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This week in Shelter Island history

Old, open book with a damaged cover.


China downed two U.S. Navy bombers that had strayed into its airspace following a raid on North Vietnam and the only survivor was held by China until 1973.

Muhammad Ali, at age 25, married his second wife, Belinda Boyd, then 17, and she converted to Islam taking the name Khalilah Ali and bore four children before the couple divorced in 1977.

Judy Garland was on Broadway in “At Home in the Palace” that played a limited engagement of 24 performances at the Palace Theater.

“The Trip,” a psychedelic movie written by Jack Nicholson and starring Peter Fonda and Susan Strasberg, was pulling in audiences throughout the United States.

And on Shelter Island . . .


Historical Society seeks to purchase Havens House

It was 50 years ago that the Shelter Island Historical Society was contemplating the purchase of the Havens Homestead, one of the oldest remaining structures on the Island. The house was built in 1743 and served the Havens family for generations.

The owner 50 years ago was Mrs. Benjamin Sherman, who told the committee investigating the possible purchase that it had been her hope to have the building preserved as an historic landmark.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, Havens House remains the Historical Society’s headquarters and an addition is under construction. It will add more display space; room for its staff to preserve records and materials not on display; and room for researchers to study files that tell the story of Shelter Island.


Bausman elected chair of Island Chapter of Red Cross

In August 1987  members of the Shelter Island Chapter of the American Red Cross re-elected Joyce Bausman as its chairperson. Ms. Bausman was the third generation of her family to serve in Emergency Medical Services and had first been elected chair of the local unit in 1976.

Under her leadership, she guided the local chapter from the Suffolk County Red Cross to the Long Island chapter of the Red Cross and later guided the local chapter to have the town take over the Shelter Island Emergency Medical Services, breaking away from the American Red Cross.

POSTSCRIPT: Ms. Bausman turned over the job to Detective Sergeant Jack Thilberg in 2013.


Town Board ponders exceptions to amplified music

An ordinance banning amplified music above 50 decibels was being reconsidered in terms of a possible amendment that could allow application of a permit for municipally sponsored events or charitable events.

It was considered an oversight not to allow applications for exemptions pertaining to amplified music for special events and that was what brought the issue before the Town 20 years ago.

There was feedback, so to speak, on both sides of the issue at a hearing in August of 1997, including those who called for stricter enforcement of the existing law. Those favoring an exemption for charitable events asked that information be provided on how much money was going to the named charity and what cutoff time might be listed even for allowing amplified music for such events.

POSTSCRIPT: Existing town code stipulates that noise generated from municipally sponsored or sanctioned events be allowed to apply for exemptions that would be considered on a cast by case basis.


Karen Moran withdrew her name as a Democratic candidate for Town Board in 2007, saying she had “serious problems with the leadership of the Democratic Committee” as well as her two running mates and could no longer be a part of the campaign.

The two running mates she referred to at the time were Jim Dougherty seeking the supervisor’s seat and Glenn Waddington, runningto serve on the Town Board. Both expressed surprise at the withdrawal and Ms. Moran refused further comments on her decision.

Her announcement came too late for the Democrats to put a substitute candidate on the ballot. In November of that year, voters elected Mr. Dougherty and Mr. Waddington and the third seat went to Republican incumbent Peter Reich.

POSTSCRIPT: A late decision in 2015 by Councilman Ed Brown left an open seat that was subsequently filled by Mary Dudley, selected by the rest of the Town Board following interviews with those who expressed interest in serving.

Ms. Dudley, a Democrat, held the seat until the November 2016 election when Republican Amber Brach-Williams ran and was elected.

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