Craig Scott Tuthill (1936-2016) Collection
Craig Tuthill knew Montauk as a kid who skated on thick ice at Tuthill Pond, as a grade-schooler who shared a classroom with but a handful of other pupils, and as a horseman who rode Western in an annual cattle drive from the railroad station to Deep Hollow Ranch. He worked at different times helping to entertain hunters on Gardiner’s Island, as a ranch hand, as a projectionist at the Montauk Movie Theatre, as a construction worker and maintenance man, as a corrections officer, running a home security business, and as a custodian for the Montauk Fire District.
He was a deeply dedicated volunteer with the Montauk Fire Department, serving for 63 years, including as Chief for a time beginning in 1979. In 2014, he had the distinction of being named grand marshal for the department’s 75th anniversary parade. He told the East Hampton Star that the largest fire he and his fellow volunteers were called to attack was at Fishangri-La on Fort Pond Bay, a sportfishing hub seen in happier days in several photographs in the Craig Scott Tuthill Collection.
In 2010, the Montauk Friends of Erin chose Craig Tuthill to lead their annual parade as the Grand Marshal. He was also a member of the Montauk Community Church and the Montauk Historical Society, of which his father had been a founding member. As a history buff he helped organize a 50th anniversary party for survivors of the hurricane of 1938 that was held at the historic Montauk Manor.
Craig Scott Tuthill was born in 1936, at Southampton Hospital, to Ellis Tuthill and the former Frances Scott. His ancestors extended to the North Fork and to Capt. Edwin Baker Tuthill, who developed a robust fishing operation and market on the Bay in the late 19th century before selling it in 1931 to Perry B. Duryea Sr., whose family ran it until 2014.
Craig Tuthill recalled in an oral history interview for the Montauk Library that his grandmother had operated a bed-and-breakfast in the former Montauk fishing village catering mostly to train conductors working for the Long Island Rail Road. His father worked as a fisherman and then owned and operated the nearby Montauk Lumber Yard and Tuthill’s Home Modernizing Center. Craig Tuthill favored freshwater, rather than saltwater, fishing and liked to do so on Fort Pond (also nearby) and at Hidden Lake.
Scope of Collection
This collection of black-and-white photographs focuses primarily on the Fort Pond Bay area of Montauk, which is where the former village was located and which was the terminus for railroad trains. Passenger cars on the “Fishermen’s Special” once transported herds of men to places on the bay like Fishangri-La, where party boats at the dock awaited them. Meanwhile, the railroad’s cattle cars carried Texas livestock to Montauk each year to graze and gain weight for eventual slaughter.
The Craig Scott Tuthill Collection includes aerial photographs of the fishing village before it was blasted by the 1938 hurricane and later confiscated by the U.S. Navy. In addition, there are photos of the former Wyandanee Inn, a large hotel near the Montauk Lighthouse whose basement was said to have been used by bootleggers during Prohibition, Fishangri-La in its heyday, and the dramatic annual shepherding of cattle from the train station to Deep Hollow Ranch in the 1950s. A clipping from The New York Times during that era that describes the process is also included in the collection.