Featured Story

This week in Shelter Island history


The Beatles performed their last live concert, an impromptu event, on the roof of the Apple Corps building in London.

Rod Laver won the Australian Open beating Andrés Gimeno of Spain in what would be the start of a second Grand Slam for the Aussie. Laver would go on to win all four major tennis tournaments, as he had in 1962.

Stage and screen actress Thelma Ritter, who made her screen debut in “Miracle on 34th Street” and would later be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in “All About Eve,” had a heart attack and died within a few days.

O.J.  Simpson, about to graduate from the University of Southern California, was the first draft pick by the Buffalo Bills.

And on Shelter Island . . .


No February school referendum

Rumors had spread that there was to be a referendum in February 1969 on a building bond. From the coverage at the time, it appears no one could account for where that rumor had started, but it became the Reporter’s responsibility to ensure Island residents there would be no such referendum.

Apparently, after residents had previously turned down a $985,000 school building plan the previous year, there was an assumption it would be brought up for another vote. Not the case.

POSTSCRIPT: Fast forward 50 years and there is no pending school bond. This is the period of putting together a budget proposal for the 2019-2020 school year and workshops are ongoing. There will be final proposal by April 16 that will be the subject of a hearing on May 13 and a vote on May 21.


Bow hunters form organization

With the aim of reducing the burgeoning herd of deer, bow hunters organized the Bowmen of Shelter Island with 31 initial members.

POSTSCRIPT: The organization may not be active, but the recreational bow hunting season that starts on October 1 each year continues an effort under the direction of town Animal Control Officer Beau Payne to try to reduce the herd. There’s no clear count on the number of deer on the Island, with some maintaining that the herd  has been sharply curbed.

For the first couple of months, this year’s recreational hunt showed a decrease in the number of deer taken by the bow hunters from last year. The recreational hunt, which has also included shotgun hunters, lasts through January 31. The so-called “nuisance” hunt, using specially licensed local hunters, takes place through February and March on a limited number of town-identified sites.


Federal stimulus money not available for sea wall

Ten years ago, the Town Board and other officials were putting together a wish list for federal funds to fuel several Shelter Island projects.

But one item they would have liked to fund, a seawall around Taylor’s Island, was considered not a good fit for federal money.

POSTSCRIPT: Fortunately, a determined group of volunteers led by P.A.T. Hunt stood firm, identifying grant sources to cover costs and using volunteers  to save Taylor’s Island.

Through the years, various grants have been received to not only save the Smith-Taylor Cabin on Taylor’s Island, but to gradually rebuild the sea wall.

[email protected]