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This week in Shelter Island history

PETER REICH PHOTO The Gardiner’s Bay Country Club clubhouse, built in 1926, was demolished in 2005 to make room for a new building.
The Gardiner’s Bay Country Club clubhouse, built in 1926, was demolished in 2005 to make room for a new building.


The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. began the drive in Selma, Alabama, to register black voters.The New York Jets signed Joe Namath to a $400,000 contract.

New York City Police announced there had been a total of 390 murders the previous year.

“Love Potion Number Nine” by The Searchers was at the top of the music charts in the United States while Petula Clark’s “Downtown” was wooing record buyers in the United Kingdom.

“The Agony and the Ecstasy” starring Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison was released by 20th Century Fox.

And on Shelter Island …

Thoughts on what would benefit the town

In a January 2, 1965 editorial, the Reporter suggested a number of changes that could benefit the town. Among them was new playground equipment at town beaches that would make them more attractive to vacationers; installation of floats and diving board towers; new trash receptacles to prompt people to be more tidy; and public sanitary facilities.

There were also suggestions for changes to Route 114 and other roadways that the Reporter said would improve safety; cleanup at the old town dump site; and building and housing codes to ensure that off-Island builders can’t cut corners to underbid local contractors.

POSTSCRIPT: Although it took many years in some cases, a number of the suggestions have been implemented. The town now has building and housing codes in place; the town recycling center is in much better shape; and there is finally a Port-A-Potty in a Bridge Street parking lot.

But that only happened two years ago after many battles with local merchants, particularly Jack Kiffer, owner of the Dory who demonstrated his angst over non-customers asking to use his facilities by posing on a toilet set outside his Bridge Street restaurant and bar.

Town ponders own power possibility

When Shelter Island Power and Light dissolved in 1961, Long Island Lighting Company took over the job of supplying electricity to the Island. But in January 1985, town officials began contemplating the possibility of joining with Southold in a municipal power authority venture.

Southold had already commissioned a $15,000 study of the idea and Shelter Island supervisor George Kontje called it “a damned good idea. We want to look into it, but it’s not something that will happen overnight,” he told the Reporter at the time. That “damned good idea” never came to fruition.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, PSEG, the successor to Long Island Power Authority that followed LILCO is exploring a means of ensuring backup power to the Island either by constructing a substation here — not popular with many locals — or making a second effort to run cables between Shelter Island and Greenport. The first effort conducted by LIPA subcontractor Bortech ended in disaster in August 2013.

Bausman honored by Allstate

Islander Joy Bausman was honored the Allstate Insurance Company with its Good Hands Community Service Award in January 1995 for her service to Shelter Island residents as an ambulance volunteer. Ms. Bausman was active with the American Red Cross and the local ambulance service. In 1993, she was named the Shelter Island Red Cross Chapter Executive, charged with coordinating fund raising, handling finances, purchasing and quarterly reviews.

POSTSCRIPT: Ms. Bausman was named the Reporter’s Person of the Year in January 2014.

Clubhouse just a memory

Ten years ago, the Gardiner’s Bay Country Club clubhouse was demolished to make way for a new structure. Local contractor Peder Larsen oversaw the demolition of the building that dated back to 1926 and his crew carted away the concrete rubble while North Fork Sanitation removed the wood.

A small enclosed structure at the end of what was the original clubhouse served as an office during reconstruction.

POSTSCRIPT: The magnificent structure that now stands at the club was built 10 years ago and continues to serve the needs of members.

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