There’s always something to celebrate in Montauk. This year is especially rich with remembrances—some happy, some sad. Check out these Montauk anniversaries and raise a toast to Montauk at the Memory Motel to all that makes this end of our beloved island such a rich place to visit.
220 Montauk Point Lighthouse becomes operational—By 1797 New York Harbor dealt with one-third of all U.S. trade with foreign countries. With the increased European shipping traffic and harsh Atlantic winters, it became clear that a lighthouse was needed at the end of Long Island to steer ships towards the city. The Montauk Point Lighthouse was authorized by the Second U.S. Congress. The building project began in 1796 and in April 1797, keeper Jacob Hand lit the wicks, and the lighthouse was operational. 2000 Montauk Highway, Montauk. 631-668-2544, montauklighthouse.com
90 Lake Montauk opened to the Atlantic Ocean—Carl Fisher, an entrepreneur and builder of Montauk Manor, Montauk Downs and Montauk Tower, blasted a hole in the northern shoreline of Lake Montauk in 1927. Fisher intended to use Lake Montauk as a port for his planned development to turn Montauk into the “Miami Beach of the North.” Before 1927, Lake Montauk was Long Island’s largest freshwater lake.
90 Montauk Manor Opens—June 3, 1927 marked the official opening of Montauk Manor. A major part of the building was the telephone service installation, the wires for which, if laid out end to end, would have extended 26 miles. 236 Edgemere Drive Street, Montauk. 631-668-4400, montaukmanor.com
75/15 Camp Hero—Camp Hero, or the Montauk Air Force Station, was originally commissioned by the U.S. Army in 1942 as a coastal defense station to prevent a potential invasion of New York from the sea. Named after Major General Andrew Hero, Jr., the base was disguised as a fishing village. 15 years ago, Camp Hero State Park opened to the public. 1898 Montauk Highway, Montauk. 631-668-3781
60 Uihlein’s Marina—Since 1957 Uihlein’s Marina has been providing outstanding marina services at Montauk Harbor.
55 Montauk Historical Society Incorporated—In January, 1962 the Montauk Historical Society, dedicated to preserving the history of Montauk, incorporated. The Montauk Historical Society operates the Second House Museum as well as the Montauk Point Lighthouse and the Montauk Indian Museum. 631-668-5340, montaukhistoricalsociety.org
30 Death of Andy Warhol—The pop artist bought his Montauk estate, Eothen, for a mere $225,000 (about $45.75M less than what it last sold for). Notable guests at the estate included John Lennon and Paul McCartney (separately), Elizabeth Taylor, Mick Jagger and many others. Warhol died in New York in 1987 due to complications from a surgery.
30 Montauk Point Lighthouse goes automated—Ain’t technology grand!? Improvements in technology and maritime navigation have made manned lighthouses a thing of the past. Montauk Point Lighthouse is no different. On February 3, 1987 it went automatic. 1987 also happened to be the year the lighthouse opened to the public as a museum, operated by the Montauk Historical Society.
25 The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time—The popular conspiracy theory book The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time by Preston Nichols and Peter Moon, which alleged that secret experiments were carried out at the Camp Hero site in Montauk, was published in 1992.
10 Montauk Surf Lodge—The Surf Lodge kicks off summer celebrating its tenth anniversary! The Surf Lodge pairs a robust cultural program with an ambience that speaks to the easy, dream-like quality of Montauk and its history. 183 Edgemere Drive, Montauk. 631-483-5037, thesurflodge.com
5 Montauk Brewing Company—It began as a basement brewing operation and has evolved into an East End favorite. Fun fact: it’s New York State’s easternmost brewery. And everything they make is delicious—no really, they can do no wrong. 62 South Erie Avenue, Montauk. 631-668-8471, montaukbrewingco.com
2 Dan’s Clambake MTK—Last year’s Clambake MTK at Gurney’s in Montauk was so good, we decided to do it again. Meet us in Montauk Saturday, July 8 for the ultimate seaside party. 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.