Vintage Hamptons Subway Newsletter: Week of March 27–April 1, 1948

Vintage Hamptons Subway Newsletter from March 27 to April 1, 1948
Vintage Hamptons Subway Newsletter from March 27 to April 1, 1948

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: During the recent scrubbing and cleaning of the Hamptons Subway system, one of our maintenance men found a typed copy of a 1948 Hamptons Subway Newsletter. Since until now everyone has thought the subway did not open to the public until 2007, this was quite something. How could this be? There had been a rumor that the system, originally built underground during the Roaring ’20s by Ivan Kratz but never opened, DID open briefly just after World War II. Now we know!

Week of March 27 to April 1, 1948
Riders this past week: 238
Rider miles this past week: 1,432

Margaret Truman, the daughter of President Harry Truman, was seen traveling from Southampton to Bridgehampton last Friday afternoon with a friend. Gary Cooper, reading a movie script, was seen traveling from Westhampton Beach to Quogue on Tuesday. Jackie Robinson, the new Brooklyn Dodgers baseball star who broke the color barrier last summer and stole home in the World Series, was seen with Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley leaving Westhampton Beach bound for O’Malley’s oceanfront vacation home in Quiogue.

Nelson Rockefeller was spotted Saturday morning riding the subway from East Hampton to Southampton, on his way to the Du Pont estate. Jack Kennedy was seen traveling on Friday from Montauk to East Hampton to visit Jackie Bouvier at her family home there. Jack had sailed to Montauk from Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, aboard his family’s yacht.  California Congressman Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat, were seen on Thursday heading from Amagansett to Montauk for a weekend at Maude Gurney’s Inn.

The group of 28 young workers who serve as flagmen down in the tunnels guiding the trains along by waving red, yellow and green flags for stop, slow and go have announced the formation of a union and want to meet with
Subway Commissioner Butch Aspinall to demand higher wages. They threaten to strike but we predict it all will come to nothing, of course.

Commissioner Aspinall has informed the Board that 14 of the 17 children of the late Ivan Kratz, the man who built the Hamptons Subway system back in 1928, have filed a lawsuit claiming the arrangement for Aspinall and his buddies from Cincinnati, Ohio, who contracted to lease then never opened subway system with the other three children, did so without the approval of the other 14 heirs. They have been joined as plaintiffs in the lawsuit by the 46 known grandchildren of the late Mr. Kratz.

First of all, a personal note. Myself and my wife, Lydia, announce that as of March19, 1948, we are the proud parents of a little boy, weighing 8 pounds and 11 ounces, born at Southampton Hospital. We have named him William—Bill, for short. He’s as cute as a button.

Next I’d like to thank two fabulous dancers, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, who performed for our employees in the company cafeteria of our building in Hampton Bays last Saturday afternoon. We predict there will be quite a future for them. Bravo, Fred and Ginger!

Finally, if you are the owner of a mink coat that you left in one of the cars last weekend on the Hamptons Subway, stop by our building. If you can identify it by Friday, it’s yours. Otherwise I will consider it a present for my lovely wife and now mother, Lydia.


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