The Montauk Historical Society (MHS) was incorporated in January 1962, just as our hamlet was on the cusp of rapidly transforming from a remote fishing village into a busy summer resort. The main intention behind the society, then as now, was to research, study, preserve, and share our history so that it might become a part of our consciousness even as we look to the future.

Founding President Richard T. Gilmartin
Founding President Richard T. Gilmartin.

The guiding light behind the founding of the Montauk Historical Society was Richard T. Gilmartin, our first president, whose passion for historical Montauk led him to preserve, index and catalogue the 1648-1955 East Hampton Trustees’ Journals (still an important resource for researchers and historians) while he was employed as East Hampton Town Clerk during the 1950s.  In addition, he mentored a group of youngsters he called the “Explorers Club,” whom he regularly treated to tours around Montauk and the South Fork, inspiring in them the importance of historic preservation. 

Today, fifty years after its inception, the Montauk Historical Society is a privately funded, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization responsible for four entities: the Second House Museum, the Montauk Point Lighthouse, the Montauk Indian Museum, and the Carl Fisher House.