Tag Archive | "LVIS"

Restoration of Urn Completes Civil War Memorial

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One of the many paintings that line the walls of Diane Schiavoni’s Oakland Avenue home depicts the Civil War memorial at the intersection of Main and Madison streets in the heart of Sag Harbor. Bought 16 years ago by Schiavoni, the painting details the statue, fence and urn at the memorial site, with Main Street adorned with lanterns in the background.

For Schiavoni, the painting portrays the historic details of her hometown — details she has worked hard to preserve and protect as a member of the historic preservation and architectural review board and honorary member of the Sag Harbor Ladies Village Improvement Society.

On Friday, one of Schiavoni’s latest missions — to restore the Civil War memorial — was completed after a crew of village employees dropped a restored 1,500 to 2,000 pound urn, historically a horse trough, on the green of the memorial. The urn, restored by iron craftsman John Battle, was the final piece in a two-year project that began with the restoration of the iron fence around the memorial.

“The area is now spruced up for Memorial Day,” said Schiavoni on Tuesday with a grin. “The fence is restored, the statue power-washed and the lovely urn now sits majestically on its new base.”

Dedicated in October of 1896, Sag Harbor’s Civil War memorial had fallen into disrepair, the iron fence and gate were damaged, missing spikes and the urn cracked and chipped with a damaged base, although still lovingly planted with flowers each spring by the LVIS, noted Schiavoni.

“I was inspired to do the project after it was brought up at an LVIS meeting, so I just picked up the ball and did it,” said Schiavoni. “Twenty years ago I did the lampposts the same way.”

The lampposts that line Main Street cost nearly $100,000, so this project was less daunting, she said. Schiavoni gained pledges from Sag Harbor residents before starting a campaign to raise the funding to replace the fence through the sale of commemorative spikes. The fence project, also restored by Battle, was completed last summer at a price of $28,000.

The Sag Harbor Historical Society and agents at the Sag Harbor branch of Corcoran Real Estate, said Schiavoni, made the restoration of the urn possible through a generous contribution at a total cost of $2000. The historical society also helped Schiavoni move a plaque dedicated to Josephine Bassett, another woman who dedicated her life to the beautification of Sag Harbor, next to the restored urn.

“It was really the result of the cooperation and coordination of several people that this was completed,” said Schiavoni on Tuesday. “I truly feel indebted to the village crew and Jim Early for lifting this nearly 2,000 pound urn onto its base, to John Battle for doing such an amazing job restoring the urn, to Bill Labrozzi for transporting it for us.”

Schiavoni’s son David donated the concrete for the project through his company East End Ready Mix.

Through photographs, Schiavoni also discovered the urn used to have a lantern at its center when it was used as a horse trough.

“So Gabe [Schiavoni, her husband] put a pipe down the center of the urn and tapped off both ends so — in the event that someone or even myself decides to install a lantern — the electricity will be right there,” said Schiavoni. “But the LVIS fills the urn with such beautiful flowers, I wonder if a lantern would be right there.”


East End Digest March 15

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Hoops Celebs Jump in for Shinnecock Museum Fundraiser

David Martine, Director and Curator of the Shinnecock Museum in Southampton, along with the Harlem Magic Masters basketball celebrity group and Shinnecock tribal member Jay “Master J” Bryant have announced the museum’s first fundraising event. The event, dubbed “Museum Magic: Hoops for History,” will be a family oriented evening of basketball and entertainment, on Saturday, March 21, at 7 p.m., and will be held at the Southampton High School gym.

The “Shinnecock All Stars” team, comprised of students, teachers, community leaders and tribal members from the East End, will challenge the Harlem Magic Masters, some of the country’s most accomplished basketball players. In addition to being gifted athletes, these players also act as goodwill ambassadors of the sport and are active role models for young children.

The game will kick off with a surprise local celebrity guest tossing out the first jump ball. Half-time activities include Shinnecock pow-wow style dancing and music, a preview of the museum’s maritime exhibit and an indigenous arts, crafts and traditional food market.

