Recognizing Anniversary of a Sag Harbor Battle
Local history buffs know well the area of our village known as Turkey Hill and the small stone monument located on the High Street Green. It reads simply, “On this spot stood an American fort 1812.” It does not however tell the tale of the events that took place on the night of July 11th, 1813.
The timber and stone fort stood high on its perch overlooking the bay under the command of Captain David Hand. With an assignment of 3,000 men and nine cannons, it could be action ready at a moment’s notice.
On the evening of July 11th, under the cover of darkness, a British contingent commanded by Commodore H. Hardy was attempting a surprise invasion. Meanwhile, as Americans John Gann and Capt. Henry Green were walking sentinel duty along the waterfront they became aware and alerted Capt. Hand. He wisely allowed the invaders to unload a large cache of weapons and supplies before opening a barrage of cannon fire. The hail of cannonballs from the fort forced the invaders to hastily retreat and abandon their possessions on shore. They did however manage to set fire to one sloop at anchor in the harbor on their way out, this being the only American loss that night.
What effect this defeat for the British had on the war we do not know; however, once again the vigilance of the people of Sag Harbor proved too much for them.
Who To Call About Air Noise?
On the morning of July 4th, I telephoned East Hampton Airport to record complaints about noisy aircraft over the residential area near Long Beach on the afternoon of July 3rd. The call eventually was answered by an employee of the airport, who I believe was the manager of the airport.Â Â
I had already called in dozens of noise complaints on 3rd July, and he said he recognized my voice but that I should not be calling the 537-LOUD (537-5683) number, but rather contacting the FAA or my legislative representatives.Â He went on to say that the 537 LOUD telephone number was intended to be used for occurrences like low flying aircraft buzzing a house, or similar complaints!!! I do not know how often that happens, but that EHA has set aside a special number for such occurrences and not for noise complaints seems to me to be absolutely absurd and entirely unreasonable. The airport employee informed me that “people” have told him that there has been an improvement over last year in lessening noise level–and he said further that the EH Airport has been there since nineteen thirty-something and it was not going anywhere. I may be jumping to conclusions here, but I took that to mean…. take your complaints elsewhere, we are not interested.
So what happens to the calls to 537- LOUD? Are they registered, do they get reported to the FAA or elsewhere?Â Or is there a better telephone number to call?Â I have read in SH Express and in other press accounts of the aircraft noise problem about the numbers of complaints called in, so I assume they are registered somewhere, but where?Â I recall reading somewhere that a new number to call was to be available around Memorial Day.
To give credit where credit is due, many helicopter operators have been flying at higher altitudes than in the past, decreasing marginally the noise level of those flights, but the numbers of corporate style jets, seaplanes, small planes and helicopters flying overhead continues to increase, as does the corresponding level of discomfort to those of us living below. For my part, if any aircraft is making noise that prevents me enjoying my property, I will call it in, even if it is a dirigible.
Barbara Lambert Turns 90
I am writing this letter, to encourage people who remember my mother, to send birthday wishes to her next month.
My mother, Barbara Lambert, is turning 90 years old on August 3, 2008. During the late 1940s, she and my father, E. Richard (Dick) Lambert owned and operated the Pierson Restaurant near the Sag Harbor Express offices. My parents sold the restaurant some time before 1951 (I think it became Sal and Joe’s) and my father was working with Bob Rowe at Rowe Industries by the time I was born in 1951. Â We lived in my grandparents’ house on Main Street; I don’t know the house number, but it was next door to Stu and Gert Payne, and across from the French House.
We moved to Connecticut in 1952, but returned quite often to visit my grandparents, Richard and Cora Chamberlin, and my Aunt Ellie and Uncle “Chip” Becker. I always loved to accompany the adults when they’d go “down street” to the post office at the other end of Main Street, and visit so many people along the way. But hands down, my favorite person to visit was “Uncle” Tony Kulczycki at his Rum Hill Superette.
My father died in 1984, and my mother is confined to a wheelchair in a nursing home near me in Pennsylvania, but she is still VERY lucid. Mom was a Brownie leader in 1949; I have a picture that was taken of the little Brownies and their leaders on the steps of Pierson School.Â She frequently talks about her early years with my dad in Sag Harbor as the happiest days of her life. She always smiles when she tells stories about their good times with Tony and Rose Kulczycki and Harry and Ruth Diehl.
If you remember my mother, please make her day on August 3rd. Please send a short (or long) note to her with a memory that you wish to share. There isn’t any present for a 90-year-old that’s better than sharing memories that occurred a lifetime ago. Her address is: Wesley Village Nursing Facility, South #301; 209 Roberts Road, Pittston, PA 18640-3197.Â If you cannot wait to write, you can call her directly at 570.655.6655. Wouldn’t that be a kick?
IÂ was driving home down John Street the other dayÂ when I gazed to the right and saw that the house that was being “renovated” in the historical district mind you, had been completely torn down.Â My heart was broken.
That house was actually the other half of my house, which sits two lots down. The story was told to me by old timer and life long Sag Harbortite Red Worth, who was my neighbor for many years.
The story has also been confirmed by many Sag Harborites that were around at that time. Â
The house was left toÂ two sisters in a will who were feuding at the time. They had the house cut in half and moved the other half down the street (my house 56 John Street.)
Are we just eradicating our history by just deciding to eliminate an old house because it doesn’t fit into the builders PLANS. This is another great Sag Harbor story that will no longer be told.Â
By the way the word story makes up the word HiSTORY (no coincidence here).
This sums up a letter I wrote a few months ago andÂ that more than a few of us agree – - that realtors and builders should not be sitting on boards that can benefit them directly or indirectly. This certainly seems to be the case here.
They say the “recuse themselves, but who’s kidding who. Â This should not have happened.
Lets protect our hiSTORY for those of us here now, and for all those who will be here Â in the future.