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This week in Shelter Island history

Old, open book with a damaged cover.


The future King of England Prince Charles joined the Cambridge Footlights and tread the boards as an actor along with many famous actors who got their start in that club, but alas, his future lay elsewhere.

Baseball legend Mickey Mantle hit his final career home run, number 536.

President Richard Nixon appeared on the “Rowan & Martin Laugh-In” show offering the program’s signature, “Sock it to me” as his one liner.

In the United States, people were listening to “Harper Valley P.T.A.” by Jeannie Riley.

“The Case Against Congress” by Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson was among the best selling books of its time.

And on Shelter Island  . . .


Yacht Club seeks dredging, but not spoils

It was 50 years ago that Shelter Island Yacht Club officials were seeking dredging of Dering Harbor, but were resisting accepting the spoils from the work. Then, Commodore Henry Bull sent a letter to the Town Board asking that dredging take place in the vicinity of the club when other dredging was taking place in the area.

Initially, the club had previously accepted spoils from dredging, but permission was withdrawn because club officials feared that putting spoils at Chequit Point would ultimately result in those spoils washing down into the docking area.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, the town is hoping dredging will take place around Reel Point’s opening to Coecles Harbor where the town plans to use those spoils as part of the effort to shore up Reel Point. Depending on the timing, the town is hoping to store the spoils on Reel Point but may need to place them elsewhere if timing of the overall Reel Point project can’t be coordinated with the dredge.


County Center in Riverhead names for Evans Griffing

Thirty years ago the County Center in Riverhead was named in honor of  Evans Griffing, former Shelter Island Town supervisor, who had been chairman of the Board of Supervisors, which  preceded the County Legislature.

Then county legislator and now Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) spoke at the dedication, noting that Mr. Griffing had been a strong advocate of home rule and had worked with him in an effort to create a separate Peconic County.

POSTSCRIPT: From time to time, the effort to create Peconic County is raised as public officials note the differences in interests between western county residents and those on the East End.


Islanders weigh library expansion plans

Officials at the Shelter Island Library spent time in the fall of 2008 rallying support for a $4.5 million expansion project that was to enlarge the space by 75 percent and paid for it through annual tax levies over a 20-year period. A vote on the plan and financing was slated for early October, to be followed up in early November with a vote on the library’s budget for 2009.

Voters turned thumbs down on the library expansion project, with 655 rejecting the proposition and only 187 voting in favor. The following month, voters approved the 2009 budget for the library.

A lesser expansion took place in 2012 with funding  from grants, contributions and fundraising activities.

POSTSCRIPT: There are no major capital projects pending for the library. Voters are slated to vote on the budget on Saturday, October 27 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The exact budget hasn’t  been announced, but the legal announcement for the vote said the budget would not exceed  $660,737 or $37,229 more than this year’s budget.

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