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A Trip to "The Dairy" and other Places Down Memory Lane

Fondly remembering businesses long gone.

As I was driving down Race Lane the other day I had a thought: How many people know where "the dairy" was?

Whenever I had to pick something up at the , I say to myself "I'm going to pick that up at the dairy" because I still think of it that way. For many, many years that spot on Race Lane had a small white building with green trim that was the G&T Dairy - a place we'd stop after school for a candy bar or ice cream sandwich.

In the 1970s when "the Dairy" became known around town for its fried chicken, they changed the name to "The Chicken House," and then eventually it was sold, the building altered, and it became the green grocer called "Schmitts." Now it's the Hampton Market Place. But to me, and to so many others who grew up in East Hampton, it will forever be known as "the dairy." 

So then I started thinking about the other names and places around town that have changed since I was young. My children may not remember many things the way I remember them. So here's my list - a bit of a quiz for East Hamptoners who may like having their memories jostled a little. Because memories are always (well, usually) fun.

See how you do with these questions:  

1.  Do you know where the Ross Fanning Jewelry Store was?
2.  Do you remember the original location of The Marmador?
3.  Do you remember where the Post Office was before it moved to Gay Lane?
4.  What was the name of the restaurant that used to be where Nick & Toni's is now?
5.  Can you remember where two gas stations stood on Newtown Lane?
6.  Where was the soda fountain on Main Street?
7.  Where could you buy appliances in East Hampton the 1950s (there were two places!)?
8.  Can you remember  where the penny candy store was?
9.  Do you know which store had a back room where "adult" cards and gifts could be purchased?
10.Where did a French restaurant stand on Main Street and what was its name? 11.Do you remember what the most expensive clothing store in town was in the 1960s?
12. What was in the building on the corner of Rt. 27 and Spring Close Highway before it was a bank?
13.What was the name of the first soft ice cream stand in East Hampton and where was it?
14.Where were the four East Hampton car dealerships in 1960s? 

Who can come up with more of these to stimulate our memories?

Those of you who grew up in Montauk, Amagansett, Wainscott, and Springs will have some that will stump us, I'm sure. Like what the Marine Museum building was built for and where Jungle Pete's was.

I look forward to the challenge.

