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Southold Celebrates 375 Year Anniversary

slide2By Ruth Thomas

Settled by English colonists in 1640, the Town of Southold includes ten hamlets: Fishers Island, Orient, East Marion, Greenport West, Southold, Peconic, Cutchogue, New Suffolk, Mattituck, and Laurel along with the incorporated Village of Greenport. 2015 marks the 375th anniversary of the Town of Southold and festivities will be taking place throughout the year at different venues to celebrate this significant milestone.

Sponsored by the Town of Southold, the Southold 375 Anniversary Committee, Chaired by Herb Adler, Jr., President of the Southold Historical Society, has lined up a series of events for 2015. To start off with, a cocktail party was held at Brecknock Hall in Greenport on January 17, with town officials and other dignitaries attending. In February and March, the town hosted a lecture series. On April 12, there was a ringing of the bell for submarines at New Suffolk beach. On April 18, a Douglas Moore Memorial Concert was held.

Then on May 16, you could retrace Benjamin Franklin’s footsteps, where more than 260 years ago, he took a wagon ride down the North Fork measuring out the post road for the colonies. Called “Mile Marker Day,” there were refreshments and events scheduled at selected mile markers along the way from Laurel to Orient. Developed by George Cork Maul, member of the Southold 375 Anniversary Committee.

From April 25-May 25, the Southold Post Office is having a “Cancelled Postal Stamp” event where your postal item with postage already affixed can be cancelled with the Southold Town 375th Anniversary stamp.

The libraries of Southold Town are also presenting a series of community conversations in honor of the Town’s 375th anniversary. On the third Sunday from April to November, Sunday Story conversations will shine the spotlight on individuals who have made an impact on the community. Cutchogue New Suffolk Free Library held the first event on April 19 with Jane Minerva, former director for 31 years who shared stories about establishing the library as a community center. On May 17, Mattituck-Laurel Library featured Norman Wamback, Village of Mattituck historian who spent summers in a private enclave on Peconic Bay known as “Camp Mineola.” Upcoming events include June 14 at Mattituck-Laurel Library, TBA; July 19 at Floyd Memorial Library, with Carlos De Jesus, Greenport Village historian and descendant of Native Americans; August 16 at Floyd Memorial Library, with Ernestine Roye, fourth generation Greenporter and descendant of Native Americans; September 20 at Southold Free Library featuring Eleanor Lingo sharing her stories as an African-American living in Southold; October 18 at Southold Free Library with Michael Hagerman, publisher/editor of Peconic Bay Shopper; and November 15 at Cutchogue New Suffolk Free Library, TBA.

On Sunday, June 14, enjoy a Victorian High Tea on the museum complex of the Southold Historical Society organized by the First Presbyterian Church of Southold. On Friday, July 3, the North Fork Chorale will perform at Silversmith Corner in Southold.

On July 4th weekend, welcome Tall Ships to Greenport Village. From July 6-7 the featured ship will be the Hermione La Fayette frigate, an exact replica of the historic French ship that brought French general Marquis de Lafayette to the United States.

On Saturday, July 11, enjoy the 375 Art-Artisan Fair at the First Presbyterian Church in Southold. Featuring fine artists and artisans, music, tours of the historic church interior and old cemetery, costumed guides, and refreshments. Opening with the ringing of the old triangle once used to call the townspeople to worship and to town meetings. A commemorative poem by author Susan Dingle will be presented.

On Saturday, August 1, beginning at 11 a.m. watch the 375th Anniversary Parade in the Village of Southold. Starting at the west side of the Village, the parade will go through the Village to the Southold Fire Department and the grounds of the Southold Historical Society.

The Horton Point Lighthouse will feature musical events at 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 2 with Belle Voci Opera; Saturday, August 15 with Hidden City Orchestra; and Saturday, August 29, with Nian Et Cetera Concert.

On Saturday, August 8 at 7:30 p.m. enjoy the Douglas Moore Summer Concert at the Southold Historical Society complex grounds. The Atlantic Wind Symphony celebrates the legacy of Long Island composer Douglas Moore.

On Sunday, October 18, there will be a Commemorative Worship Service at the First Presbyterian Church. And ending the year-long celebration, on Sunday, December 20, take Worship Tours at many of the churches in the hamlet of Southold.

Nicholas Planamento, member of the Southold 375 Anniversary Committee says, “We live in truly one of the most special places in the U.S.A. – one where history is still alive. Many of the original founding families’ descendants still live, farm, and work locally and the vistas and views have not drastically changed since pre-Colonial times. Also, we have lots of historic structures that are lovingly maintained. I encourage all residents of Southold Town to participate and contribute to their local historical society. These groups are the gatekeepers of our history and it’s a history worth preserving.”

The Town of Southold is rich in its history and cultural heritage. Surrounded by farms, vineyards, and beautiful beaches, the Town of Southold remains one of the most idyllic places on Long Island. Take a step back in time, while enjoying the many interesting events during this 375th anniversary celebration.