“We hope this event brings our culture and communities closer in an atmosphere of fun, while helping to raise essential funds for the Shinnecock Museum,” said Martine. “Tribal member Jay Bryant brought us this idea because he wants our museum and his culture to thrive and we wholeheartedly took on the project.”

Proceeds from the event will go toward enhancing and promoting the museum’s educational programs which are designed to engage visitors in unique cultural learning experiences.

The Harlem Magic Masters will perform basketball skills tricks and small dunks in an athletic spectacular appropriate for all ages. The players interact with fans by giving away prizes and autographs before and after the show. Traditional refreshments will be offered throughout the evening, include homemade samp, succotash, blueberry slump and fry bread, as well as popcorn and candy. Two separate raffles will also take place towards the end of the evening.

The event will also feature a preview of the “People of the Shore” exhibit at the museum which presents artifacts and historical as well as present day photographs about the enduring connection of the Indians of Eastern long Island with the sea. The entire exhibit is on view at the museum now through April 17.

Advanced tickets are $10 ($8 for children ages 5 to 12). Tickets at the door are $12/$10. Children under 5 are admitted free. Southampton High School gymnasium is located at 7 Leland Lane, Southampton.

The Shinnecock Museum is the only museum on Long Island owned and operated solely by Native Americans. The museum is located on Montauk Highway and West Gate Road, Southampton. For more information call 287-4923.

Sag Harbor

Music Students

Eight students from the Sag Harbor Union Free School District were selected to perform in the prestigious 2009 SCMEA Music Festival. The SCMEA Festival includes the top student musicians from across Suffolk County and allows students to demonstrate the skills they are developing in the schools with other musicians and to explore those same skills on a professional level.

The Sag Harbor students performing in the festival are Christopher Ritter, grade 5 in Division I Band, Rose Bishop, grade 8 in Division II Band, Gabrielle Gardner, grade 8 Division in II Chorus, Timothy Megna, grade 8 in Division II Orchestra, Holly Goldstein, grade 10 in Division III Chorus, Elizabeth Oldak, grade 10 in Division III Chorus, Xylia Serafy, grade 10 in Division Band, and Emily Verneuille, grade 9 in Division III band.

The students will perform this weekend with Division I playing Sunday, March 15, at 1 p.m. at Southampton High School. Division II students will also play on Sunday at Southampton High School, but at 5 p.m. Lastly, the Division III students will hold a performance on Saturday, March 14, at 8 p.m., also at Southampton High School.

Sag Harbor School


The Sag Harbor Elementary School will present an orientation program for the parents of children entering kindergarten in September of 2009. The program will be held on Wednesday evening, March 18, at 7 p.m.

Parents may register their child by picking up forms in the elementary school offices prior to the program on Wednesday.

In order to register, parents must bring a birth certificate and record of immunizations. Kindergarten entrants must have MMR inoculation, or measles, mumps, rubella before the start of the school year.

All children entering kindergarten also are required to have three doses of hepatitis B vaccine.

Prospective kindergarten students must be five years of age on/or before December 1, 2009.

For more information call 725-5301.


Boogie Night

The Ladies Village Improvement Society of Sag Harbor presents “You Should Be Dancing” on Saturday, March 21, at Ziggy’s on the Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike. The music begins at 8 p.m. and continues through the evening. Admission is a $25 donation at the door. Happy hour prices will be in place throughout the event. Call Susan at 725-9803 for more information.

Bus Trip to NYC

Youth Advocacy & Resource Development (YARD) is organizing a spring break coach trip to Manhattan on Wednesday April 8 leaving Sag Harbor at 7:30 a.m. and leaving Manhattan at 5:30 p.m.

School families and faculty are invited to take advantage of the transportation to the city and spend the day as they wish. Tickets are $25 which includes gratuity, $20 for families of three or more and $30 for adults not accompanied by a student. Enjoy the day with family and friends, take in a show, visit a museum or go shopping. Reserve seats now by calling call Debbie Skinner at 725-5302 ext. 750.

The Pierson Experience

On Wednesday, March 18, Pierson Middle/High School will host its 3rd annual campus tour, The Pierson Experience. Parents and members of the Sag Harbor community are invited to attend this event which is sponsored by the students, teachers, and administrators of Pierson Middle/High School.

Interested parents and community members can make advanced reservations to attend one of three scheduled tours. Tours are scheduled at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. Reservations may be made via email: piersonex@yahoo.com, or by phone: 725-5302 extension 714. Please include first and last names, preferred tour time, a daytime phone number, and the number of people who will attend. Make reservations early as tour times are expected to fill quickly.

North Haven

Water Bill

At the March 5 North Haven Board of Trustees meeting, the board talked about investigating a suspiciously high water bill for the round-about at the intersection of Route 114 and Long Beach Road. The water bill, according to village clerk Georgia Welch, shows that the village used 178,323 gallons of water from March to October of last year.

“Something was messed up there, we’ve called landscapers and irrigation people and they said that it is impossible for us to use that much water,” Welch said.

She added that landscapers told her new plantings would “rot in the ground” if they were to get that amount of water.

The bill was paid in the amount of $278, but the trustees want to sort out the discrepancy with the Suffolk County Water Authority before turning on the irrigation system again in spring.

At the meeting North Haven Village trustees also proposed legislation to extend the implementation date of a new Energy Star requirements law. The proposed law would push back from April 1, 2009 to April 1, 2010 the required implementation of Energy Star Ratings for construction in the village. A public hearing will be held on April 7, 2009 at North Haven Village Hall for consideration of adoption of the law.


Parrish and WLIU

The Parrish Art Museum and WLIU/Long Island University Public Radio have launched a series of “Teen Tours” that provide an opportunity for high school students to explore the visual arts in their own words and to be heard both online and on the air. The next “Teen Tour,” scheduled for Friday, March 13 on “In the Morning with Bonnie Grice” will focus on the work of the painter Fairfield Porter, who lived in the village of Southampton from 1949 until his death in 1975.

The participating students are Avery Reisig and Abigail Bonilla, who will discuss Porter’s 1952 painting “Laurence Typing,” a portrait of the artist’s son.

“Teen Tours” was established to encourage students to examine works of art in-depth and to share their impressions with a larger audience. Initially, students will focus on the Parrish Art Museum’s recently launched website, East End Stories. Created with the assistance of a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services Museums for America initiative, the site enables users to discover the contribution artists of the East End have made to the history of American art, experience the area’s unique geography and its attraction to artists, and explore the connections among the more than 650 artists who have visited, lived, and worked in this region since the early nineteenth century.

Bonnie Grice, host of “In the Morning,” notes, “On a recent trip to MoMA I picked up one of the audio tour guides, and it happened to be a series designed, produced and narrated by teens. It was an incredible new way to experience these works. Standing in front of a Rauschenburg or Lichtenstein or Johns, and guided by these young voices, was a transforming experience – one I wanted to recapture for radio. We’re thrilled to be able to collaborate with such a talented and imaginative group of students. It’s a chance to view art through new ears.”

For the “Teen Tours” program, students consider a single work of art from the online collection, and compose a short response piece. The student then works with WLUI 88.3 FM’s production department to record a piece that will be broadcast on the station. In addition to running on “In the Morning,“ the tours will be simulcast on WLIU.org’s website and will be available as podcasts on the Parrish’s website.

The Parrish Art Museum is located at 25 Job’s Lane, Southampton.

East End


Spokespeople of Eastern Long Island, a newly established organization whose mission is to enhance the quality of life locally by promoting and facilitating road and trail cycling for both recreation and transportation, invites the general public to an open meeting on Sunday, March 22 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Rogers Memorial Library, 91 Coopers Farm Lane, Southampton Village.

The group’s agenda and organization will be discussed at the meeting. Topics will include making roads more bike friendly, creating more bike lanes, maintaining mountain bike trails and summer cycling events.

The group also recently announced the appointment of the following officers and members of the board of directors: President Spencer Wright, Vice President Jennifer Keller, Treasurer Dennis Loebs, Secretary Hank De Cillia, Mike Bottini and Jen Gatz

LVIS House Tour: In Homes for the Holidays

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J.J. Nolis’ wood shingled home on Denison Street can best be described as traditional, but with a contemporary twist. Elegantly furnished and boasting a master bathroom that is the envy of all who lay eyes on it, the home is full of light and good cheer — especially good cheer.