Dana Kalbacher February 27, 2011 at 03:14 PM
This has been a great little blog! And how right you are..We couldn't get away with a thing! My Dad knew where were going before we did it seemed!!! Everyone took care of each other..and their kids ;))!! Great job folks!
Dana Kalbacher February 27, 2011 at 03:46 PM
I wish my children could have grown up in the Amagansett I grew up in...Gone are the familiar faces and places but not forgotten! Billy covered it well above..from Brents to DiSunno's..with John Cantwell,Mr Bunker and Chris his wife and her poodles, Tuckers,Rink and Stan, Nick Catalano,my grandparents and Dad and uncle at LaCarrubba's, IGA and Betty Miller and her long red nails with Mr Moss and Winslow (and later on Rexall Pharmacy with Bob and Lou), Ambroses',Oniskos,Carelton Kelsey,Mr Nielson at the PO, Gordons..Grandpa Pete Rana for men, and Charm Beauty Salon with Peter Jr, and the Fields dairy, Struks Farmers Market...down to Bunker Hill and the DiSunno's...Growing up on Amagansett's Main St...as they say..Priceless!!
Dana Kalbacher February 27, 2011 at 03:58 PM
Amagansett's most colorful character to me was Dick Halliday ..he would stroll thru town daily, with his little brown bag, and visit all the shops to share a joke or just to shout out his seagull calls!!! I loved it when there was a city visitor nearby ..Dick had no inhibitions and he had a colorful language that would set them back a few!
Mike Smith February 27, 2011 at 04:17 PM
The Newtown Shuffle -- when you reached the point you couldn't cross the street, it was time to go home. Lyons had 25 cent short beers, and after you bought four you usually got one free. (Large beers were 60 cents, I think, back when I was doing The Shuffle.) Sam's was about the same, so you could Shuffle way longer than sensible and spend 5 or 6 bucks. And you could always find a convenient place to park. (Shuffle + driving = not a good idea!)
Barbara Borsack February 27, 2011 at 04:55 PM
I'm loving all these memories from others of you who grew up here! It was such a wonderful place to live - still is - but the 1950s were a magical time in this country and East Hampton was no different. Keep writing your memories - they're making us all smile!
Billy Havens February 27, 2011 at 07:46 PM
Dana I can remember sitting in your Grandpa's barber chair up on that board he had that went across the arm rest if you didn't sit still he would give you a little swat upside your head and tell ya to sit still so you would because you know you had a piece of bubble gum waiting for you.It's nice to go back in time as Dana said priceless!!!
Billy Havens February 27, 2011 at 07:56 PM
I just got to thinking could you imagine if the fish factory was still in operation you wouldn't have a house from Bindago Rd. to the factory and just think how many beach plums and blueberries that would still be there.
Dana Kalbacher February 27, 2011 at 08:06 PM
My Grandpa was LaCarrubba Bill! Thats Dawn's grandpa that was smacking your little head!!! LOL!!! The confusion still reigns on!!! Very funny...Always were mixed up..think it was the "D" names!!! And that is for sure about Promised Land! That stink would have kept everyone away!!! Man that was AwFul!!!! ;)))
Bruce February 27, 2011 at 08:57 PM
Billy, I still remember that odor driving past the Smith Meal fish factory in Promised Land when it was in operation in the 60's before closing in 69. In 1971, the electrical firm I was working for sent me down to the fish factory to disconnect some motors for shipping to another plant down south. In 71-72 there was still a skeleton crew of 3-4 guys there to keep the machinery up in case it reopened. I also remember Babes Ward working there in the brick office building. Anyway, I was there a few days and got a good tour of the place. It was quite an operation and even had it's own railroad siding. There was a conveyor belt on the dock that brought the bunker up to the 2nd floor where they were cooked in a giant vat. Bunker oil was extracted and kept in large tanks. The fish were then transported by conveyor belt to another large building on the west side where there was a huge auger that gound the dried fish into meal for fertilizer and animal feed. The plant required huge amounts of water and one tank in the front alone held a million gallons. I guess the heyday down there was in the 1950's. A partner of mine was able to get the old guard booth and put it in his backyard. I remember the calender tacked inside still read August 1968. People nowadays see the two old metal buildings still standing and think that was the whole factory. In reality, the place was 20 times as big and just driving around the plant took a while. All of this was removed in the late 80's I believe.
Bruce February 27, 2011 at 09:19 PM
Also, as far as the beach plums go, I was able to get enough berries in Lazy Point, in two hours, late last summer to make 50 jars of beach plum jelly. People actually pay 8 or 9 dollars for a small jar of jelly. It's that good. Sorry, like any local, I won't disclose the location anymore than I would the locations of the best places to dig clams. But if your local, you know.
Billy Havens February 27, 2011 at 09:20 PM
Gosh Dana I knew that must be my sometimers LOL...
Billy Havens February 27, 2011 at 09:31 PM
Bruce thats what i made 50 jars of jelly and i have enough juice in the freezer to make another 25-30 jars.Last summer was a hay day for beach plums they were everywhere.Kinda crazy to think you can get that much for a jar of jelly glad i get them myself because if I paid that much I better be getting a maid to spread it on my toast..LOL
Barbara Borsack February 27, 2011 at 09:34 PM
My mother took us to Albert's Landing in the summer (long before there were life guards and comfort stations!) and I remember those days when the wind was just right - we'd climb out of the station wagon (no seatbelts - all piled in the back end!) scrunch up our noses and say "Yuck - Promised Land!"
Kathleen Waygood February 27, 2011 at 11:47 PM
