
April might be National Kite Month, but on the East End, August is better. And for 45 years Dan’s Papers has been hosting the event at Sagg Main Beach in Sagaponack. Meet us there this year on Saturday, August 5. If it’s raining that day, we’ll there on Sunday the sixth.
45 La Parmigiana Italian Restaurant
Since 1972 this Southampton restaurant has been serving comfort food in family-style portions for bustling crowds. Yum. 44-48 Hampton Road, Southampton 631-283-8030 laparmigianaitalianrestaurant.com
45 Dan’s Hoax
After Howard Hughes left his Las Vegas penthouse leading to speculation about the billionaire’s whereabouts, Dan announced he had relocated to the top two floors of the tallest building in the Hamptons, which was seven-stories high. Many tourists were spotted wandering around the building, trying to catch a glimpse of the billionaire.
40 Farmer Dale Haubrich
Sag Harbor’s Iowa-born scientist and farmer Dale Haubrich has been at it full-time and fully organically since 1977. Along with his beautiful and talented wife Bette Lacina, Haubrich continues to farm several acres in Sag Harbor and East Hampton in order to offer organic produce and herbs to Sag Harbor Farmers Market patrons and area chefs. They are best known for their unique mixes of pre-washed greens. The corn Haubrich developed is legendary for polenta.
30 Dan’s Papers running original artwork on cover
September 11, 1987 Dan’s Papers began to honor the artists of the East End by adding original artwork to the paper’s cover. So who was the first lucky artist? Elaine de Kooning. Speaking of original covers, be on the lookout for a new book with all of Dan’s favorite covers from the last 30 years.
30 Golden Pear Café
Golden Pear Café opened its first location on Main Street in Southampton. Locations in East Hampton, Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor followed. goldenpearcafe.com
30 Anniversary of The Retreat Domestic Violence Services
For 30 years The Retreat has provided domestic violence and sexual assault support services on Eastern Long Island with education programs and supportive services and Nassau and Suffolk counties. The Retreat offers a 24-hour bilingual crisis hotline at 631-329-2200, individual and group counseling, legal advocacy, residential shelter and community based education programs. 13 Goodfriend Drive, East Hampton, theretreatinc.org, 631-329-4398. For immediate help call 631-329-2200
25 Eastern Long Island Hospital Golf Classic
Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport, founded in 1905, will be holding it’s 25th Anniversary Golf Classic at Gardiner’s Bay County Club Wednesday, June 14. elih.org
25 Hamptons International Film Festival
The Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) is celebrating its silver anniversary of bringing the best movies to the silver screen. To celebrate, the festival has been showing movies across the East End since February’s screening of The Piano, which played at the very first festival. Last year 45 HIFF movies were awarded Oscar Awards. This year’s festival will be held over Columbus Day weekend, October 5–9. hamptonsfilmfest.org
20 Super Saturday
The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance’s (OCRFA) Super Saturday is a daylong shopping event that brings top luxury name brands in high fashion, accessories, beauty, children’s and home good at 30–50% off retail to guest with a passion for fashion, charity and bargains.
20 Dan’s Hoax
Dan revealed that the latest Die Hard movie Die Hard IV—Escape From the Hamptons was to be set in the Hamptons. It wasn’t.
20 Dan’s Shorts
In September 1997 The Permanent Press published Dan’s Shorts, a book full of Dan’s comments about sex, dogs, love, trucks, kids, moths, women, nuclear war and dry cleaning, to name just a few topics. For what it’s worth, none other than Donald Trump called it “a great read.”
