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The Old Town Arts and Crafts Guild had its beginning in 1949 with a Hobby Show for the benefit of the Polio Drive, with publicity on WCBS. The arts and handcrafts displayed by local people were impressive both in quality and quantity. As a result, a committee chaired by Mrs. Agnes Mothersele, assisted by Mrs. Ruth MacNish, Mrs. Earle Linton, Sr., Mrs. Ralph Booth, Mrs. John Kramer, Mrs. Owen White, and Mrs. Alma Cummings; met in the spring of 1950 to plan an Arts and Crafts Show on August 16 and 17, 1950 at the Southold Community Hall. 856 visitors signed the guest book and 86 people came and sold their wares. At a four day sale in August 1951, exhibitors met to elect temporary officers for the formation of an Arts and Crafts Guild for 1952. The Guild rented the small "Honeymoon Cottage" next to the North Fork Bank in Cutchogue on a yearly basis to be manned by members. Open House was on Sunday, May 1952 and 1953.
The Guild was incorporated on April 24, 1953 by Mrs. Ralph Booth, Mrs. Owen P. White, Mrs. Agnes Mothersele, Mrs. Ruth MacNish and A.P. L'Hommedieu. In 1952 the first official officers were President - William L. Hagen; 1st Vice President - Arthur P. L'Hommedieu; 2nd Vice President - Mrs. Louise Howell and Treasurer Mrs. C. C. Comes.
In 1953, the house across the street was up for sale, which offered more space. Through the generosity of a Guild member, the loan of $10,000 without interest made possible the purchase of that house from Harold G. Penny and Mrs. Kate M. Crawford on April 1, 1953. After some renovations to the house, the Guild moved in on April 1, 1953.
The Guild made payments on the loan each year. But in 1964 the balance of the loan was called in. Members of the Guild rallied to raise the balance due by issuing thirty Guild certificates of indebtedness at $100 each at 4% interest. With a legacy from Anne Currie-Bell, the payment was completed. Those bonds were redeemed by lot until 1970. Three of the bonds were donated to the Guild and canceled.
the intensive efforts of two Guild Presidents, Jean Peters and Mary
Cleo Tabor, the Internal Revenue Service gave us a tax-free status in
The Annual Outdoor Arts and Crafts Show takes place on the first Saturday in August on the Village Green in Cutchogue from 9 A.M. to 4 P.M., open to all who apply for space, 12 feet of snowfence or ground space, through the Guild.
The first Snowfence Show was held at the Guild on Saturday, August 29, 1953. This show has been held annually since then. Due to increased interest and participations, this event moved to the Cutchogue Village Green, through the kindness of the Cutchogue-New Suffolk Historical Council in 1973.
THE ABOVE WAS WRITTEN BY ENID ROTHLEDER, GUILD HISTORIAN