Sag Harbor in the Great War Exhibit

Several Sag Harbor Historical Society members contributed personal items to add to the Sag Harbor Historical Society’s contributions for Southampton Town Historian Zach Studenroth’s display on Southampton in World War I, 1917-1918. The display, done for the hundredth anniversary of the United States’ entrance into World War I is visible in the Southampton Town Hall on the second floor.

Seven of these items are from SHHS and SHHS Trustees.

Seven of these items are from SHHS and SHHS Trustees.

While items lent by Dorothy Zaykowski, Jack Youngs, and M.A. Rodriguez were credited in the exhibit text by Zach Studenroth, no caption appears for the Blue Star flag lent by Nancy French Achenbach.

Have you heard SHHS on WLNG?

SHHS Trustee Nancy Remkus created a series of timely spots talking about Sag Harbor History called the “Sag Harbor Minute.” Have you heard them on WLNG?

Here’s Nancy and fellow trustee Deanna Lattanzio talking about her family’s history as dairy farmers:

Nancy and Deanna are back again to discuss local farming, including Sag Harbor’s dairy farms and backyard livestock.

Thanksgiving: SHHS & Sag Harbor awarded grants to save Jail Museum!

SHHS Trustee Jean Held and Co-President Jack Youngs just received a $25,000 grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation to restore the Old Jail Museum owned by the village of Sag Harbor and operated by the Historical Society.

Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation Executive Director Kathryn Curran presents the grants to Sag Harbor Mayor Sandra Schroeder and Village Trustee Ken O'Donnell along with SHHS Trustees Jack Youngs and Jean Held.

Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation Executive Director Kathryn Curran presents the grants to Sag Harbor Mayor Sandra Schroeder and Village Trustee Ken O’Donnell along with SHHS Trustees Jack Youngs and Jean Held.

This year, the mold damage inside, combined with water damage at the outer door, made it unsafe for SHHS to open the Old Jail Museum for Harborfest and some of the other traditional fall openings.

A matching grant of $25,000 was awarded to the Village of Sag Harbor by the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation with the intention that this money would also go towards repairing and restoring the Old Jail Museum. Sag Harbor Village’s grant writer, Nicole Christian, not only coordinated the applications for the grant, but she was fundamental in helping to identify a path forward to address this need.

The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation has a 90 million dollar trust, and they give away 6 million dollars each year. The foundation, established in 1987, is named in honor of Robert David Lion Gardiner, the 16th Lord of the Manor of Gardiner’s Island, and a resident of East Hampton Town, who had a strong passion for New York history. More information about the Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation can be found on their website:

Co-president Jack Youngs writes, “The grant is to be used to fix the Jail [Museum] both inside and out…the timetable for completion is July of 2017…” The Sag Harbor Historical Society is deeply grateful for the efforts of the Sag Harbor Village grant writer Nicole Christian, and we are overwhelmed with thanks and gratitude for the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation’s generosity.

Sag Harbor Village's grant writer coordinated applications for the matching grants from the Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation for both the Sag Harbor Historical Society. Here she is with the foundation's Executive Director Kathryn Curran as the grants are awarded.

Sag Harbor Village’s grant writer coordinated applications for the matching grants from the Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation for both the Sag Harbor Historical Society. Here she is with the foundation’s Executive Director Kathryn Curran as the grants are awarded.

We would like to express our thanks to the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation and to Nicole Christian and the Village of Sag Harbor! We look forward to re-opening the repaired jail!

Alexander Hamilton, David Frothingham, and SHHS

This week is the 225th Anniversary of the first copy of Frothingham’s Herald which was printed in Sag Harbor, right near the Annie Cooper Boyd House. The Herald was the first newspaper printed on Long Island, predating the Sag Harbor Corrector by more than 20 years.

For many years, the Herald was believed to have been printed in the Annie Cooper Boyd House, which was sometimes referred to as the Herald House. Annie Cooper Boyd believed her home was the site of Frothingham’s business, and she certainly shared the story with many visitors to her tea room.

Now, how does any of this connect to the “Ten Dollar Founding Father” enjoying a revival thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s play? As politics in New York became more splintered during the Federalist Era, restrictions were placed on what could be printed in the press, and newspapers were the battleground for many of these political fights. Printers and editors of newspapers were often strongly allied with the Federalists or Anti-Federalists. Sag Harbor was a bustling port, about to become one of two official ports of entry for New York.

