Blue Point Beach: A Private Community Full of History
By Timothy Bolger
WELCOME TO BLUE POINT BEACH, one of the least known and most secluded communities on Fire Island! Blue Point Beach is a private residential neighborhood of 10 homes about a half-mile west of Davis Park, the easternmost community on FI, and around the same distance from Water Island to the west. The community is made up of what is known as “inholdings,” meaning the homes there were exempted from condemnation when the Fire Island National Seashore was founded in 1964, but the community itself is not included in the recognition clause.
“You don’t get there easily,” author Jeff Richards wrote of Blue Point Beach in his book, “Fire Island in Color”. “Its residents don’t leave easily either.”
Like similarly remote communities, there are no ferries to Blue Point Beach, so residents get there either by private boat or ferry to Water Island or Davis Park and walking the rest of the way. The community maintains its own dock and two boardwalks, operates its own private drinking water well and is responsible for its own garbage removal.
Blue Point Beach’s moniker sounds as if there’s a lifeguarded beach within its borders, but don’t let the name fool you. The rare few visitors that manage to find their way here find no public facilities, just signs warning them that the boardwalks are private. Its residents value their privacy so much they declined to comment for this story.
And it’s not hard to see why. Blue Point Beach is uniquely situated in the easternmost stretch of maritime woodlands that’s similar to the Sunken Forest, which starts about seven miles west in Oakleyville, according to FINS. A real estate listing for a home on the market for nearly $1 million here touts it as “one of the most private homes on all of Fire Island,” according to KP Property Group.
Aside from exclusivity, the area is also rich in history. A station run by the former U.S. Life-Saving Service, which later became the Coast Guard, still sits on the oceanfront. And a historic shipwreck sits just offshore from here.
Station Blue Point, as it was known, was built in 1856, rebuilt in 1912 and then abandoned in 1946. Two rescuers were awarded Gold Lifesaving Medals for pulling survivors to shore when a schooner ran aground in 1904, according to Coast Guard historians.
More well-known is the story of how Blue Point Beach became the final resting place of the Gluckauf, a German tanker-steamer believed to be the world’s first bulk oil carrier, which ran aground here in 1892, according to Newsday. After attempts to tow it off the beach failed, scavengers picked it clean, the newspaper wrote. The remnants of the hull were visible from shore at low tide decades later, locals say.
Also nearby was the wreck of the Louis V. Place, a coal-carrying schooner that FINS historians described as one of the most well-known shipwrecks on Fire Island when it became stranded on a sandbar in 1895. Only one crewmember survived and four who perished were buried in Patchogue.
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