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Saving Saltaire: The Hurricane of 1938


Oct 5, 2013


Joan Hellthaler, a Fairfield elementary school teacher and Fairfield University GESAP alum will be at the downtown Fairfield University Bookstore, 1499 Post Road, Fairfield, (203) 255-7756 on Saturday, October 5, 2013 from 12:00noon-3:00pm to sign copies of her new Middle Reader novel (May 8, 2013), Saving Saltaire: The Hurricane of 1938.

"Leave old Saltaire with a cheer, we'll all come back next year"... or would they? Join twelve-year-old Dottie Schmitt and her family as they face this unexpected hurricane in September 1938. This monster storm directly hits Saltaire, the tiny beach village on Fire Island, where Dottie spends her summer each year. What happens to Dottie and can Saltaire survive after such a devastating natural disaster? Saving Saltaire will take you back to this fateful day and the aftermath of the 1938 Hurricane.

Hellthaler’s connection to the Village of Saltaire is lifelong and close to her heart. "Papa" Schmitt, her maternal grandfather, brought the family to Saltaire in 1926. The Schmitt House remained in the family until 1971. The 45-year relationship with this lovely beach community off the south shore of Long Island on the barrier spit called "Fire Island" has long inspired Joan.

She continues her connection to Saltaire through her sister and brother-in-law who currently own a beach home in Saltaire where she is a frequent visitor. As Joan disembarks the ferry each time she visits, she always stops into the dock house to read the bronze plaque dedicated to her grandfather, Mayor Paul Schmitt, for his untiring efforts to bring Saltaire back from the devastation of the '38 hurricane. Joan lives in Fairfield, CT with her husband and two daughters.

The Fairfield University Bookstore is a full service bookstore operated by Follett Corporation, in the heart of downtown Fairfield, proudly serving the Fairfield Community and Fairfield University. Find us at www.fairfield.edu/bookstore and www.facebook.com/FairfieldUBookstore


The event is free and open to the public!


View map Fairfield University Bookstore
1499 Post Road
Fairfield, CT

Additional Information


Fairfield University Bookstore


(203) 255-7756

Contact name

Nancy L Quinn

Contact email


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