The printer of the Long Island Herald, David Frothingham, or his columnists didn’t entirely agree with Alexander Hamilton’s Federalists. David Frothingham was arrested for printing material critical of Alexander Hamilton and the Federalist Party under the Alien and Sedition Acts. Frothingham disappeared after his arrest, adding an air of drama and mystery to his story.

SHHS Trustee Barbara Schwartz chased David Frothingham through the archives, trying to determine exactly where he printed his paper, and concluded it was probably across the street from the Annie Cooper Boyd House. This afternoon, SHHS Volunteer Dan Sabloski will share a collection of scanned copies of Frothingham’s paper, the Long Island Herald.

For those of you who can’t make it in person for this surprise pop-up display, the East Hampton Library’s Long Island Collection has digitzed their copies of the Long Island Herald. And you can check out some of the issues Dan Sabloski will be sharing through the East Hampton Library’s website.

Here’s a link to the East Hampton Library’s scan of the very first issue of Frothingham’s Herald, which was printed 225 years ago on May 10, 1791.

“As We See It”

SHHS has run a series of advertisements on preservation in the Sag Harbor Express. Because many of them appeared this Winter when people may have missed the Express, we are reprinting them here.

Here’s the first one:

“As We See It”

The Village of Sag Harbor is confronted by the challenge of un-regulated and un-fettered development” throughout the community. Historic structures and character are at risk of being lost forever.

There is a need to control the treatment of buildings of special architectural or historic distinction and, or, that are of value as a part of the historic background of the Village. Detrimental treatment includes demolition, alteration or extension, and new construction within historic areas. In addition, there is a need to protect the natural environment and our historic waterfront.

The Sag Harbor waterfront depicted on a historic postcard

The Historic District designation, the Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review, and the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan are designed to meet these challenges. With these tools the Village is able to control and manage change in a manner that allows accommodation without being locked into a “museum” mentality.

The Village’s Historic District is nationally recognized: on par with Charleston, South Carolina, Nantucket, Massachusetts, Savannah, Georgia and New Orleans’ Vieux Carre’. It was created through the researching and cataloging of hundreds of buildings, residences ranging from the colonial period to late Victorian, and by providing the documented information necessary to have a historic district placed in the National Register of Historic Places. The role of Village’s Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review is to administer and apply the requisite standards to proposed construction activities in the Historic District.

Our Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan and its companion Harbor Management Plan similarly researched and cataloged the marine history and resources of the Village. The entire Village is contained within the Plan and actions proposed, whether private or public, are to be reviewed to assure that the result will be consistent with the Plan’s Policies and Objectives. The Harbor Committee is tasked with performing this review and to make recommendations to the other Village Boards, including the Board of Trustees.

Sag Harbor Boards should be confidant that they work with the support of local, state and federal law. The task of application is in the hands of our elected officials and appointed boards, which will find that they have all the law and guidelines they need to make responsible decisions. The education and training of board members and their advisors, today and in the future, is the key to our success.

As members of the community we all, residents and those whose livelihood is derived from real estate related activity, have a responsibility to educate ourselves and potential newcomers as to what we value and hold important for our community. Knowing a building’s context and place in the history of the Village and guiding potential actions accordingly will benefit the individual owner and the community as a whole.
Sag Harbor Historical Society

We will continue to post our series “As We See It” here, between other posts.

Event- Save your House!: Historic Preservation Options Explained

SHHS will be co-hosting an event with Peconic Land Trust, Southampton Landmarks & Historic Districts Board, and the John Jermain Memorial Library on April 7th from 3:00-5:00 pm at the Unitarian Church (977 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Tpke.)
We are offering this program free of charge to the public, but it will cost $150 to offer the program, and SHHS and the John Jermain Library are sharing these costs, so we would be grateful for any donations to help with the costs of this program. We hope to be able to offer more programs like this going forward.

There are many options in terms of tax credits and other programs to recognize preservation and conservation, particularly efforts to legally protect a property against development going forward. Peconic Land Trust are local experts on these options, and they have been very successful protecting farmland and open space. Sally Spanburgh and the Southampton Landmarks & Historic Districts Board have been very active in working to research, document, and protect historic buildings and sites threatened by tear-downs, redevelopment, and renovations.

Learn about how you can help protect your house or other houses in the village from becoming the next historic house to be threatened by a renovation or tear down. This is also a great opportunity to learn about resources for renovating, restoring, or preserving your house in a manner sensitive to the valuable historic structure’s integrity.

