March 2021

news & updates

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2/5/21 Issue 4
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Upcoming Events

East Hampton From the Church Belfry from Picturesque America, William Cullen Bryant, 1872-1874
Gift: Gerson & Judith Leiber
From the permanent collection.
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The 2021 Online Winter Lecture Series:
In Their Own Words
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Friday, March 26, 2021, 7:00pm
When Neighbors Were Neighbors: Character Studies by Cornelia Huntington (1803-1890) from Her Diary
Speakers: Barbara Borsack and Hugh King
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Friday, April 30, 2021, 7:00pm
Turn-of-the Century Tales: from “Wainscott Dumplings” by Alice E. Osborn Hand (1879-1968)
Speaker: Hilary Osborn-Malecki
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Contact Marianne for more information.
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Make It Mondays: Quilting
Join Marianne for the latest edition of Make it Monday – Quilting on March 29th.
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Watch the video for more information.
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Purchase your kit.
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Join the East Hampton Historical Society for their monthly Virtual Book Club on March 11, at 7:00pm as they discuss The Kingdom of the Kid: Growing Up in the Long-Long Hamptons by Geoff Geham.
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The Kingdom of the Kid is a memorable portrait of an indelible childhood on Long Island’s South fork from 1967 to 1972. This book isn’t just another baby-boomer coming-of-age memoir about baseball, beaches, fast cars, divorce, and redemption. It’s a pilgrimage to a special place at a special time that taught a kid how to be special. It’s for anyone who has lived in the Hamptons or has wondered about living in the Hamptons. Join author Geoff Gehman, and other Society members as we discuss this book, its place in East Hampton history, and its meaning today.
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The book is available for purchase or download on Amazon.
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Please email Marianne Della Croce at info@easthamptonhistory.org for information and registration. Registration will include Zoom link to event.
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From the Collection
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One of the past winter wonders of East Hampton Village, was the arrival of a giant 30’ foot angel Gabrielle made out of chicken-wire and plaster. It was the brainchild of two local East Hampton Highschool art teachers, John Lonero and Ralph Carpentier with the help of John’s wife Hedy, who taught art in the elementary school.
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With blonde hair and light blue robes, the Christmas Angel made her debut in 1956 on the green at the Hook Mill. The next year she was moved to the head of Town Pond. A storm knocked the angel over, and she was removed to the rear of Hackett’s Garage where her headless body intrigued anyone who came upon her.
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Photo is part of the permanent collection of the East Hampton Historical Society.
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Your Help is Needed!

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The East Hampton Historical Society, like so many other non-profits, relies on public support to continue our mission of the preservation of the history and the culture of our community, and we need your help!
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Please consider supporting our Annual Appeal as we move into our centennial year of 2021 as YOUR historical society.
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Your generous donation goes to preserving these important landmarks for future generations and ensuring we can continue to offer an exceptional calendar of events and programs.
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Thank you in advance for your support!
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Membership Matters

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Museums are just as important to the future as the future is to museums. Not only can our museums bring history to life, but they can also shine a light on both our present and our future.
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The East Hampton Historical Society has a responsibility and duty to provide a sense of community and place by celebrating a collective heritage, offering a great way to get to know the history of East Hampton, as well as inspiring the next generation to be stewards and caretakers of these wonderful buildings and artifacts.
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As we head into 2021, we look toward transforming our museums from spaces of looking and learning to spaces of interaction, participation, and engagement. As the world evolves, so shall we with innovative programming and new ways to utilize technology to improve the visitor experience.
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A great way to be apart of the excitement, is to join the Society as a member. Your membership helps us continue to tell the remarkable stories of East Hampton, and to ensure we will be standing for years to come – and entitles you to great benefits!
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Join (rejoin) today!
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Anonymous Was A Woman…
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In much of history, women were not recognized for their significant participation and important contributions. Despite their many accomplishments and prowess, women were often overlooked and even erased from the historical record under a patriarchal accounting of events.
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When contemplating women’s historical impact, we are often given examples of well-known women such as Queen Hatshepsut, Abagail Adams, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ruth Bader Ginsburg…and the list goes on. As if they were the exception rather than the norm. However, there were so many more. Unknown, less famous women who have contributed to history from its earliest times. Women who moved with troops into battle, women who managed household economies, women leaders, scientists, artisans, writers, and advocates. They are found in every place and time; and their contributions are still be revealed.
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Since 1995 with the establishment of Women’s History Month each March, we are learning more about the overlooked histories of women and their considerable achievements, which spur on future generations.
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For the East Hampton Historical Society, we are especially proud to celebrate many women who made East Hampton history. Be sure to watch our March “Ask a Curator” segments (3/18 & 3/25) focusing on amazing East End women, and I also suggest that you check out our Influential Women of East Hampton series on our YouTube page. Be sure to subscribe!
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“For most of history, anonymous was a woman,” (attributed to Virginia Woolf).
My response, “No more!”
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To learn more about Women’s History Month, visit https://womenshistorymonth.gov/about/
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And Did You Know Women’s History, visit: https://www.nps.gov/articles/did-you-know-women-s-history.htm
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Maria Vann
Executive Director
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Volunteer Spotlight
Leslie Clarke
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To speak with Leslie Clarke about Rachel’s Garden, for even just one minute, is to reveal her passion for gardening. Leslie is the Curator of this dooryard garden, located at Mulford Farm. This garden, as well as the ones located behind Clinton Academy and in front of the Moran Studio, is created in partnership with the Garden Club of East Hampton, the organization which provides Leslie with both her funding and her volunteers. The garden is one of many community gardens located within the village for everyone to enjoy.
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Leslie grew up in New York City and spent her childhood summering in East Hampton, where she enjoyed taking art classes through the Art Barge (ask her to tell you about meeting Willem de Kooning!), volunteering as a candy striper at the Southampton Hospital, and spending time with her father on his sailboat. As an adult, she moved with her own family to Florida. While her professional time was spent in copy editing, an ad she had seen in the paper had sparked her curiosity. It was one for the local Master Gardener program which triggered her interest so much she went back to school for a degree for Botany – in addition to completing the Master Gardener program.
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As a Master Gardener, she was asked to round out the plant identification section of the coursework. She loved the task, which allowed her to meet an illustrious group of botanists from around the world, including Sir Gillean Prance, former director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, as well as Dr. Diane Ragone, head of the Breadfruit Institute, which is part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG), based primarily in Hawaii.
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Leslie’s daughter came to East Hampton to raise her family, and Leslie once again found herself enjoying her summers here. She became involved with the historical society through member Tiger Graham, and with the Garden Club of East Hampton through Mary Clarke.
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Her involvement with Rachel’s Garden began about twelve years ago. She worked with our Chief Curator, Richard Barons, developing it from a kitchen garden to its current iteration as a dooryard garden. Kitchen gardens provided the family with essentials, such as food, medicinal plants, culinary plants, plants for dyeing, treating livestock, and even embalming. Dooryard gardens actually incorporate these same elements but include a great many more plants for cut-flower purposes. The main reason for this transition was to ensure the garden would be attractive throughout the summer when most of our visitors are here.
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In her spare time, Leslie enjoys her family, which includes her extended family of animals! She currently has four horses and four parrots, and two rescue dogs. Her biggest joy, however, is the time she gets to spend with her grandchildren.
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Pictured here with Zilver, which means “silver” in Dutch.
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Looking for a way to become more involved with the historical society this season? Consider becoming a volunteer! We have a wide variety of positions open, and there is something for everyone.
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Visitor Center Volunteers:
Duties include greeting visitors, answering questions about and providing directions to the Society’s sites, and selling merchandise at the shop.  Training is required to learn how to use a point-of-sale system and to learn about our various sites.
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Docents:
Duties include creating intellectual and emotional connections to the exhibits for our visitors by walking visitors through the exhibits, and creating positive learning experiences for the visitors, answering questions as needed.
Training is required to learn about the historic artifacts, exhibitions and historic content of the sites.
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Event Support:
Duties may include greeting visitors, taking tickets, handing out programs, providing support to staff as needed.
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Collections:
Duties include assisting Chief Curator with research, scanning documents and photographs and labelling artifacts. Also assist with entering information into catalogue database, Past Perfect.
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Contact Marianne for more information.
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Life in a Small Town: Rev. Lyman Beecher's Reflections on East Hampton 1798-1810 by Richard Barons
In Case You Missed February’s Virtual Lecture…Life in a Small Town: Rev. Lyman Beecher’s Reflections on East Hampton 1798-1810 with Richard Barons.
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I Remember When: John Howard Payne's Memories of Old East Hampton & His Life, 1791-1852
In Case You Missed January’s Virtual Lecture, Remember When: John Howard Payne’s Memories of Old East Hampton & His Life, 1791-1852 with High King and Ken Collum.
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Curator’s Corner

Mary A. Jessup, charcoal & chock on paper, 1867 EHHS
Mary A. Jessup, charcoal & chalk on paper, 1868, EHHS, gift of Edward Mulford Baker Strong
Mary A. Jessup, charcoal & chalk on paper, 1868 EHHS
Mary A. Jessup, charcoal & chalk on paper, 1869, EHHS
I first saw a Mary Jessup portrait hanging on the walls of late East Hampton Town Historian, Sherrill Foster’s cottage. At first, I thought it was a Currier & Ives uncolored lithograph from the Civil War era. But it was a large charcoal and chalk drawing of a very idealized Victorian child, wearing a beret, inscribed “Isabella.” The drawing was clearly signed, Mary A. Jessup, but not dated. Sherrill had discovered that the artist was born in Sag Harbor, in 1826, and had probably studied at Clinton Academy in the early 1840’s, when the school added drawing and painting classes to its girl’s curriculum.
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We have now recorded about a dozen of these beautiful large portrait drawings by Mary Jessup. The oldest is dated 1862, while the last recorded is from 1869.
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As with many women artist’s, we have no art works from after Mary Jessup’s marriage to Dr. Charles Bolivar Dayton in 1871. Dayton was part of an old East Hampton family. After his return from being a Union Army surgeon, he practiced medicine in East Hampton Village. Mary was 45 years old when she married 46 year old Dr. Dayton. Married life tended to smother women’s artistic creativity under the blanket of a husband’s career and housekeeping. Dayton died in 1886 leaving their home and his office, to his wife. Their Georgian landmark home still stands today as the 1770 House Inn and Restaurant, on Main Street.
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Widow Mary Dayton, lived until 1909, tending an old-fashioned garden and her increasing collection of stray cats. Legend has it that there were 137 cats, at the time of her death. Described as a small, wrinkled old lady with bright eyes, there is no mention of her artistic life in her obituary.
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Luckily families have saved these heirloom portraits, so today we can celebrate Mary A. Jessup’s talent by enjoying the lasting beauty of her drawings. She saw loveliness in each one of her neighbor’s faces.
Mary A. Jessup, charcoal & chalk, nd, EHHS
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East Hampton Historical Society
631-324-6850

East Hampton Historical Society
631-324-6850

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AAQ / Resource: McDonough & Conroy Architects

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