Every other year, the Sag Harbor LVIS hosts a house tour between Christmas and New Year’s. This year, there are five homes on the tour, but without a doubt, Nolis’ house will be the holiday centerpiece of the event. Visitors need take only one step inside Nolis’ front door before they will realize that in addition to being an architect, and a designer — Nolis is, in fact, a child who has never grown up.

There, nestled in the foyer of his entryway is the true centerpiece of the home — a 19 foot high, tin foil covered Christmas display that Nolis (who doesn’t mind being known as the “Willy Wonka of Christmas”) calls “Candy Cane Mountain.”

To get a sense of Candy Cane Mountain, think of a favorite childhood memory and add a vision of a very tall Macy’s window during the holidays, but without the crass commercialism of product placement.

Nolis’ Candy Cane Mountain is a riot of color and light with layers upon layers of tinsel, and beads and faces and figures surrounding a virtual fantasy land of miniature joy. Through the post W.W.II miracle of animatronics (batteries and extension cords not included) tiny skiers go up plastic hills only to turn around and come zipping back down, over and over again. Meanwhile, the Tornado, a mini roller coaster, rushes full speed down hills and around curves while little amusement park planes suspended by strings from a revolving carousel soar round and round.

But the main attraction of candy cane mountain is the music. It sits overhead, at about the 10 foot level and is a miniature bell choir made up of seven soldiers and one Santa. With little mallets in hand, each figure turns to ring the bells at their sides. The little choir rings out 36 separate songs before starting all over. It’s not just Jingle Bells either — the repertoire even includes Carol of the Bells, a tough song for such a tiny bell choir.

“The origins of the bell choir were my Aunt Marion and Uncle Al Sakavich,” explains Nolis. “They live in Woodbury, Conn. and three years ago when I moved in they said, ‘You’re the person we want to have this.’ They were older and always knew I was the one person who would care for this and use it.”

Nolis has been creating his elaborate Christmas display for 20 years now. But this is only his third Christmas in his new house. Prior to that, he had only the limited space in his apartment with which to work, and most of the 80 boxes of decorations stayed in the attic or basement.

A lot of friends come and see the display and say I put them in the Christmas spirit every year.”

It’s easy to see why. In addition to Candy Cane Mountain, Nolis also has some 150 nutcrackers, bunches of Santas and countless other memorable Christmas objects. In the living room is a Lithuanian Christmas tree, a nod to Nolis’ heritage, with hand made ornaments created by his grandmother.

This year, it took 100 hours and 32 rolls of aluminum foil to assemble Candy Cane Mountain, and Nolis called on his godson, Dana Harvey, a Pierson High School student, to help.

“There are also 180 electric candles in the windows,” says Nolis, who points to his mother as being the inspiration behind his love of Christmas.

“Tillie Nolis, my mom, was over the top with anything that could make people laugh. My mom passed away from Lou Gehrig’s disease two years ago. Christmas was always so much fun,” he says. “I definitely have my mom’s Christmas spirit. I didn’t realize how much I had it until she passed away. I built the house and I wanted to bring her here, but she was so ill, she never saw it.”

“Everything in my house as a story behind it. It’s authentic and for a reason. That’s what Christmas is for me,” he adds. “It’s my meaningful connection.”

Nolis is also a session singer who travels regularly to Nashville to record. He and his friend Mike Dodson have written a Christmas song entitled, what else, “Candy Cane Mountain.” Nolis recently recorded the song, backed up by some of his favorite Nashville singers, and come next Christmas, will officially release it.

 “It’s just a fun Christmas song. It reminds you of those old specials like Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”


Also on the tour this year is the historic Sag Harbor home of Joy Lewis — a circa 1830 Greek Revival on Hampton Street built for shipbuilder Charles T. Dering. Like Nolis, Lewis loves decorating for the holidays. But her displays reflect a slightly different focus.

“It touches me…the things people bring when they come to this country,” says Joy Lewis as she looks wistfully at the small, elegant Christmas tree on a table in the front hall of her home.

