Amagansett Coast Guard Station (Museum)
The station as it appears today
The station in the early 1900s
Backstory and Context
At one time, there were 30 life-saving stations on the South Shore of Long Island. The Amagansett Station was built in 1902 on Atlantic Avenue on a site that had been occupied by two previous stations. Most of the men who staffed the station were local fisherman who possessed an intimate knowledge of the area and the waters surrounding it.
The station’s crew was primarily responsible for watching for shipwrecks. They watched from the building’s tower as well as from the beach and over the years, they rescued passengers from several shipwrecks.
The station is associated with a particularly noteworthy incident from World War II. The station’s crew was also responsible for ensuring the safety of the beach, and in June of 1942, several men patrolling the beach encountered four men on the beach past curfew. The men claimed to be locals but were Nazis who had crossed the Atlantic in a U-boat. The patrolmen also found four boxes of explosives that the men buried in the sand. The discovery led to the establishment of the coast Guard beach patrol, which eventually grew to 24,000 men.
The station was decommissioned in 1944 and sat abandoned for several years afterward. It was eventually purchased by Joel Carmichael for $1 and moved to the bluff overlooking the original site, as the town wanted. The building was used as a residence by the Carmichael family until 2006, when the family decided to give the building back to the town. At that point, it was moved to its original site, albeit farther from the ocean.
The building underwent a restoration in in the 2010s and subsequently opened as a museum. In 2018, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Finn, Lisa. Historic Designation for Amagansett Life-Guarding Station, Patch. June 29th 2018. Accessed March 17th 2021. https://patch.com/new-york/easthampton/historic-designation-amagansett-life-guarding-station.
About , Amagansett Station. Accessed March 17th 2021. https://www.amagansettlss.org/about/.
Menu, Kathryn. Amagansett Life-Saving Station Listed on National Register of Historic Places , Sag Harbor Express. August 22nd 2018. Accessed March 17th 2021. https://sagharborexpress.com/amagansett-life-saving-station-listed-national-register-historic-places/.