The village and the picturesque harbor that separates it from Shelter Island Heights were named after Thomas Dering, a prominent Boston merchant who married Mary Sylvester of Shelter Island's founding family on March 9, 1756. Dering became the town's second supervisor and went on to become a prominent member of the new nation's Congress, a supporter of the Declaration of Independence and member of the convention that forged New York's first state constitution.
Dering Harbor lies on the north side of Shelter Island facing Greenport. It rose in 1916 on the site where the legendary Manhanset House hotel had stood from 1874 to 1910. The sprawling, 300-room resort, one of two on Shelter Island that emerged in the 1870s and changed it from a backwater to a booming resort, was destroyed by fire May 14, 1910. Wealthy cottagers who lived around the hotel became alarmed that key services it provided, including fresh water, fuel, street maintenance and sewage disposal, would be lost. They bought the hotel site for about $85,000 and formed the village in 1916.
Ten male voters were needed to pass the incorporation but couldn't be mustered. It was prior to women's suffrage but a loophole allowed women to vote on municipal incorporations. Three did, though they were unable to vote in the election of village officials.
The dominant figures among the wealthy cottagers, Charles Lane Poor and Benjamin Altha, had contending visions. Altha favored opening the site to development. Poor demanded it be kept a quiet summer residential enclave. He became the second mayor, in 1919, and his views prevailed.
Population Summer, 64; Winter, 13
Board meets 3rd Saturday of the month
Mayor: Timothy H. Hogue
Trustees: Linda Adams, Heather E. G.Brownlie, Richard A. Smith, Mary Walker
Village Clerk/Treasurer: Laura Hildreth
DPW Superintendent: Richard Surozevski
Village Justice: Joseph W. Prokop, Esq.
Counsel: Prokop & Prokop, Attorneys at Law
Chief Water Operator: Harry D. Bowditch
Fiscal Year Begins: June 1st
Village Election Day: 2nd Tuesday in June
Address: P.O. Box 3010, Shelter Island Heights, NY 11965
Square Mileage: 2.1
Local News 2.19.18
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