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This week in Shelter Island history

Old, open book with a damaged cover.


The cost of a first class stamp went from 5 to 6 cents.

Dr. Benjamin Spock and Yale Chaplain William Sloan Coffin were among those indicted by a Boston grand jury on charges of conspiracy to encourage violations of the draft law and both were convicted.

Dr. Norman Shumway performed the first United States heart transplant at Stanford University.

The Beatles “Magical Mystery Tour” went to number one on the music charts and stayed there for eight weeks.

Carrie Ann Inaba, American choreographer best known  for her role as a judge on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”  was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.

And on Shelter Island . . .


Lower weight limit on bridge?

Following a major bridge collapse in Ohio that led to Suffolk County banning travel of vehicles weighing more than 5 tons in Shinnecock, Islanders were concerned about the bridge in the Heights that was posted to handle vehicles up to 15 tons. But many vehicles along Bridge Street were known to weigh as much as 36 tons.

The bridge has long since been replaced.

POSTSCRIPT: The concern these days is on the condition of roads. For several years, Highway Superintendent Jay Card Jr. has been trying to get enough money in his budget for repaving.  But he has also identified some roads that will have to be replaced and others that should be done  before they fall into disrepair and would also need repaving.

In the last year, the Highway Department has received more money and begun repaving. But the superintendent is hoping the new administration will create a capital budget that will enable the department to get all town roads on a 20-year maintenance schedule.


Southold Savings Bank, NFBC subsidiary announce merger

A Northfork Bancorporation subsidiary and Southold Savings Bank announced a merger at the start of 1988. Plans called for each bank to maintain its own Board of Directors. But John Kanas would remain as president and CEO of the overall operation.

POSTSCRIPT: Years later, Capital One would purchase North Fork Bancorporation and since then, it has closed its main back office operation in Mattituck and shut various branches throughout the country.

In November, the Shelter Island branch of Capital One closed its doors, announcing that its customers could still be served by nearby branches on the North or South forks.


Fire Commissioners have new board

 The first full year of the newly merged Heights and Center fire departments was 1998, and while the merger had occurred in October 1997, commissioners from both separate departments had continued to serve, pending the reorganization in January 1998.

The newly elected Board of Fire Commissioners took their place in January 1998 with Andy Steinmuller leading them and Phil Power serving as deputy chairman.

POSTSCRIPT: Today there is a single five-member Board of Fire Commissioners. Only one seat was up in December and Richard Surozenski ran for reelection without opposition.


Changing of the guard

Alfred Kilb Jr. retired as supervisor amid accolades from the Town Board and Suffolk County Legislature. Over a period of 16 years, he had served the town as a councilman, fire chief, highway superintendent and then town supervisor. He had served only one two-year term in the top job.

POSTSCRIPT: Coming in on the heels of Mr. Kilb’s term, Jim Dougherty took over the supervisor’s role and  now has left after serving for 10 years, one of the longest stretches of any town supervisors.

Gary Gerth was elected to succeed Mr. Dougherty.

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