Calling all true locals: You know who you are, and you’ve heard all the stories about how things used to be, because you’ve got a good three generations of East End running through your veins. Or even if your parents just owned a house out here back in the day, the East End Seaport Museum & Marine Foundation in Greenport still wants you to submit whatever photos or memorabilia you can fish out from the 1950s and ‘60s for next month’s exhibit featuring the aforementioned decades, all of which will be catalogued and then returned, according to EESM’s chairman, Paul Kreiling.
“The Southold Historical Society was doing a show on the waterfront and stopping in the early ‘50s, so I decided why not do the ‘50s and ‘60s — just do a continuation of that show,” Krieling said.
“History is history, but history doesn’t have to be dusty tomes,” he said. “I’ve got pretty interesting stuff coming in.” The new chairman is looking for submissions from those that may have slides, photographs, fishing gear, or other memorabilia left over from these divergent decades when farming and fishing began to give way to waterfront and resort living with a strong middle-class representation from those making a good living at Grumman.
Kreiling, an artist and sailor who grew up on the North Fork, was elected to the board of EESM last April and said the museum foundation’s reinvigorated board is excitedly taking on a new chapter and approach to maritime history.
“The tourist industry was all the way along. It never stopped, but the base industries that were here started to become less successful because a few storms hurt the oysters; some groups were overfishing; they dredged the creeks, so the nursery was not as good — a number of factors happened that turned it more into a resort area than a farming/fishing community. But there were always party boats. There were always people coming out from Brooklyn for weakfish and whatever. That never stopped,” he noted.
Kreiling said people can continue to feel free to submit whatever they may be able to lend the museum leading up to — and even during — the projected run, so the show continues to evolve and give repeat visitors a more complete picture of retro life on the East End.
Those with photos or memorabilia to lend EESM, or who are just looking for more information about upcoming programs and events, can visit www.eastendseaport.org. To make an appointment, call 631-477-2100.