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Professor Tara Rider to Review the History of the Southampton Windmill


southampton windmillDr. Tara Rider, professor of maritime and environmental history in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, will turn her focus onshore and discuss the rich history of the Stony Brook Southampton campus windmill on Tuesday, Oct. 23.

Once known as the Mill Hill Windmill, the 300-year-old windmill was moved from the village of Southampton up to the top of Shinnecock Hill in the 1890s. Now a national literary landmark, the windmill is a fixture in local lore and has accumulated many myths and legends over the years.

The lecture will take place at the windmill itself at 2:30 p.m.

The windmill was officially designated a Literary Landmark on July 13, 2013, by United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association, in partnership with Empire State Center for the Book. The designation ceremony kicked off a yearlong celebration of the Southampton campus’ 50th anniversary that year.

The windmill was granted landmark status because it was once the residence of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tennessee Williams, who lived there in the summer of 1957 while writing the experimental one-act play “The Day On Which a Man Dies.” The play portrays the last day of an artist’s life and explores themes of life, death and desperation. It was written partly in response to the death of Williams’ friend, the iconic artist Jackson Pollock.

The windmill, constructed in the early 1700s and moved from Southampton Village to its present location on campus in 1890, was part of the former Claflin estate.

Restored by Stony Brook University in 2006, the windmill features ornate woodwork and two operational hearths. It hosts various meetings and special events throughout the year.

Space is limited, so guests are asked to please RSVP at the Stony Brook Southampton Library website.

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