Seaford historian and Longtime Fire Department member Fred Roth brought Seaford’s history to life as he recounted his memories of the hamlet, at an evening presentation at the Seaford Public Library on September 17.
About 25 audience members laughed along with Roth as he joked about amusing memories from his younger years. Roth’s narrations were brought to life by pictures displayed on the table at the front of the library’s meeting room, as well as a PowerPoint presentation depicting different parts of the Seaford community throughout history.
Roth passed a map around to the audience, depicting Seaford from 1862 to 1906, and said he hoped everyone had on their walking shoes, as he was about to take the audience for a walk around the community. He started at the top of the map and made his way down, introducing historical facts about the buildings, the roads and the people who used to live in Seaford.
Roth said he was raised in C.S. Smith’s house, towards the bottom right of the map, and that before the railroad was created in 1867, goods were most likely brought to the community by ship near the lumber and coal yards. According to Roth, the 1865 Sportsman Hotel eventually became the current CVS along Seamans Neck Road. The first Seaford Fire Department chief was William Stahle, who served from 1910 to 1937. Roth called the Mid Island Department Store, which shut down several years ago, the “most famous store in Seaford.”
Seaford Public Library Director Frank McKenna said Roth has been a member of the Fire Department for 70 years and a historian with a “tremendous memory and experience of Seaford.” He said the memories and facts Roth provided the audience with were “a treasure.”
“Fred is one of the very top, interesting, friendly, warm people that I’ve met in my eight years here at the library,” McKenna said. “He’s a friend.”
Roth said he enjoyed his time speaking at the library and he hoped the audience enjoyed it as well.
“A lot of memories are coming back,” Roth said, speaking about the audience members. “You see a lot of people are old. A lot of them know some of the things I’m saying and they are shaking their heads.”