City Island Postcard “At Sea”

May 7, 2009 at 3:35 pm Leave a comment

Talk story about City Island and its maritime history. In 2007, a fire, most-likely set by local teen-agers, closed City Island Nautical Museum for almost a year. It reopened recently, thanks, in part, to a thirteen-hundred-dollar gift from the fourth graders at P.S. 175. City Island, which is at the western end of Long Island Sound, just south of Pelham Bay Park, looks like the illegitimate child of Nantucket and Hunts Point Avenue. It contains what is probably the city’s densest concentration of yacht clubs (six of them), and seafood restaurants. The Nautical Museum is in a nineteenth-century building that used to be a public school. Many of the museum’s exhibits pertain to local nautical history. Oyster farming was invented on City Island, in the eighteen-thirties. Later, the island’s economy was dominated by boatbuilding and sailmaking. The president of City Island History Society, which operates the museum, is Edward Sadler, whose first name is usually given as Captain. He was born on the island in 1916, in a house that his grandfather built in 1887. He spent most of his working life in New York Harbor, as the captain of fireboats and as a pilot. One recent day, while some repairs were under way at the museum, Captain Sadler dropped by to look things over. Speaking to Georg Grap, the museum’s building contractor, who pointed out a freshly installed piece of mahogany trim, up near the ceiling of the rebuilt porch, and Sadler, very please, said, “In all my years, I’ve never seen work to equal this.”

David Owen
New Yorker

Entry filed under: Bronx, Get Wet, Maritime. Tags: , .

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