In 1936, construction began on the trio of runways that comprise the East Hampton Airport. The triple tarmacs overlapped and interlocked at their ends, and pilots looking down from the cockpits of buzzing DC-3s would have seen a tight triangle glistening in black amid the sandy Hamptons grass below.

It took the cooperation of three parties to pave those runways—the East Hampton Business Men’s Club joined up with the East Hampton Town Board to secure funds from the Works Progress Administration, the federal government’s New Deal program that was building America out of the Depression one steel beam and concrete pour at a time. Community, business, and government—the great American trio—connected the summery South Fork to the mainland of America.