Featured Story
06/16/17 4:30pm
AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO The interior of Shelter Island’s Union Chapel.

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO The interior of Shelter Island’s Union Chapel.

A good rule of thumb is never to sit across the table from someone called “Honest John” when he’s dealing cards.

But John French, a 19th century builder who did extensive work in Brooklyn — including the Brooklyn Academy of Music — came by his nickname, well, honestly. He was known by his contemporaries for “mixing mortar with conscience,” according to an article in the Republican Watchman of 1876. (more…)

Featured Story
05/13/16 8:00am
PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/STOCK A deer and her fawns.

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/STOCK A deer and her fawns.

“High-powered rifles will begin to bang on Shelter Island, New York, with the coming of the first light Monday, and the slim red deer, charming to city dwellers, detested by farmers and gardeners, will begin to fall.”

That was the lead sentence in a wire story carried around the country 100 years ago this week. The article went on to describe New York State’s response to complaints from farmers about crop damage caused by the Island’s 200 or so free-roaming deer, descendants of animals imported in the 1890s for private game hunting. (more…)