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Amagansett Life-Saving Station (1902) East Hampton, NY

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This Quonchontaug-type station was built in 1902. It was not the first on this site. The original station was one of the first wave of stations erected on Long Island (NY) in 1849, and was replaced by an 1876-type station in 1876. The 1902 station remained in service until 1944, when it was decommissioned.

The station house remained abandoned until 1966. The town wanted it removed from the beach, so Joel Carmichael purchased the station for one dollar and moved it up onto the bluff above. There it remained a family residence until the death of Mr. Carmichael in 2006. The family then decided to give the station back to the town, and in 2007 it was moved back to the original location, in the dunes below the bluff off Atlantic Avenue. This move is the subject of Eileen Torpey’s documentary film, Ocean Keeper. Although placed in the original site, due to shifting sands it is farther from the ocean than previously, thus better protected from the surf. Robert Hefner, East Hampton town’s historic preservation consultant, said that the architecture of the building remains largely intact.

The future of the former Life-Saving Station now rests with the Amagansett Life-Saving and Coast Guard Society, Inc. (ALSCGS) who was given the task from the East Hampton Town Board. The Amagansett Life-Saving and Coast Guard Restoration Committee raised the necessary funds to have completed in 2011 a historic structure report on the building. This report will guide the restoration process, which seeks to return the station to its 1902 appearance. Once restored, the building will accommodate a museum, an office for town lifeguards, and public meeting spaces. Committee Chairman David Lys reported in March 2014 that exterior work was nearly completed: a new deck, boat room doors, chimney, handmade glass windows and shingling have been installed. Interior work is well underway, and is due be completed by the end of 2015.

The Society has also acquired two surfboats for display in the station boat room. Peter Garnham of the ALSCGS reported in February of 2015 that a Monomoy surfboat was donated to Amagansett by the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. Also, Amagansett will be receiving a Beebe surfboat, the last one known to exist. This boat will undergo a complete restoration in Greenport, NY, home of Frederick Beebe’s original boatyard, before being placed in the Amagansett LSS boat room. The Beebe surfboat, which spent its working life nearby at the New Shoreham station on Block Island, RI, is owned by the National Parks Service and will be on loan to the ALSCGS.

Amagansett Life-Saving and Coast Guard Society, Inc.

Ocean Keeper movie: