COLLECTIONS CORNER

November 5, 2021
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 “A Dull Day”, 1886

Benjamin R. Fitz (1855–1891)

 

Sometimes, our initial response to a painting is related to the subject and not to the quality of the painting itself. This is one of those paintings that conjures up uncomfortable feelings because the produce seller looks cold and tired. But isn’t it remarkable how well the Fitz was able to convey those feelings?

  

The painting depicts a common sight on the urban streets of the nineteenth century. This woman might have been a member of the working poor, or she might have been a farmer’s wife spending the day selling some of her family’s produce to make some extra money. 

 

In this painting, Fitz recorded the world around him, both real-life activities and real-life feelings.

October 22, 2021
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Pumpkin Season

 

Do you recall this logo for Krupski’s Pumpkin Farm in Peconic?  This sweatshirt which is part of the collection of Southold Historical Museum reads “Krupski’s Pumpkin Farm, Main Road, Peconic, Long Island, New York."

 

Today, Krupski’s is well-known for the variety of pumpkins they grow and sell.  Their “jack-o’-lantern” display for Halloween is also a local favorite.  But the Krupski family only started farming pumpkins in the mid-1970s.

 

Going back five generations, the first Krupski farm was established in 1909 in Peconic.  It was located on land that is now used to grow grapes.  Today, Krupski Farm still grows a wide selection of pumpkins but also sells other seasonal vegetables and fruits

October 15, 2021
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Corn Husk Dolls

Corn husk dolls are a practice originally used by the Indigenous People who lived in the area we now call Southold. The English Settlers adopted the technique as well. Corn husks are very mendable once soaked in water and can be manipulated into doll shapes. Once dried, the corn husks will retain the shape.

 

These two dolls are part of the collection of Southold Historical Museum. They have more intricate details including leather clothes and beadwork. Typical dolls would use the cornhusks for all the details. Today, we use corn stalks and husks to decorate our homes.  Perhaps you want to grab an ear of corn off the stalk and try soaking the husks to make a doll?

October 1, 2021
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David Rothman and Albert Einstein, 1939

 

Last week’s collections corner featured Howell’s Drug Store which is part of today’s Einstein Square. This week, we feature a bit more about Albert Einstein’s time on the North Fork. 

 

A couple of years ago, Einstein Square was dedicated as the open area adjacent to the building as well. Why Einstein Square, you ask?

 

In 1939, Albert Einstein (1879-1955) walked in off the street into Rothman’s Department Store looking for a pair of sandals (or as David Rothman mistakenly thought he was asking for “sundials”). Einstein had left Germany during a time when Jews were threatened. He summered on what was then called Old Cove Rd in Nassau Point in 1937, 1938 and 1939. The summer of 1939 is famous, as it was from the house in Nassau Point that Einstein signed the letter written to President Franklin D. Roosevelt regarding the scientific project that the Germans were believed to be working on. In response to this letter, the Manhattan Project was set into motion, and the first atomic bomb was developed.

 

Einstein did indeed purchase sandals at Rothman’s Department Store, women’s size 11 says the story. He is wearing them in the photos taken of him with David Rothman strolling Nassau Point. Einstein spent many musical evenings with David and other musicians and summers sailing on his boat, the Tineff (which means junk in Yiddish). His love of this area is documented in a collection of letters written in his hand, copies of which are held by Southold Historical Museum.

September 24, 2021
Howell's Drug Store

Howell’s Drug Store c.1890

 

Last week’s collections corner featured a trade card that was distributed by Howell’s Drug Store. This week, we feature an image of Howell’s c. 1890. The back portion of the building began its existence, circa 1873, as a pharmacy. By 1882, a much larger building was constructed and occupied by H G. Howell’s Drugstore. From 1906-1922, the building housed Millard W. Golder’s Drugstore. Following Golder’s, David Rothman moved the young Rothman’s Department Store from the north side of the street into this building. After close to 100 years, the building was sold by the Rothman family and now operates as Southold General, a café and general store.  

September 17, 2021
Howells Trade Card

This trade card came from H.G. Howell’s Drug Store which was located on the Main Rd. in Southold during the late 1800’s – circa 1882-1905. Historically, trade cards were used like an advertisement - to help promote products. They would be printed by the manufacturer and distributed through local stores. This one is for Hughes’ Witch Hazel which according to the card can be used for a number of different conditions including toothaches, faceaches, and many others.

September 10, 2021
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Do you ever wonder what a building used to look like? Or what businesses were in it? This familiar building is one of those buildings. Once the site of Reeve Lumber, the building still stands on the south side of the road in Mattituck next to the Mattituck Library. The photo was taken of the structure in 1961. 

September 3, 2021
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Recently, we got an intriguing research request. A museum in Wheeling, West Virginia, wrote to us looking for information on Camp Linsly, which was in our area in 1915. The page pictured above, which notes that the camp was on Southold Bay at Peconic, was attached to the email they sent.

 

After some fruitless research, we were unable to turn up any information on Camp Linsly. However, the second picture showing the water was very, very familiar. After reviewing our postcard collection, we discovered that the view was actually Jockey Creek! And the image was identical to a postcard in our collection. 

 

It appears that the Linsly Military School of Wheeling, West Virginia rented a house on Jockey Creek and advertised it to the parents of their students as a summer school camp. 

 

If anyone has any additional information about Camp Linsly, we are all ears!

 

Email info@southoldhistorical.org or call 631-765-5500 with more information.

August 27, 2021
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This image from the New York Public Library is entitled “Lear Green escaping in a chest.” Some enslaved men and women across Long Island tried to escape by fleeing to the Native American reservations, hiding either in New York City or one of the surrounding colonies, or when possible, heading out to sea. 

 

Often, when people think about the institution of slavery, they envision huge Southern plantations where large numbers of enslaved Africans were brought as laborers. These plantations thrived off the backs of those who were forced to serve. Slavery existed in the North, in New York. on Long Island, and in Southold Town as well. As far back as 1654, Nathaniel Sylvester brought enslaved people from the West Indies to work on his large estate at Sylvester Manor on Shelter Island.

 

We can document that Samuel Landon, who held the position of Southold Town Supervisor for twelve years, enslaved at least five people. The Samuel Landon home (also called the Thomas Moore House) is located on the Maple Lane Complex of Southold Historical Museum. We even know the names of the 5 enslaved people - Zipporah, Prince, Simenne, Caesar, and Condie. We know that Caesar and Condie were the children of Simenne. Also, we know that after Zipporah was manumitted by Henry Landon sometime after he inherited her. However, we know little about the daily life of these five people of Southold.

 

To learn more about Enslavement in Southold, visit the Maple Lane Complex on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4:00pm.

 

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. "Lear Green escaping in a chest." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed August 26, 2021. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47df-79bc-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

August 20, 2021
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This 1938 photo of Woodward Brothers Market was taken by Charles Meredith. The location is just west of the Henry W. Prince Building on the north side of Main Road. The store opened in the late 1930s and was operated by Bill and Stuart Woodward of Mattituck. Prior to the store, the Victorian Fanning House stood on this spot. Later years brought a Royal Scarlet Store to this building (1952), and auto parts store, a café, and it is currently occupied by an Italian Restaurant (Maroni).

 

The lettering on the windows says “Delicatessen” and “Fancy Fruits”. Close examination of the west window, reveals the reflection of the “ Charles F.” and the words “luncheonette” of Kramer’s Drug Store which was directly across the street.

August 13, 2021
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"Potato Sorter"

Wood and Metal

4' x 2'

 

Before potatoes could be shipped, they needed to be picked, cleaned, and sorted. All stages of the harvesting required laborers. Long Island potatoes were a staple, high in demand, especially during the years surrounding WWII.

 

This hand-operated potato sorter is from the Leslie Wells Farm in Aquebogue. The machine separates the smaller potatoes or "chatts" from the larger potatoes which could be sold. Various sizes are sorted by using different inserts.

August 6, 2021
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 Workers Playing Cards on the Main Road by William Porter, c2014.

 

The museum’s collection embraces not only the past but also the present. This charming painting, by William Porter shows life in the present day. Men relaxing in the shade, pass time by playing cards. In viewing the work, you can almost feel the heat of the summer’s day. 

July 20, 2021
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Southwold, England 

Jean Barber, 1986

 

The name of our community, Southold, which was founded by Reverend John Youngs, is a variation of the town where he came from in England - Southwold. Like many communities in England, Southwold consists of tightly packed houses surrounded by sprawling countryside. 

 

Southwold was first mentioned in 1086 when the Domesday Book states that Southwold was a fishing port. Three years before Columbus came to the New World, in 1489, Southwold received a town charter from King Henry VII. 



Located along part of the southern edge of the North Sea, the municipality also has a lighthouse. This painting by Jean Barber shows the view of the lighthouse from North Parade, a street that runs along the waterfront. Unlike our Horton Point Lighthouse in Southold, New York, the Southwold lighthouse does not stand on the shoreline. The Southwold lighthouse is erected one block inland, surrounded by houses and businesses.

July 23, 2021
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Snuff Box

 

 Today, Southold High School’s year book is entitled The Snuffbox. However, when the school first started publishing yearbooks, it took a while before the school settled on one name. The earliest Southold High School yearbook we have in our collections is The Oracle from 1908. But we also have The Comet from 1911, The Sphinx from 1913, The Zenith from 1916, The Patriot from 1918, The X-ray from 1922, and The Owl from 1923. The first Snuffbox appeared in 1924, and the name has stuck ever since. 

July 16, 2021
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Reichert Family Barn

 

This historic barn was built around 1750 on a farm in the Pine Neck area of Southold. In 1961, the Breidtstadt sisters, the last owners of the farm, gave the barn to the museum. The only way to move the structure safely was to completely disassemble it. The building and its foundation was then carefully reassembled at the Maple Lane Complex.

  

Today, the barn houses a transportation exhibit, featuring carriages and sleighs from the North Fork. The Barn Annex was built in 1966 to house small farm equipment and handmade tools. It also contains a carpenter shop exhibit.

June 25, 2021
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Historic Culinary Traditions

 

During the 19th century butter molds or stamps were common in many houses. This stamp was carved by Captain Henry Green for his wife Roxanna in 1850. The stamp, which is more than an inch in diameter, was created to decorate the butter before it was served at the table. 

June 18, 2021
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This 1931 photo by Charles Meredith looks west from just past the intersection of Main Road and Youngs Avenue in Southold. 

 

There are some familiar sights like the Southold Savings Bank, now the Southold Town Annex. Just past the bank is the Prince House which is no longer existent and the Prince Store/Building which today is part of Southold Historical Museum. 



On the other side of the street is the Socony service station and the Van Deusen house, which later lost its cupola and gained a large brick extension across the front. Beyond that you can see the building that became Rothman’s Department store, which today is part of Einstein Square. 

June 4, 2021
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Aerial view of Southold and Bayview in the 1930s

 

 This image shows how much our area has changed in the last 90 years. As you can see, Southold was intensely agricultural, with the vast majority of land being farmed. The Main Road is centered in the image and can be identified by the line of trees that shaded the road. The little round white circle in the foreground is the intersection of Boisseau and the North Road. 

May 28, 2021
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This late 19th century image was from the Corey Family. It was very common for clubs or other groups to rent one of the local sailboats to take them for a sail for the day. Sometimes the voyage would have a destination such as the South Fork; other times the boat would meander around Peconic Bay. 

May 28, 2021
Poggatticut Hotel fire on Shelter Island

The group of men in this image are all working together to work a pumper at the Poggatticut Hotel fire on Shelter Island. The hotel which overlooked the North Ferry, had several names over the years, Manhansett House being the most popular of its names. In 1922, the upper reaches of the building caught fire. The fire was so large, that the Greenport Fire Department brought over three pumpers and men to help fight the flames. Many of the guest rooms were ruined either by the fire or by the water pumped to stop the conflagration. 

May 14, 2021
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Southold 1909, E. Belcher Hyde Map

 

Sometimes it is surprising when a road is missing on a map. If you look at this image, notice that Traveler Street (spelled with two Ls) ends at Beckwith Avenue. The roadway was only extended in 1970 – as a way to relieve summer traffic woes. 

May 7, 2021
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1961 Southold Town Clerk’s Office

 

At one point, the town offices were located in multiple buildings across Southold town. This building was originally built in 1871 as the Presbyterian Chapel on the Main Road in Southold. In the 1960s, it was the Southold Town Clerk’s office. The building was moved around the time when the Southold Town Hall was built (circa 1976). It is now situated on Travelers Street, east of Southold Post Office.

APRIL 23, 2021
Phil Weckesser’s Gas Station, Store, and

In 1937, Phil Weckesser’s Gas Station, Store, and Tavern was located on the North Side of Main Rd. in Southold. The site sold Gulf gasoline, candy, and Breyer’s ice cream. On the right was Phil’s tavern. The Tavern later moved across the street to the corner of Main and Hobart. Today, delis occupy both of these locations.

APRIL 16, 2021
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This is a photograph of two artists, William Ritschel (1864-1949) and Orlando Rouland, A.N. A. (1871-1945). In the summer of 1899, they decided that it would be a novel adventure to live on the wreck of the barge Escort. The wreck was just west of Goldsmith Inlet on the shores of the Long Island Sound in Peconic. Even though the wreck was tilted over on one side, the artists still managed to live and paint on it, as well as host local artists for social gatherings.

APRIL 9, 2021
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 Are there still some that recall the Cutchogue Railroad Station?  This photo from 1937 shows the second station house to serve Cutchogue.  In 1962, the station and stop were decommissioned by the Long Island Rail Road due to dwindling ridership.

APRIL 2, 2021
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This interior photo of the First Presbyterian Church of Southold shows a sanctuary that looks somewhat different than today. In the late 1800s, the church had an impressive pipe organ in the front of the sanctuary. The First Presbyterian Church of Southold was not the only church to have this layout. Orient Congregational Church and Orient Methodist Church also had their pipe organs in the front of the church during this time period. The idea was that music was such an integral part of the service that its creation should be “showcased” in the sanctuary during the service.

March 26, 2021
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John Holland (1840-1914) is considered by many to be the father of the modern submarine. While he lived and worked in New Jersey, Holland established a workshop in New Suffolk to test his inventions. 

 

In this circa 1900 photo by Fred Strickland, Percy Tuthill stands next to one of Holland’s submarines along the shoreline of Peconic Bay. 

March 19, 2021
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This black and white photo by Charles Corey was taken between 1880 and 1910 at the Southold Train depot. Workers are unloading barrels of cauliflower from the wagons onto the station platform. The barrels are heading to New York City markets. 

March 12, 2021
WCTU member Ella Boldry Hallock portrait

March is Women’s History Month! 

 

Did you know that the women's suffrage movement was a decades-long fight to win the right to vote for women in the United States. It took activists and reformers 80+ years to win that right. 

 

At a time when suffragists were viewed as "Radicals" by some, and thought to alienate many American women, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was considered a more traditional and modest organization for women to join at the time. After 1891, the WCTU adopted women’s right to vote as part of their platform. The thought was that the right to vote could help them achieve their temperance agenda. The Southold WCTU petitioned their congressman to support bills in accordance with their movement. 

 

Passed by Congress June 4, 1919 and ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote.



Ella Boldry Hallock, the mother of Southold Historical Society’s founder Ann Currie-Bell, was a member of Southold WCTU. 

March 4, 2021
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Some of the 19th-century elections would be considered as rough and tumble as our more recent elections. This political cartoon in our collection is a local copy of one by Edward W. Clay entitled Notice to Quit, March 4th 1841. 

 

The image is of the eviction of Martin Van Buren from the White House by his Presidential successor William Henry Harrison. Harrison is perhaps most well-known for spending the shortest amount of time in office. He spent one month as President before dying of pneumonia. 

February 26, 2021
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1936, Mattituck Mill and Iron Swivel Bridge

 

Built in 1821, the Mattituck mill served the farmers in the area for eighty-four years. When its long time miller, Joshua Terry, died in 1905, the mill was soon converted into a bar and restaurant by Otto Mandefrau, who also started encouraging customers to sign their names on the beams and shingles inside the building. 

February 19, 2021
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November 15, 1955

 

This photo is of Southold Savings Bank before the extension was added to the back of the building. The bank built this building and moved into it in 1928. The bank’s first floor was one wide open room with the safe and a horseshoe counter in the center of the room. The back of the building had a partial second floor with a meeting room for the Trustees. 

February 12, 2021
Helen Kroeger painting 1892-1986 “Februa

Helen Kroeger (1892-1986)

 

Helen Kroeger was a part of Caroline (“Dolly”) Bell’s merry band of friends and artists who crisscrossed the North Fork seeking ever more beautiful vistas for their plein air painting excursions. One can only begin to imagine the painting, critiquing and picnicking that took place on these artistic adventures.

 

Helen Kroeger was born in New York City, where she first trained as a schoolteacher. She then studied at the venerable Art Student’s League, under the guidance of such important painters as George Grosz and Frank Vincent du Monde. Kroeger, who is sometimes classified as a “Peconic Impressionist,” actually painted in a broad range of styles, from traditional landscapes to an almost expressionistic paintings, always with a light and elegant touch paired with a keen and discerning eye. Like many of her peers, she painted landscapes in Pennsylvania and seascapes in Gloucester, Massachusetts. She began visiting and painting on the North Fork in the 1930’s.

 

In New York, in the early in the 1940’s, she met Otto Kurth, a successful, Munich-born illustrator and painter of maritime scenes. Kurth was married and never divorced, but moved to Mattituck with Helen Kroeger permanently in the 1960’s. They built a life and a home and a studio, known as “The Anchorage” there. They became an intrinsic part of the artists’ community on the North Fork. Helen became especially close to Caroline Bell, who lived nearby in Mattituck.

 

When Kurth’s wife Julia died in 1965, he and Helen finally married. Tragically, he died just a few weeks after they wed.