It’s obvious even to a casual viewer that Lewis has love for all things historic. Busts of George Washington and Voltaire share space with vintage board games and paintings of local notable figures.

“When I came to the East Coast, I can’t forget the first night I slept in an 18th century house,” says Lewis. “I loved it — that feeling of being in a house someone spent so much time in, the feel of the people that lived there before.”

“It inspires you to think of those who were here before,” says Lewis who is fascinated not only by people with names like Dering or James Fennimore Cooper who was Dering’s business partner and very likely visited him at the home or William Wallace Tooker the well known ethnologist who also once lived there — but by the smaller and often undocumented lives. The lives represented, for instance, on the Christmas tree in Lewis’ foyer.

The tree itself is from the German area of Transylvania in Romania. It’s all white — made of turkey feathers wrapped around wire. Hanging from the boughs are intricate little silvery ornaments that, at first glance, look as if they are made of tin. But closer examination reveals they are much more fragile in nature and are actually constructed of thick paper.

 “They are called Dresdens and were made in Germany from 1880 until W.W.I when they melted down the molds for munitions,” says Lewis. “I think the center of the craft was in Dresden.”

“They had a male and female mold, and they would punch them as engravers do,” adds Lewis. “There were three dimensional ones and also flat ones.”

Lewis notes that while the Germans were also known for making fine blown glass ornaments, those were primarily for export. The paper Dresdens didn’t tend to travel far from home — unless they were packed in the luggage of immigrants.

“The paper ones were for themselves,” she says.

Lewis and her late husband, Bob, became avid collectors of Dresdens after finding their first — a delicate little armchair — in an antique shop in the city. Many more were found at shops locally

“Our imagination was as if these are the ornaments that might have been brought by the Germans who worked at the watch case factory,” says Lewis.

Among the paper Dresdens on Lewis’ tree is a zeppelin, a fish, a miniature house and a sailboat. The tree is also decorated with die-cut lithographs from the period of angelic faces and outdoor scenes, as well as cornucopias and fragile, lacy looking ornaments most likely handmade by women in the Thüringen Mountains from material like cotton, wool and paper.

“They are so delicate. It’s amazing they survived,” says Lewis. “I love the cornucopia and the little presents in them.”

Considering the violent history of Germany — particularly Dresden which was heavily bombed during W.W.II — and the fact that the paper ornaments were mainly produced for the local market, it’s amazing that any of them have survived at all. In fact, notes Lewis, they are not all that common.

“In big traumas, things get lost,” she notes.

As a child born in Kansas during the Depression, Lewis knows all about big traumas, the fragile nature of family treasures and the appreciation of simple gifts.

“People born in the dust bowl in Kansas appreciate everything so much,” she says. “When you’ve had enough time to realize what you’ve been doing, though you don’t know while you’re doing it, you get an interesting perspective.”

“One thing I’ve realized is that one of the things Bob and I shared was a rescue fantasy,” says Lewis who bought and fixed up a number of old houses with her husband during their life together. “The first time we were in Sag Harbor, it looked like it was going into the ground. We just felt we had to save it.”

“My father was a small town preacher,” says Lewis. “That’s probably where I got my interest in saving things — but I turned to different stuff.”

When she was in third grade, Lewis and her family escaped the dust bowl by moving to Sheridan, Wyoming where her father had found a church to preach in. For Lewis and her little sister, it was Shangri-la.

“Everything I had seen until then was brown,” she says. “It was the Christmas season when we were there. People at the social hall were singing Christmas songs and they sang this Victorian one — ‘Up on the housetop.’”

“My sister told me later she was amazed that our mother knew the words,” says Lewis. “How did our mother learn the words? We had never heard her sing that song. That’s when I realized at another depth what the Depression meant. They could’ve sung them but didn’t. The songs are free, but they were too sad to sing them.”

The Sag Harbor LVIS Holiday House Tour is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 27. Five homes and the Sag Harbor Historical Society will be on view. Refreshments will be served at Bay Street Theatre, Long Wharf. Tickets are $35 in advance at the Wharf Shop or $40 on tour day at the Historical Society, 174 Main Street. Call 725-7984 for details.