When young Charlie Kenny first started coming to Montauk more than sixty years ago there was no Montauk Airport to land his small plane so he would often land on what is now Montauk Downs State Park. On other occasions, he would arrive by motorcycle, with wife Josephine riding second seat. This proved very convenient for getting around Montauk back then, particularly if they wanted to get down the partially paved road called East Lake Drive.

Whatever the mode of transportation, Charlie and Josephine found themselves coming back to the beauty of Montauk again and again for weekend reprieves from their hectic New York business. Charlie soon knew that Montauk would be HOME (Josephine took a little more convincing) and his first priority became the development of a Montauk business venture on one of the properties he and Josephine had invested in over the previous few years.

The site Charlie chose was on East Lake Drive, and he soon convinced brother-in-law, Paddy Sweeney, to move to Montauk also and join him in the venture. They, with a few other residents on East Lake Drive, went about bringing a paved road and electricity down to the end of East Lake Drive, and Charlie and Paddy, with the enormous help of Charlie’s dad, Pop Kenny and brother, Jackie Kenny, built their marina.

With families expanding (in Charlie and Josephine’s case, twelve children and in Paddy and Anne’s case, six children) the timing ended up not exactly right to continue the full time operation of East Lake. Both families had developed other businesses on the west side of the lake that they decided to pursue full time. Josephine, now age 87, and son, Ed Kenny, continue to operate Kenny’s Tipperary Inn today. 

In 2011, the Kenny family formally reopened East Lake Marina. Charlie and Paddy’s children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren are very grateful that East Lake provided Charlie and Paddy the inspiration to make Montauk our HOME.
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