 

Helen Kroeger was listed in the Blue Book of American Painters and showed her work frequently at both the Old Town Arts and Crafts Guild and the Little Gallery in Mattituck She also exhibited her work at other important venues, including the Museums at Stony Brook (today’s Long Island Museum) and the Guild Hall in East Hampton and at other venues across Long Island. She continued to teach and paint in Mattituck until her death in 1986.

February 5, 2021
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While searching in a drawer for something else, this very interesting poster popped up.

 

In 1852, the LIRR ran a special train to bring people from the East End of Long Island into New York City to see the Fair of the American Institute, which some consider a precursor to the World’s Fair and to see the Cattle, Horse and Pig Show. The Fair of the American Institute took place at Castle Garden at The Battery (today known as Castle Clinton National Monument), and the Cattle, Horse and Pig Show was held at Madison Cottage which soon after became the site of Franconi’s Hippodrome and later the Fifth Avenue Hotel.

 

The train left Greenport at 9 A.M. on October 21st. The return ride was at 9 A.M October 22 or 3:45 P.M. October 23. The cost for the round trip into the city set riders back $1.00 in 1852. Wow!

January 29, 2021
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Summer 1961 - Southold Town Beach

 

The small white building at the edge of the parking lot is Jack’s Shack, known for providing snacks and burgers to hungry beach goers. Not only has Jack’s Shack disappeared, but a good portion of the shoreline in the background is also now gone. 

January 22, 2021
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Greenport Theatre Poster, 1941

 

While television existed, the theater was still the place people went to see the latest films from Hollywood. If you stopped in at Greenport Theatre sometime during March or April 1941, you could have seen one of the following shows:

 

Footsteps in the Dark – a respected investment advisor (Errol Flynn) has a double life as a mystery writer and ends up investigating the murder of a client. 

 

So Ends our Night – Three German refugees (Frederick March, Margaret Sullavan, and Glenn Ford) from the war who are hiding, fearing deportation from the U.S.

 

Land of Liberty – a 1939 documentary that traces the history of the United States. 

 

Blondie Plays Cupid – 1940 comedy based on the cartoon character Blondie and Dagwood, played by Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake. In the film (one of 28 made) Blondie meets a couple (Charlie and Millie) who need her help to elope. 

January 15, 2021
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Four-mule Wagon at Camp Wikoff

 

Have you ever heard of Camp Wikoff in Montauk? Following the Spanish-American War, soldiers were sent to quarantine and convalesce at Camp Wikoff before rejoining the civilian population. The remote location was considered to be ideal to isolate these men. Unfortunately, the camp conditions became somewhat controversial at the time, but local residents from East Hampton came to the aid as nurses.

 

Frank K. Hartley, a photographer of Greenport, made a trip out to Camp Wikoff. This photo, which he took of the Four-Mule Wagon, is part of the collection of Southold Historical Society. It sure makes you realize how far military vehicles have come since 1898! 

January 8, 2021
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Did you know that the first photographs were taken 30 years before the American Civil War? It wasn’t until the war that the medium was popularized in the United States. 

 

In 1839, Louis Daguerre introduced the daguerreotype to an interested audience in Paris. Henry Fitz, Jr. was one of the people who attended Daguerre’s lecture. Intrigued by the phenomenon of capturing images from life, Fitz brought the technology back to the United States and began experimenting. 

 

This image is a copy of one of the first photographs ever taken in the United States. The subject is Henry Fitz, Jr. himself! The original daguerreotype is now in the Smithsonian, but Southold Historical Society has copies of Fitz’s early images of himself and his family.   

December 18, 2020
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This is a program from a 1916 play “Esmeralda” that was performed at Belmont Hall in Southold. Belmont Hall, which was the twin of the building that currently houses Academy Printing, stood on the plot of land across from today’s Southold Free Library. Currently, the space is occupied by a town parking lot. At the turn of the century, Belmont Hall was Southold’s Lyceum, a place where people could come to hear lectures as well as to see plays and musicals. The Lyceum movement ended around the Great Depression.

 

It is fascinating to examine the businesses that supported the program. How many do you recognize? In 1916, the Bank of Southold stood across the street from Belmont Hall and the Southold Hotel stood on the northwest corner of Youngs and the Main Road. 

December 11, 2020
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Can you guess what this artifact might be used for? 



It’s a sausage stuffer. You would grind the meat, blend it, and use this device to stuff it into the sausage casings. Do you stuff your sausages today? Most of us do not, but I bet those that do have a more modern utensil (like maybe a stand mixer attachment). 

December 4, 2020
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This stylish 1910 ladies coat has a specialized purpose - it’s a duster. Dusters were developed for use in cars, in the days before roads were paved and before cars were enclosed! The coat, which is very light-weight, was created to keep the dust off of ladies clothes as they rode in the newest transportation technology. This particular duster belonged to Anna Billard Wells. 

