Could everyone write one simple essay about something that once happened in Saltaire…that they saw or were a part of…and put it on one big website? Somebody should collect a lot of stories before we all forget. Otherwise it is like a line in “On The Beach” : The history of the war that now would never be written.” -(JO'H)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Instantly Indispensable

Instantly Indispensable

That's the only way we can describe “Historic Homes of Saltaire, 2011.”
Inspired and sponsored by SCAA, but primarily the result of the result of unbelievable digging by author Patricia Hennessey, this book memorializes, categorizes, slices and dices 100 years of Saltaire history and houses.
This is the first book ever that you can use to walk around the village and look at a classic house and find out:
“Who built it?”
“Who owns it?”
“Who was every darn owner of that house in the last 100 years?”

“Yeah, I remember them. They owned that house back in the '50's. I used to babysit there.”

Take the Leigh House, 1 West Bay Prom. Sure, the Leighs have owned it since 1964: Hennessey's book will tell you that before the Leighs it was owned by the Correas. And before them the Langs, all the way back to when it was built in 1914.

click image above to enlarge

.. and so on for 86 homes and buildings like the village stores; Yacht Club and churches.
This is crazy, dogged good research on Ms. Hennessey's part. She started with lists first drawn up by Kitty Goggins, Saltaire's second historian, and updated over the years by Liz Starkey and the SCAA. Then the searches: Village records; tax rolls; the 1925 Hyde Map. Then the trips all the way to Riverhead to the county clerk's office probably being a little pushy to get what she needed from musty archives.

Then Ms. Hennessey got together more than eighty classic village scenes from historical postcards and images. Many of these images are virtually impossible to find anymore. This I know. I have been searching for some of these images for years. They are very rare and collectors don't want to give them up.

The narrative writing and descriptions set up this history well. And the book supports its provenance with a thorough bibliography.

The production, design, graphics and layout by JP Williams is professional throughout and makes this book attractive, sturdy and of archival quality.

The end product is a definitive documentation of the history of Saltaire and Saltaire buildings.
Kind of thing you gotta have if you live in this place. Or used to live there.
Get it from the SCAA . Benefits the SCAA. Will help funding future research projects. See post below.


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