Water Mill Community Notes, May 7

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You just never know what’s going to pop up on Facebook. One of my recent favorites was a post by my friend Kevin Luss, who found a story from the 1978 edition of this paper about the winning under-8 Water Mill soccer team. The post included the article with a photo.Needless to say, it prompted comments from many walking memory lane. The photo included Tom Luss, a team coach and Kevin’s father, coach Pete Glennon, and notable Water Mill names. The team, according to the story, went undefeated that year, a remarkable accomplishment considering it failed to win a single game the year before.

One of the players pictured, Jay Berhalter, also the leading scorer the year the photo was taken, went on to become a top executive with U.S. Soccer. At our house, we’re loving how the league is growing in the U.S. and look forward to watching the NYCFC.

Soccer was big on the Water Mill fields and many of those who played are now raising their own children in Water Mill. Maybe our little hamlet will produce another soccer star.

The drive through downtown Water Mill was just lovely late last week with the cherry blossoms just bursting on the trees that line the street.

Also noted was the seasonal opening of the Green Thumb, right back at it selling its beautiful organic produce.

Next month the town’s 375th anniversary celebration kicks into high gear. There are activities planned throughout the end of the year with most hamlets and villages participating in some fashion, including an event hosted by the Water Mill Museum. Details on that will be forthcoming.

In the meantime, here’s a look back, farther back than the post by Kevin Luss, at Water Mill past:

In the year 1762, “… it was ordered by sd/trustees that the people at the Watermill and Mill Pond Head with their beibours there-abought may and shall have liberty to set up and build a School house at the place most convenient near Daniel Sandford House where he now lives so as not to hurt the publick highway and that upon their own caust.”

The Water Mill archives explain it further: It is probable that small one-room schoolhouses existed earlier than 1762 in Water Mill. A farmer would offer a corner of his property for a small schoolhouse and then help move it to another family’s field when his children graduated. The 1762 grant established a permanent location, probably chosen because it abutted wetlands and was not suitable for agriculture. An 1870 entry indicates 62 children between the ages of 5 and 21 were being educated at the school.

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