November 18, 2020
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New York began requiring dog owners to get a yearly permit in 1894. Dog licenses came in a variety of shapes, from butterflies (as pictured here) to circles, crosses, or hearts. This dog license from Southold was issued in 1908. 

November 11, 2020
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When this first came into the historical society we said - what in the world is it? Turns out this was used to sew closed bags of potatoes on the Jenning’s farm in Southold. 



Unfortunately, we know what is does but not what it is called. So, we have tentatively decided to name it as a Potato Baler. If you have a more precise name for it please let us know!

November 4, 2020
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Before 1862, the US government was not the only organization printing currency! Any organization could print money and circulate it. Prior to the Civil War, local banks and even hometown businesses would print and distribute their own money. Citizens regularly checked their local newspapers to find out the current “value” of the bills before using them. This five dollar bill was printed in 1853 by the Cochituate Bank of Boston, MA. The bank was incorporated in 1849, but failed in 1854. It was used locally. This bill possibly survived because the bank went out of business a year after it was printed and could no longer be redeemed. The last owner of the bill, who lived in Southold, had no way to pass it along or redeem it and probably tucked it away in hopes that it would someday be of use. 

October 30, 2020
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The title of this photo is, “Harvesting Wheat”, 1946. It brings to mind how fast technology has changed our lives. Today, this harvest would be baled by the harvesting machines and neatly stacked on the trucks. 

 

Unfortunately, the trucks are a little too far away to identify the farm. But this photo, taken by Charles Meredith, is quintessential “North Fork”.

October 23, 2020
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A MYSTERY!!



Late last year, two cardboard fruit baskets were donated to the Historical Society for the collection. The baskets are wonderful local representations of the farming aspects of Southold. Unfortunately, we have been unable to find any information on D & B Fruit Farms of Southold. If you know anything about this farm, give us a call or email us at info@southoldhistorical.org

October 16, 2020
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A Famous Family Visits…

 

Sometimes people contact the Historical Society to let us know they have something related to our history but are not yet ready to donate. Last year, we were contacted by a former camper at Pinecrest Dunes. He sent the picture that you see above… It took a couple of months, but happily he decided to send us the notecard the image was on! For those too young to recognize the family, the Munsters were a popular TV sitcom about a wholesome family of “monsters” that while unusual in appearance, were in behavior the typical American family. The show ran from 1964-1966. The show starred Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Butch Patrick, and Pat Priest.  

 

Apparently, Pinecrest Dunes in the 1960s had a “visit” from the famous family. The camp vehicle was pressed into service. Camp counselors and Dave Struber, our donor, who was selected to be Eddie Munster, were put into costume and then the “family” hopped into the car and not only visited the camp but also toured Southold!

October 9, 2020
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Photo: Sunrise Hotel, Southold 1949. 

Although the door has been moved and there have been some changes to the façade, this building is fairly recognizable. It is the current North Fork Table and Inn. After its time as the Sunrise Hotel, this second empire building became the Southold Inn. The owner Dom Zito sold it in 1975 to Robert and Christine Hascoat who turned it into La Gazelle. It then became Coeur Des Vignes owned by George, Donna Marie and Arie Pavlou. In most recent years, the building has been owned by and operated as the popular North Fork Table and Inn.

October 2, 2020
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Wendy Prellwitz (1950--)

 

More than a century separates the painter Wendy Prellwitz from her great-grandparents, artists Henry and Edith Mitchill Prellwitz, who were key among the founders of the “Peconic School.” Wendy works in their studios in Peconic and lives in High House, the home they once shared, high on a bluff overlooking Great Peconic Bay. One can easily sense that she feels informed and inspired by them both. Like her forbearers, Peconic is the place where she continues to evolve as an artist. Thanks to a careful typescript written by her grandfather, Edwin Prellwitz, we today know of the comings and goings of many of the original artists who settled on the North Fork. 

 

Growing up in Pittsburgh, Wendy painted and drew constantly. She attended Rhode Island School of Design and went on to become an architect in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Yet somehow the art of her great-grandparents and the lure of Peconic were always in her mind. She and her father, retired engineer Sam Prellwitz, realized that the studios housed an unknown treasure-trove of paintings by Henry and Edith. Wendy promoted the “discovery,” resulting in exhibits of these previously hidden works, at The Museums at Stony Brook and the Spanierman Gallery in NYC.

 

Wendy Prellwitz paints outdoors and in Henry’s studio, inspired by her great-grandparents’ palettes and visions. Not content to record just what she sees, Wendy is constantly thinking about the qualities of light and hue, of movement and of stillness. Inevitably, many of Henry and Edith’s subjects — docks, boats, fields, and the area’s unique light — are echoed in her work. Yet Wendy is a thoroughly modern artist, creating strong and expressive landscapes that reach toward abstraction. Water is a preoccupation. She reveres “its impermanence yet endurance ... the sea’s cyclical certainty of rise and fall, and the vast, boundless quality of an infinite beyond.” 

 

As an active and innovative printmaker, Wendy is always experimenting, often applying printmaking techniques to her paintings. For Wendy Prellwitz, making art yields a sense of discovery, “that wonderful sense of surprise.” 

 

Scientists have not yet discovered the gene for art making, but clearly it’s in Wendy Prellwitz’s DNA. She notes, “In Peconic, I wake up to golden dawn light spilling over the bay into my bedroom, and walk on the beach in the morning, soaking in the atmosphere and light effects. Feeling the sun on my skin, watching the waves, ripples, and tide turning, noticing the reflections of clouds — every day is different.” 

September 25, 2020
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Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door… 

 

The history of mechanical mousetraps appears to start after the Civil War. This multi directional mousetrap takes the guesswork out of which way to place the trap. Don’t ask us how it works – we have never tried to set it. 

September 18, 2020
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If you have ever visited the Reichert Family Barn at the Southold Historical Society Museum Complex, you might have noticed this barrel sitting quietly in the corner of the annex. Unassuming in appearance, the barrel is reputed to be one of the earliest items in the collection. According to the records of the Society, Daniel Horton who donated the barrel in 1960, stated that the family believed the barrel was used by Barnabas Horton during his journey from England to the New World. 

September 11, 2020
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A challenge to our regulars!  Do you recognize this room?  Do you know the furniture?

 

Although the room has changed some over the years, this is indeed the parlor of the Ann Currie-Bell house.  Today, the chair and settee have beige upholstery.  Now does it look familiar?

 

Notice the stained glass window on the west wall.  We had thought a couple of years ago about reproducing the window that appears in the photo, but alas it was too much money!  Perhaps one day?  

September 4, 2020
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Have you ever driven down the North Road and wondered what it looked like before it was widened?  Or where the original road was?  

 

This 1965 photograph in our collection answers both questions. Looking east, the two lane paved road is what later became the west bound lanes of today’s four lane divided highway. 

 

The red barn on the right side of the photo still stands, but the old Wickham house that once stood in front of it was moved to the Cutchogue-New Suffolk Historical Council before the road was widened.  Also interesting to note is that the road was not Route 48 at that time. It was called Route 27!  

August 28, 2020
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When was the last time any of us got together for a beach picnic like this! 

This photo, circa 1935, depicts a picnic feast at the beach up in Peconic Inlet. Joseph Hallock is on the left in the chair with a fedora; Tom Currie-Bell is next to him; and Ann Currie-Bell is just in front of them with the stocking cap. Also, pictured are Genevieve Albertson, Ethel Dickerson and Adelaide Hill. This looks like a wonderful day out - with dessert on the menu! 

August 21, 2020
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This photo depicts Main Road Southold, circa 1890. Note how quiet the corner of Youngs Avenue and Main Road is! The Southold Hotel is in the foreground. Next door is the Henry W. Prince family house, and just west of that is his brick store that the Historical Society currently occupies. 

August 14, 2020
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Irving Ramsey Wiles (1861-1948) was one of the most important American Impressionists and portrait painters of his day. Art was in his DNA; his father, Lemuel Maynard Wiles, was also a widely acclaimed and exhibited artist. 

 

Wiles was born in Utica, New York. He first came to the North Fork at the invitation of Edward August Bell, who was instrumental in starting what was to become the Peconic School, a loosely associated group of important painters who fell in love with our area’s bays, creeks, and Sound-front, our harbors and fields and woodlands. Like the many painters who followed the original group, Wiles was enchanted by the North Fork’s ever-changing light, as it sweeps from Sound to Bay.

 

His life as an artist began as a student of William Merritt Chase, with whom Wiles began to study when he was a boy of twelve. At New York City’s Art Students League, he studied with such important artists as Thomas Dewing. Later, he studied in Paris with none other the Carolus-Duran, the teacher and mentor of John Singer Sargent. 

 

Starting in 1895, along with his father, Wiles began a summer painting school in Peconic. The Old Mill at Goldsmith Inlet was a favorite spot for the Wiles and their students to paint.

