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From our files: This week in Shelter Island history
10 YEARS AGO
Study looks at spanning the Island with bridge
Shelter Islanders generally react with anger to any suggestion that they be linked to the mainland via a bridge. When a small group of concerned residents got wind that the state- and federally-funded Strategic East End Development Strategies might be exploring such an option, they were burning up phone and fax lines and emailing to alert one another. SEEDS officials were quick to squelch the rumors, noting that while all options pertaining to East End transportation needed to be on the table, there was no serious consideration of a bridge.
POSTSCRIPT: Ten years later, if you leave or return to the Island in a vehicle, its via ferry and no one expects that to change despite ongoing studies of ways to improve East End transportation.
20 YEARS AGO
Historical Society takes Shelter Island back in time
The Shelter Island Historical Society celebrated the 20th anniversary of its “One Day in History” program as members dressed in garb typical of the mid-1600s. They played croquet, demonstrated weaving techniques and displayed various items that help to tell the story of Shelter Island’s early days. And no such celebration would be complete without the sale of boutique items to benefit the society’s coffers.
POSTSCRIPT: This is the first year for new director Nanette Breiner-Lawrenson, a former Island summer and weekend resident, whose life and career took her from her family home in HiLo Shores. While her work as a Tiffany Co. executive sent her to New York City, Boston, New Jersey and eventually Florida, her love for Shelter Island remained in her heart.
35 YEARS AGO
Sun heats Islander’s water
Abraham Pinto of Osprey Road was the first Island resident to install a solar energy hot water heating system on his property. His system used three panels to collect the sun’s energy. Water from his well that started out at 40 degrees was fed into the collectors so that water coming out was heated to 80 to 100 degrees. The hot water fed his electric heaters, raising the temperature to between 130 and 150 degrees. Mr. Pinto’s panels were manufactured by an Israeli firm, but all work of installation — structural, plumbing, electricity — were handled by local companies.
POSTSCRIPT: If Shelter Island was early to the party in 1977, it has been slow to spread the use of solar energy. There are a few business and residential installations, including North Ferry and Shelter Island Hardware on the Island, and there is currently talk about its use at town sites.
50 YEARS AGO
Flushing Lions aid Island library fund
The Flushing Lions Club contributed $50 toward the construction of the Shelter Island Library. The money represented one year’s interest on the Lions Club Rev. Benjamin Mottram Trust Fund deposit. The contribution was arranged by H. Albert Johntra of Shelter Island and Flushing, the son-in-law of the late Rev. Mottram.
POSTSCRIPT: This year, thanks to contributions and a small state grant, the library was able to renovate its downstairs space for community events, book sales and other activities and add an elevator. The project cost about $875,000 compared with the $70,000 it cost to build the original structure back in 1965.