Click here for directions.

SHHS Trustees Take a Stand on Preservation and Tear Downs

The SHHS Trustees are working on several fronts to expand our preservation in advocacy in a way that will be more than just another loud angry voice, trying to focus on education and partnership building.

Sag Harbor's Historic District has seen many houses partially torn down in recent years.

Our Board’s recent Letter to the Editor of the Sag Harbor Express is printed below. Quotes from our letter were also referenced in this recent article by Sag Harbor Express writer Dawn Watson, titled “Land Ho(ld)!”

Dear Mayor Sandra Schroeder, Village Board of Trustees, Mr. Thiele,
The Trustees of the Sag Harbor Historical Society wish to go on record in support of your efforts to change our existing zoning codes. Our mission statement requires the Historical Society to help foster respect for Sag Harbor’s exceptional heritage. We believe that a community has a right and even an obligation to protect the historic treasures which it has been fortunate enough to inherit. We are profoundly aware of the courage being demonstrated by the Mayor, all of our village Trustees, and the professionals who are working hard to come up with stronger laws in support of that goal. For the many, many people in this community who care about such things, the need to improve our ability to preserve old homes and the feel of Sag Harbor is quite obvious. For them, changes in the size and scale of Sag Harbor’s houses have been rapid, obvious, and, in some instances, wrong. This community also understands that when people have a financial interest in this jumbo sizing activity they will organize in support of their own interests. This is why we believe it is important for us, an organized group of community residents, with a long term commitment to Sag Harbor, should publicly applaud the Board’s efforts.
We recognize that there are inevitable challenges to the preservation of this village, and in the present circumstance those challenges are greater than they’ve ever been before. Money is being spent on paid advertisements and law suits which might erode the fighting instincts of some elected officials. However, we believe that under very trying circumstances, you are demonstrating in a most convincing way that Old Sag Harbor is not yet ready to give up the ghost. We urge you to continue your efforts with full knowledge that you have the support and gratitude of the Sag Harbor Historical Society.
The Trustees of the Sag Harbor Historical Society
Jack Youngs, Diane Schiavoni, Muriel Falborn, Deanna Lattanzio, Jean Held, Barbara Schwartz, Deborah Anderson, Neil Slevin, Ryan Horn, John Borjoren, Nancy Achenbach, Pierce Hance, Joseph Zaykowski, Martha Siegler, David Bray, Andrea Meyer, Christine Roth

SHHS Trustees, and our new part-time office manager, have helped several homeowners research the historic character of their house to help them find the most appropriate ways to add to, preserve and restore their home and property.

1854 Wall & Forrest Map

This Spring, SHHS was given a damaged map from a house in the Historic District that local contractors T & S Mott were working on. The Motts rescued the damaged map that had been glued to a wall, and delivered it studs and wallboard, to an SHHS Trustee’s home. Another SHHS Trustee was able to stabilize and trim the map. SHHS is now in the process of framing the map, which is on view at the Historical Society.

Here’s some images from the mostly-repaired map, awaiting the last bit of preservation-quality framing.
1854 Wall & Forrest map

Can you find your house? Or the Historical Society’s buildings?


1854 Wall & Forrest Map close-ups

Fridays on the Porch Speakers

Our Fridays on the Porch start this coming Friday July 10th. As always, Fridays on the Porch are an informal series with refreshments and a brief program. They are open to the public, and we do not charge admission, although a small donation is greatly appreciated to help offset the costs of hosting the event. All of the “Fridays on the Porch” events take place at 5 pm at the Annie Cooper Boyd House.

Our first program will involve an exhibit of some of the paintings Whitney Hansen painted that are in the new book she and Alex Eames co-authored, Oh, That’s Another Story! Some of the people whose stories are in Alex and Whitney’s book will be present as well.

Our second speaker will be Mark Cappellino, Stormwater Educator from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County Marine Program. Mark will speak to us about how we can help preserve Sag Harbor’s waterfront.

The August Fridays will start out with a program from Bryan Boyhan, editor emertius of the Sag Harbor Express. Bryan will be speaking about on August 7th about some treasures from past issues of the Express connected to our mini-exhibit on Sag Harbor’s favorite badboy poet, George Sterling.

We’ll wrap up on August 21st this year with the popular returning “Show and Tell” program. We encourage you to think about a historic object to bring and share with the group, either asking questions you would like answers to about the object or telling a story about the item.