Featured Story

What is that? April 17, 2023

If you know, let us know. Send your responses to [email protected] or phone 631-275-1859.

Roger McKeon was the only one with the correct identification of last week’s photo (see below) as the outside of what is officially called the Shelter Island Fire Department Station 2. It’s on Cobbetts Lane, one of three Island firehouses, along with the Heights and Center.

(Credit: Ambrose Clancy)

Former Fire Commissioner Larry Lechmanski — and still an active member of the Department going on 47 years — told us that the firehouse is known as “the Potato House,” and related a bit of history.

Sylvester Prime, Larry  said, once owned most of what is Hay Beach before it’s development, including Gardiner’s Bay Country Club. Mr. Prime raised potatoes and lima beans for an industry well-documented in the Island’s agricultural history.

By 1968, most of Mr. Prime’s property had been sold, and the Fire Department bought the old potato barn, where the spuds were stored. The Department needed more room for a pumper truck, which used water from surrounding bays and creeks, than its old Firehouse in the Center could provide.

With a new firehouse in the Center, the Cobbetts Lane facility wasn’t needed, and has been used over the years to store equipment and the Department’s collection of antique vehicles.

“In the summer, when the weather’s nice, we use it for meetings,” Larry said.