 

After staying in varying hamlets on the North Fork, Wiles bought a 10-acre bay-front stretch along Indian Neck, where he built a cottage and several studio buildings. There, he and his father continued to paint and to teach. He also taught at the Art Students League and the National Academy, of which he was an important member.

 

He painted society portraits, portraits of important politicians and of major performing artists. But it is for his beautiful, contemplative landscapes, domestic scenes and maritime paintings, especially of scallop boats, that Wiles is best remembered today. 

 

Wiles had one enormous and tragic flaw: When it came to money, he was hopelessly profligate. He died penniless, supported by his daughter, the artist Gladys Lee Wiles, in Peconic, in 1948.

August 7, 2020
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Yes, the color of the photo is actually blue! This is a cynotype of one of the three fire departments that once protected Southold hamlet from fire. The Protection Engine Company’s fire station stood on Beckwith Avenue. The second floor of the building was a meeting room

 

The fire company moved out in 1937, when the three fire departments consolidated together to form the Southold Fire Department and their new brick building across from Maple Lane was completed. The Beckwith station still stands minus its tower on the corner of Beckwith and Travelers Street. 

July 31, 2020
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Here is a photograph of the Southold Town School District #7 (Peconic) School bus from 1937.

 

Pictures of workhorse vehicles such as this school bus are rare. If anyone remembers the Southold Town School bus, please let us know what color it was.  

July 24, 2020
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Caroline Bell

 

Caroline Bell (1874-1970) known as “Dolly,” was a North Fork hunter/gatherer. She hunted beautiful outdoor vistas to paint and gathered a like-minded group of students and artists to accompany her on her adventures.

Born into a renowned family of studio photographers, Bell’s family moved around a lot and lived mostly in hotels. Childhood summers were often spent in Mattituck. After her mother died in 1907, Bell moved to Mattituck, where she eventually built a home and studio.

Initially self-taught, she studied painting with Edward August Bell and Whitney Hubbard. Later, she became associated with painters in Rockport and Gloucester in Massachusetts, studying with Emile Gruppe and Anthony Thieme.

As a teacher, Bell never charged for lessons, living on family money and sales from her work. She would determine a North Fork spot to paint, and then place each student at what she felt was an ideal vantage point. She exhibited widely on Long Island, in New England and in New York City, and was a member of many prominent art associations.

Caroline Bell was strongly drawn painting to boats and boatmen, and it is for these works that she is most remembered. She traveled widely, but always returned home to her beloved Mattituck.

July 17, 2020
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Not many remember this fairytale looking house when it originally sat at the end of Maple Lane in Southold. Nicknamed Wormwood Hall, it was called Rosemary by the William Joost family that owned the house.

 

When the family began summering here from Brooklyn in 1895, they purchased the S.B. Terry property, subdivided, and sold most of the land to the Bliss family. The section they kept had a small cottage which they enlarged and turned into the fairytale building you see here in 1908. The home was later floated by barge to Bayshore Road in Greenport where it remains today. 

July 10, 2020
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This photograph depicts the East Marion-Orient Causeway, in 1961, before the seawall was built. 

 

In the foreground the waves have cut away enough of the land that the utility pole is in danger of collapse. Lester Albertson, the Town Supervisor at the time, requested the concerning area be photographed. The barrier and wall were installed along most of the length of the causeway to hold back the erosion. 

July 6, 2020
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Thomas Currie-Bell

 

Thomas Currie-Bell (1873-1946) was the husband of Southold Historical Society’s benefactor and founder, Ann Currie-Bell. He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and studied there at the Royal Scottish Academy and in London at the Royal Academy of Art, where he specialized in portraiture. 

 

He met Ann Hallock in France in 1928. He was there painting, and she was traveling with her parents. The following year, he came to Southold, and they were married. He built a studio filled with windows and skylights on Hallock family property at Paradise Point. As both a painter and a magazine illustrator, he met with considerable success and exhibited widely, both in Europe and throughout the U.S. Ann and Tom wintered in Florida, where his work was included in many art exhibits. His passion was racing his boat, the “Bluebell,” leading to his local nickname, “the Skipper.” Ann and Tom Currie-Bell had no children. But she was deeply committed to the history of Southold. She was both visionary and generous, leaving her charming Victorian home, its contents, and its adjacent property to create and endow the Southold Historical Society. The house and its property, along with Tom’s paintings in our collection, are her important and enduring legacy in our town.

July 4, 2020
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The United States flag with 13 stars and 13 stripes was adopted by the Continental Congress in 1777 and was used until 1795 when Kentucky and Vermont became states. This flag was found by the Latson family in their grandparent's Southold home and donated to the Society in 2009.

June 26, 2020