THE HENRY L. FERGUSON MUSEUM
ANNUAL EXHIBITION 2022
Year Round: A Celebration of Community
This year’s Annual Exhibition acknowledges, celebrates, and honors the people, organizations, and recurring events that support and bind our Fishers Island community together throughout the year. In order to portray as wide a range of Year Round subjects as possible (both people and organizations), the show has been structured as a series of snapshot portraits of our community at work and at play (often for good causes).
What could have been a sprawling project was made considerably more manageable by the fact that our community is relatively new. Despite the early European settlement of Fishers Island in the 1640s, a permanent population didn’t take root on our shores until the late 19th century due to prior single-family ownership. We had no town or independent businesses or institutions until the late 1870s and 1880s. During that period our first church was built (St. John’s), our first hotel opened for guests (Mansion House), our first lobstermen and fishermen set out from West Harbor, and our first grocery and general store (Wilbur’s) operated from the building that is today occupied by Toppers, Shutters & Sails, and the Liquor Store. The 1880s also brought us our first continuously operating school perched on what was then called St. John’s Hill. That building is today’s Library.
Between then and now, over the last century and a quarter, many new businesses and organizations have been established that provide services ranging from essential to educational to entertaining. In addition, they sponsor an array of annual events that support our community. The people that work for or volunteer their time to these organizations are the lifeblood of Fishers Island. They are the real stars of this exhibition, for they are the ones that keep Fishers Island safe and functioning smoothly throughout the year and help to make it an engaging, active, and interesting place to live.
Dr. Ralph Hoch leading Memorial Day parade from American Legion in a 1948 red MG driven by Eddie White, May 1978.
Photograph by Charlie Morgan. Museum Collection
Dr. Hoch was a Navy veteran, an outstanding physician, and a member of the Fishers Island community from 1960 until his death in 1997.
The American Legion was first established on Fishers Island in 1931. From that date until the Legion building pictured here was completed in 1956, members met and socialized in the Service Club adjacent to Fort Wright’s movie theater that is no longer standing.
Please note, the MG was owned and restored by Ernest Middleton, Jr., father of current Island resident Ernie Middleton.
View a sampling of images of year round workers, volunteers and community over time on Fishers Island
Artistic photos that portray the many facets of the island in the grip of snow and ice.
A collection of paintings of Fishers Island.