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This week in Shelter Island history

REPORTER FILE PHOTO The remains of the Artemus Ward boathouse that was destroyed by amateur fireworks in July 1995.

The remains of the Artemus Ward boathouse that was destroyed by amateur fireworks in July 1995.


The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission was established.Maria Callas gave her final operatic performance as Tosca at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

Tennis legend Roy Emerson defeated Fred Stolle in straight sets to win the Wimbledon final.

Wooly Willy was the popular toy for children.

Elvis Presley’s “Crying in the Chapel” was number one on the charts in the United Kingdom.

And on Shelter Island …

Library friends raise money for parking improvements

Fifty years ago, Friends of the Library were holding an auction to raise money to fund paving of the parking area. The same day, the American Legion Post was holding its own clambake fundraiser. The two were scheduled so they wouldn’t conflict with one another. But the back-to-back events were expected to be the largest fund-raising days ever on the Island at the time.

POSTSCRIPT: When voters turned thumbs down on a bond issue for expansion of the basement space at the library a few years ago, the Friends, along with others, raised the money needed to complete that project.

North Ferry looks at staging

Thirty years ago, when the Heights Property Owners Corporation met for its annual meeting, the North Ferry operation was on its agenda. Plans called for both improving the parking area on the Shelter Island side and re-examining the lines both on the Island and in Greenport with an eye to improving the flow.

POSTSCRIPT: This year, North Ferry implemented a plan to stop access to the boat line at peak times from Third Street in Greenport, placing cones halfway across Third Street and posting an employee at Third and Wiggins to ensure vehicles from Third didn’t cut into the line, but were redirected to join the line along Wiggins Street.

The plan has cooled drivers’ tempers and kept vehicles from backing up along Third Street to Front Street in Greenport.

Fireworks catastrophe destroys landmark

It wasn’t the famed Chamber of Commerce Fireworks in early July of 1995, but an amateur display created in Shorewood that was blown by stiff winds and resulted in destroying a Gothic revival boathouse built in 1910 for Artemus Ward.

POSTSCRIPT: Shelter Islanders are a week away from a professional fireworks show produced by Grucci that promises to be both safe and spectacular. This year’s show was organized by a small group of Islanders who didn’t want the tradition to die after the Chamber of Commerce opted to bypass producing the event.

Ticks are making up for cold weather

A brutal winter in 2005 led Islanders to believe they would see a decrease in ticks.

But by July, doctors here had already diagnosed five cases of Lyme disease and many East Enders were heading into Stony Brook University’s lab with ticks they had found on themselves seeking formation about what kind of ticks they were and whether or not they had been infected.

Dr. Kathleen Marshall, who practiced here called it the worst season she had seen and Mashomack Preserve’s outreach and education coordinator said she was surprised that early July numbers of ticks appeared to be surpassing those in May and June.

POSTSCRIPT: Following this year’s frigid winter, Islanders might have again expected fewer ticks, but ice is apparently no deterrent to the disease-carrying critters and while numbers aren’t yet available, experts are reporting plenty of ticks in the area.

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