Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The East Hampton Library

A cool and cloudy day,  a good stay at home with a book and cup of tea day, but first a visit to the East Hampton Library
On the way in, a Lion's club eyeglass collection bin.
The foyer has a fireplace and cozy seating.
The stacks!
Books, books everywhere.
A book laden corridor with a view to secluded garden.
I made a pilgrimage to the incredible Long Island Collection.
The Long Island Collection is an invaluable resource of Hamptons history careful curated and policed by a diligent and knowledgeable reference librarian. I was impressed with the librarian's care of materials and attention to detail. The East Hampton library contains world class materials and the care of them is world class also. A thermostat minds the atmosphere in every room. The historic materials here are properly cherished.
I'm still thinking about clocks.
A magnificent painting by Hubbard Latham Fordham.
by Hubbard Latham Fordham
oil on canvas 34 1/2" x 28 1/2"
East Hampton Library Collection
The library has a collection of Whaling Logs
many are digitized here
As a book lover, nothing beats a trip to the library, especially this one. 


Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Baker House - 1650 - East Hampton



The Baker House was originally constructed in 1648 by sea captain, Daniel Howe. Not too long afterwards, Howe sold the building to Thomas Baker, one of East Hampton's founders. Baker turned the building into a Tavern. It also served as town meeting hall. The house grew and changed with the community. In 1899 it was purchase by James Harper Poor. Under Poor's ownership the building underwent the transformation that is the basis for the beautiful atmosphere which exists today. 


In 1917, with the assistance of architect Joseph Greenleaf Thorp who also designed Grey Gardens, James Harper Poor completed the magnificent transformation of the original shingled house into a stucco wrapped English manor with arts and crafts Anglo-refinements.
The carved figure heads above the entrance drew me in as I was walking along Main Street. I had passed this building hundreds of times, but never gone inside.
Inside, a gracious atmosphere steeped in 300+ years of local history.
A beautiful staircase, on the wall going up to the second floor a portrait.
Mildred Harper Poor Garnett
Daughter of James Harper Poor
Married in this house on June 12, 1915
to Dr. A. Y. P.  Garnett
Portrait on loan from granddaughter,
Sarah Garnett Newi
I asked if I could see a room.
Cozy and well appointed.
This is a very special bed and breakfast.
Breakfast room
 The back terrace must be amazing in summer.
I'll have to visit again to get the story of the entrance carvings.
The Baker House is on historic Main Street across from Mulford Farm. They are an easy walk to Guild Hall, downtown shops and restaurants. The beach is a bike ride away.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Sag Harbor by George Bradford Brainerd

I stumbled across photographs by George Bradford Brainerd while researching old Sag Harbor and had to share them with you. It is wonderful that so much of Sag Harbor still looks like this. If you go to the Brooklyn Museum link you will find hundreds of photos of New York City as well as more of Long Island's east end. 

George Bradford Brainerd (also spelled Brainard; 1845-1887) was a civil engineer, an amateur photographer, and an amateur natural historian. Brainerd was born on November 27, 1845 in Haddam NeckConnecticut. As a civil engineer, Brainerd worked for the then-City of Brooklyn in the position of Deputy Water Purveyor—a position he held for 17 years (1869 to 1886). 
View from North Haven, Sag Harbor
ca. 1872-1887
View from the Dock, Sag Harbor 1879
Street looking north from Upper End, Sag Harbor
ca. 1872-1887
Street looking south from Upper End, Sag Harbor
ca. 1872-1887
Sag Harbor from the roof of the American House
August 4, 1878
Ruins of Mill, ca. 1872-1887
 In Sag Harbor, The Story of an American Beauty, Dorothy Ingersoll ZaykowskiIn describes the Maidstone Steam Flouring Mills as being destoyed by fire February of 1877. 
View from Hog Neck (North Haven), 1878
Hogg Neck Bridge
ca. 1872-1887
Church Spires
ca. 1872-1887
Catholic Church, ca.1872-1887
Presbyterian Church, ca. 1872-1887
Otter Pond
August 4, 1878
View of Cliffs, ca. 1872-1887
Sag Harbor West From Noyak
ca. 1872-1887
Brainerd's work as an amateur photographer began when he was just 13 years old. He began by making his own cameras and developing ambrotypes from them. While working as a civil engineer, Brainerd photographed public work projects, as well as street scenes in Brooklyn. He also took extensive photographs of areas in New York State, including on Long Island and along the Hudson River. His subjects included houses, churches, mills, railroad stations, gate houses, reservoirs, harbors, beaches, and ponds, among others. Over the years, Brainerd continued to design his own cameras and photographic techniques. Through his inventions, he was able photograph the human vocal organs thus contributing to the perfection of this type of medical photography. As an amateur natural historian, he amassed a large collection of bird skins, shells, and minerals, as well as maintained his own herbarium, and collected moss and lichens.[2][3]
George Brainerd, was a lifelong Brooklynite, and produced a total of 2,500 photographs before his early death at age 42 in 1887. The majority of these were images of Brooklyn, a vast documentation of the urban landscape—dams and mills, bridges and train depots, engine houses and pumping stations—but also, especially after 1880, images of city dwellers and street scenes.
Independently wealthy and the Deputy Water Purveyor for the City of Brooklyn, Brainerd was an advanced amateur photographer adept at exploring new techniques. His legacy remains in the Brooklyn Museum; about 1,900 of his glass plate negatives make up a large portion of the Museum’s huge collection of Brooklyn- and New York−themed glass plate negatives. WIKI
All images by George Bradford Brainerd (1845 - 1887) from the Brooklyn Museum collection here

Sunday, October 18, 2015

In The Heart of the Sea

In 1820, crewmen (Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy) aboard the New England vessel Essex face a harrowing battle for survival when a whale of mammoth size and strength attacks with force, crippling their ship and leaving them adrift in the ocean. Pushed to their limits and facing storms, starvation, panic and despair, the survivors must resort to the unthinkable to stay alive. 
Portrait of Owen Chase via
Directed by Ron Howard
My reading of The Sea Captain's Wife has inspired me to learn more about our history upon the sea. The wreck of The Essex by a monster whale is an incident that entered into the collective minds of 19th century myth and legend similar to the 20th centuries fixation on the wreck of the Titanic. This is the true story that inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick. This incredible film based on the wreck of the Essex is expected to be in theaters this December. I will be seeing it.
Smashing of the ship Essex by a whale
The book upon which the movie is based.
Owen Chase, First Mate of the Whale Ship Essex published an account of his experience in 1821 upon his miraculous return. It is in the public domain and available online.
Narrative of the Whale-Ship Essex by Owen Chase here
New Bedford Whaling Museum here
In the Heart of the See movie here 
Sticking the Prey - Cappy Amundsen 24" x 34"
Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum