Montauk History

Source: Holden, Albert R. A Pictorial History of Montauk: Third Edition. Montauk, NY: Holden's Publications.

4,500 years ago -- Indians live on Long Island

1613 -- Dutch explorer Adriaen Block arrives in New York on his second fur trading trip. A fire destroys his ship, the Tiger. Built a new ship called the Onrust, the first ship ever built on Manhattan.

1614 -- Block sails up the East River and passes into Long Island Sound. He becomes the first white man to step ashore on Montauk Point.

1648 -- Poggatacut, sachem of the Manhasset Indians, lives on Shelter Island.

1653 -- Poggatacut dies. One of this 4 brothers, Wyandanch, becomes head of the Confederated Tribes of the Four Brothers. Wyandanch lives in Montauk on the east side of Fort Pond (about where the Manor now stands).

1655 -- Wyandanch gives the residents of East Hampton the right to have their cattle pasture on Montauk.

1658 -- first land purchase from the Indians.

1660 -- Wyandanch dies; leads to the sale of all Montauk, a Deed of Gift.

1687 -- men from East Hampton buy all of Montauk.

1702-13 -- The "Proprietors" acquire all of the Montauk lands. These men were Thomas Baker, Robert Bond, Thomas James, Lion Gardiner, John Mulford, John Hand and Benjamin Price.

1744 -- first house built near the entrance of today's Hither Hills State Park on Old Montauk Highway.

1746 -- the second house in Montauk built at Fort Pond by Nathaniel Talmadge.

1754 -- an agreement of the Proprietors with the Indians permits the latter to live in Montauk (under certain conditions).

1776 -- George Washington posts guards at Montauk Point. Under Captain John Drayton the guard parades around twice (changing clothes) bluffing the British out of landing at the Point.

1781 -- the H.M.S Culloden sinks off North Neck Point (ever since known as Culloden Point).

1795 -- George Washington authorizes the construction of a lighthouse at Montauk Point.

1798 -- the First House rebuilt.

1806 -- the third house in Montauk built (later became the inn of the Deep Hollow Ranch).

1839 -- the African slave ship Amistad drops anchor at now Culloden Point. Later captured by U.S. Navy brig Washington.

1879 -- millionaire sportsman Arthur Benson of Brooklyn buys all of Montauk. Benson buys out the Indians and settles them in Freetown, East Hampton. He engages famous architect Stanford White to build seven "cottages" for his friends, associated with him in the exclusive Montauk Association.

1895 -- Austin Corbin, Jr., president of the Long Island Railroad, and Charles M. Pratt buy 5,500 acres of land from Benson heirs.

1895 -- advent of the railroad.

1896 -- Corbin dies in a horse riding accident.

1896 -- the Old Montauk Inn opens.

1898 -- the end of the Spanish American War brings Teddy Roosevelt and his 30,000 Rough Riders to Montauk where they stayed under quarantine. They had a tent city at Indian Field and dubbed it Camp Wikoff in honor of one of the officers who had died fighting in Cuba. President McKinley visits at Third House.

1909 -- First House destroyed by fire.

1909 -- suits instituted and won by the descendants of the East Hampton "Proprietors" who want to fight Benson's desire to keep all East Hamptonites off his lands.

World War I -- French Canadians migrate to Montauk.

1918 -- service to Block Island starts with the sidewheeler The Shinnecock that could carry as many as 1,500 people.

middle 20s -- Gurney's Inn started by W. J. and Maude Gurney, who had previously managed a hotel in Miami Beach for Carl Fisher. .

1926 -- old Montauk Inn burns down.

1926 -- hurricane in Florida forces Carl Fisher temporarily to halt his building at Montauk.

1928 -- Fisher builds the mains hotel, the Montauk Manor. The Carl Fisher building also built.

1929 -- the stock market crash forces Fisher to leave several projects on Montauk unfinished.

1938 -- devastating 1938 hurricane. Montauk turned into an island.

WW II -- the Navy builds a seaplane base at Fort Pond, moving out many of the residents. They used the Montauk Manor and the Fisher building for housing. Facilities at Camp Hero were also increased. Four 16 inch guns are placed at the Army base. Also built an air base.

1956 -- Mrs. Gurney sells Gurney's Inn to Nick Monte.

1960 -- Nick Monte builds the Forecastle.

1962 -- Nick Monte builds the Admiral's Room.

1962 -- Montauk Beach Company opens Hither Woods to the public.

1964 -- The Montauk Manor shuts down.

1982 -- air base decommissioned and the property sold.