Around the Island

New activities out of the archives as Historical Society keeps Islanders busy

Now that you’ve finished all those little projects around the house that you were saving for a snow day, now known as social isolation, the Shelter Island Historical Society has some new ideas for creative ways to pass the time.

The Society has been offering suggestions from searching for family roots on the Island to learning the Montauk language. To contact the Society with questions, email [email protected] You can subscribe to their e-blasts by emailing [email protected]

To find the projects discussed below, like the Historical Society’s page on Facebook, or follow them on Instagram.

Language class

The Society shared a vocabulary of Montauk language that was written down in 1798 by John Lion Gardiner, one of the owners of Gardiners Island. A few words chosen at random follow; they may have something to do with our current experience in quarantine:

macha weeskt = little child

pospons soeks = full of deviltry

unkup = rum

cut sum citi = draw me a pot cider

taubut = thank you

munhassett = sheltered island

Fabulous 50s

A 1950s-era booklet full of inexpensive ideas for making gifts turned up in the archives, too. It’s entertaining to read most of the projects that involved covering assorted household items — tin cans in various sizes from cocktail frankfurters to coffee cans to giant popcorn containers — with colorful adhesive-backed Contac paper, and repurposing them into decorative household items.

The pamphlet was printed by Johnson’s Wax, so virtually every project ends with advice to shine up the finished product with Jubilee or other polish.

Shine on.