We used to go to Sammis Beach...changing our clothes to our bathing suits in the old wooden bath house. No bathrooms there, not even an outhouse like Fresh Pond had. The bath house was a couple of rooms with wood walls on each side of a building. Some curious kid would invariably take their pocket knife and cut 'peep holes' in the walls, so you had to stuff them with paper or a corner of your towel to have any privacy. I know one bad boy who would crawl in the sand under the bathhouse to try to sneak a peak through the cracks in the planks that made the floor of each room! And yes...you could smell the 'fish factory' all the way over to Sammis Beach and Old House Landing Beach if the wind was 'just so'.
Kathleen Waygood February 27, 2011 at 11:56 PM
We used to go to Sammis Beach...and we could smell the 'fish factory' from there too, if the wind was 'just so.' We'd change from our clothes to our bathins suits, and reverse the process when we were heading home. The bathhouse was just a few changing rooms on each side of the building, no bathroom...not even an outhouse like Fresh Pond had in those days. The whole of the building was made of wood planks, and invariably, some curious young male would take his pocket knife to the wall and cut a 'peep hole' so you had to stuff it with paper or the corner of your towel in order to be sure of privacy. Well...even then you couldn't be certain of not being spied on. Sometimes a boy would crawl, combat style on his belly, through the sand under the bathhouse, risking bites by sand fleas and horse flies, in order to sneak a peak through the floor boards!
Kathleen Waygood February 27, 2011 at 11:57 PM
Gail...did the Barrigars live on the farm when you were there? They were a young couple with a baby when they lived there.
Donna Pallante March 24, 2011 at 02:52 PM
Can anyone remember a place called Hampton Gallery or Hampton Auction Gallery? I'm from out of state but stumbled on to this interesting site...I've tried the library and the historical society to no avail! I know they were around in 1966 as I have a receipt taped to the back of a painting--I'd like to track the place down. Thanks - Donna
Mike Smith March 24, 2011 at 03:10 PM
I remember Hampton Gallery -- it was on Main Street, one of those shops local people (at least this local person) never saw the need to enter. They sold, I believe, assorted "antiques" and curios, odds and ends, etc. I hesitate to say "junk," because some of it might have been very valuable. It just looked like a hodgepodge from outside. (I could be wrong on this -- maybe the place was a gold mine for antiques collectors.) I think it closed years ago, a victim of the gentrification of Main Street.
Kathleen Waygood March 24, 2011 at 08:17 PM
Mike..where was it's proximity on Main Street? Say...start at the light, and how far down, across from what, etc? I don't remember it at all.
Mike Smith March 24, 2011 at 09:22 PM
As I remember, from the light heading toward Town Pond it was on the right, between Marley's and the 5&10 -- in today's geography, that's roughly directly across the street from the intersection between The Circle and Main St. I think, anyway. Maybe some other old Bonacker can be more precise.
Barbara Borsack March 24, 2011 at 09:45 PM
I think you're talking about Whitman Gallery which was located between Marley's and the 5&10 and sold curios, jewelry, collectible, and even yard and patterns. I shopped there often! But I do not remember the Hampton Gallery, which was apparently an art gallery - anyone else?
Barbara Borsack March 24, 2011 at 09:49 PM
That's "yarn", not "yard"! And it did look a bit hodge podge but had some very nice things inside. They even sold deerfiled leather moccasins. It had a very distinctive odor! Gary D'Amario worked there for years - married the owners daughter I believe. Anyway - not the place Donna is looking for! Any other ideas out there?
Mike Smith March 24, 2011 at 09:54 PM
Barbara, You're right -- the place I'm thinking of was Whitman Gallery, not Hampton Gallery. Your memory is better than mine. And so the mystery continues................
Dana Kalbacher March 24, 2011 at 10:53 PM
Loved Mrs Rose at Whitman!
Kathleen Waygood March 25, 2011 at 01:14 PM
I missed Whitman Gallery when it closed. It was a great place to find a gift at an affordable price.
Pamela Schenck March 25, 2011 at 09:40 PM
Barbara ... you are going to get Gary D'Amario in trouble. It was Gary Salisbury who worked at Whitman Gallery and he did marry the owner's daughter. Both Gary's grew up on Talmage Lane ... Pam
Barbara Borsack March 25, 2011 at 10:55 PM
LOL! Oh my gosh Pam you're right! I had the right person in my mind but the wrong name! It was indeed Gary Salisbury!
Audrey Stonemetz November 16, 2011 at 01:34 PM
I believe your thinking of Whitman Gallery! A lady by the name of Grace Rose ran the store !
Amanda Salisbury-Faith July 07, 2012 at 09:33 AM
I love the comments on here! Grace Rose was my grandmother, and I grew up in Whitman Galleries. I often went to work with my mother Margaret, who is Grace's daughter, and my father Gary. This has brought back many memories for me! As the youngest, I was often sent for coffee and donuts at Dreesen's, A fond memory was walking in and seeing my Uncle Eddie making the donuts. The business closed after my grandmother passed. I am very happy to see that the business she was so devoted to and loved is still remembered fondly!
Rick Hoyt July 07, 2012 at 10:53 AM
Thanks Barbara For This Post ! - I Also Remember Albert's Landing We Has a Station Wagon Too, No Seat Belts - My Sister And I Would Stick Our Heads Out Of The Windows And Laugh, All The Kids Would Run When The "Doodle Bug" Came For Ice Cream.When I Was Maybe 11 Years Old, We Would Ride Our Bicycles All The Way From The Village To Tabor's Dock To go Fishing, Also Rode Down To Northwest Harbor,Would Always Bring Fish Home For Mom,Can't Imagine Doing That Today ! Remember Eddie's Luncheonette Fondly, Going There My Self As a Young Lad.We Don't Find That Vibe Anymore, I Go To Northern VT And There Are Some Towns There That Give Me Flash Backs Of My Childhood.Great Times Indeed !

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