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Waterfront Park Named For Famed 'Grapes Of Wrath' Author Coming To Sag Harbor

Work will soon begin on a waterfront park in Sag Harbor named for a famous author and resident.
Work will soon begin on a waterfront park in Sag Harbor named for a famous author and resident. Photo Credit: Southampton Town

Work will soon start on a new waterfront park in Sag Harbor named for a famous author and resident.

At a ceremony to be held on Friday, Aug. 16 at 10 a.m., the Town of Southampton will formally transfer management of operation of Steinbeck Waterfront Park to Sag Harbor Village. 

The park will honor "Grapes of Wrath" author John Steinbeck who lived in Sag Harbor for the last 16 years of his life,  where he was instrumental in the creation of the windmill on Long Wharf and the annual HarborFest, which takes place in the fall, officials said in a town and village joint press release.

The parcel was acquired by Southampton Town with Community Preservation Funds.

The event will cap an effort, reaching back almost a generation, to save from condominium development one of the last remaining waterfront parcels in downtown Sag Harbor, officials said.

The new park will be linked with the existing Windmill Park and soon-to-be-updated Long Wharf, "forming a major interconnected and integrated waterfront amenity at the center of village life," according to officials.

"The Town of Southampton is proud to partner with the Village of Sag Harbor to create this new waterfront park," said Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.

"Steinbeck Park will enhance the village experience for everyone and honor a great American author who cherished Sag Harbor."

Steinbeck, the author of 27 books, including 16 novels, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962.

He wrote, "The Winter of Our Discontent" and "Travels with Charlie" while living in Sag Harbor, according to officials.

He died in 1968.

Informal design and planning of the park are being headed by landscape architect and Sag Harbor resident Edmund Hollander.

Moving ahead, "public opinion will be garnered," officials said.

Meanwhile, the site will be open to the public on an interim basis as 1.25 acres of green space, with split rail fencing, picnic tables, and benches.

Friday's event is open to the public.

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