20 Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt founded
Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt is a nonprofit organization of volunteers who work for the preservation, stewardship and public appreciation of the Long Pond Greenbelt, a unique expanse of coastal plain ponds, freshwater swamps, wetlands, and woodlands that stretches from Sag Harbor’s Otter Pond to the Atlantic Ocean in Sagaponack, covering over 650 acres. The Greenbelt is home to over 35 rare plant species and over 125 different bird species, many of which depend on the wetland complex for their survival. longpondgreenbelt.org
20 Hampton Chutney Company
Isabel and Gary MacGurn first met at an ashram in India. They were both doing seva—selfless service—in the ashram kitchen, where devotees from all over the world cooked for hundreds or thousands of people. The couple dreamed of opening a dosa shop in the West, which they did in 1997. 6 Amagansett Square, Amagansett. 631-267-3131, hamptonchutney.com
15 Fighting Chance 15th Anniversary Gala
Fighting Chance (FC) is America’s oldest and largest free cancer counseling center that operates on a regional basis. FC now sees about 250 newly diagnosed patients each year and because they are free-of-charge, most of the paperwork and red tape patients choke on in the healthcare system is eliminated. This year’s Gala will be held on Saturday, June 3 from 6:30–11 p.m. at the Maidstone Club honoring Hampton Jitney with music by The Nancy Atlas Project. 34 Bay Street, Suite 201, Sag Harbor. fightingchance.org, 631-725-4646
10 Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival
The Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival is now in its 10th year. HT2FF was founded and run by documentary filmmakers whose passion for the genre celebrates what it takes to produce a memorable doc. As Albert Maysles, veteran documentary filmmaker, said: “Documentaries are not diversion but engagement. We’re not trying to move you away from life, but closer to it.”
10 Long Island Spirits
Founded in 2007, Long Island Spirits is the first craft distillery on Long Island since the 1800s. The award-winning Baiting Hollow distillery produces LiV Vodka, Sorbetta, Pine Barrens Whiskey and Rough Rider Bourbon. 2182 Sound Avenue, Baiting Hollow. 631-630-9322 lispirits.com
10 Edna’s Kin Fundraiser Concert
2017 will mark the 10th year of the Edna’s Kin fundraiser concert at Christ Episcopal Church in Sag Harbor. Led by Sag Harbor’s Dan Koontz, the Americana band raises money for the church’s pipe organ restoration fund. Edna’s Kin is Dan, his big brother Andrew, their dad Warren and—sometimes—Dan’s son Bo. 4 East Union Street, Sag Harbor. 631-725-0128 christchurchshny.org
10 The Southampton Review
The biannual art and literary journal published by the MFA in Creative Writing and Literature at Stony Brook Southampton celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. 239 Montauk Highway, Southampton. thesouthamptonreview.com
7 Dan’s Taste of Two Forks
Dan’s Taste of Two Fork—the East End’s leading culinary event—spotlights the bounty of both the North and South Forks, featuring bites from oodles of top restaurants, sips from celebrated wineries and breweries, noshes from purveyors and more. Join us this year Saturday, July 22 at Fairview Farm in Mecox. danstasteofsummer.com
6 Dan’s Literary Prize for Nonfiction
The Dan’s Papers Literary Prize for Nonfiction has been offered every year since 2012, and entries in the 2017 competition can be made online (entries are only accepted online) now at DansLitPrize.com! All entries must be between 600 and 1,500 words, reference the East End in a meaningful way and be works of nonfiction prose.
5 Parrish Art Museum
Time flies when you’re admiring modern art! It’s been five years since the Parrish Art Museum moved into its new Water Mill digs. The museum, whose new building was designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & deMeuron, has a permanent collection of more than 3,000 works of art. It officially opened on November 10, 2012. 297 Montauk Highway, Water Mill 631-283-2118, parrishart.org
5 Hurricane Sandy
It was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 season. Remember those high winds? Or the downed trees and power lines? And the gas lines? The storm surge hit New York City on October 29 and caused a total of $71.4 billion—with a b—worth of damage across the East Coast of the United States.
5 Dan’s GrillHampton
Team Hampton versus Team NYC! This year Dan’s GrillHampton will be celebrating its fifth year of pitting city-slicker chefs against our beloved East Enders in a one-of-a-kind cooking competition and tasting event on Friday, July 21 at [location]. danstasteofsummer.com
2 Dan’s ClambakeMTK
Last year’s ClambakeMTK at Gurney’s in Montauk was so good, we decided to do it again (and again and again and again…). Meet us in Montauk Saturday, July 8 for the ultimate seaside par-tay. Sink your teeth into surf and turf from top restaurants from Manhattan to Montauk while celebrating the beach life, coastal cuisine and everything that makes Montauk the hottest seaside destination on the East Coast. danstasteofsummer.com
1 John Jermain Memorial Library back to old site
They’re back! It seemed like it would never ever happen. Not in a millions years. But after 5 years at their temporary West Water Street location, the John Jermain Memorial library, originally opened in 1910 with 5,000 volumes, finally moved back to its original location at 201 Main Street in the village. 631-725-0049, johnjermain.org