FIRE ISLAND HISTORY >> By Thomas McGann

  • The Bizarre History of the Smith Point Bridge

    The Bizarre History of the Smith Point Bridge

    Fire Island is accessible by boat or by bridges at either end. The more well-known of the two bridges is the Fire Island Inlet Bridge, sometimes incorrectly referred to as the Robert Moses Bridge because it is a continuation of the Robert Moses Causeway and ends in Robert Moses State Park. The lesser known of the two bridges is the ... Full StoryREAD MORE »
  • Stonewall Revolution: The Best and Worst of Times

    Stonewall Revolution: The Best and Worst of Times

    Who really knows why it all happened? Probably no one, not even those who were there. At least that’s how the story of the Stonewall riots continues to be told. But something was in the air that sweltering night at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York, June 28, 1969, a crazy night during crazy times. Judy Garland, a ... Full StoryREAD MORE »
  • The Miraculous Rescue of the “U.S.S. Northern Pacific”

    The Miraculous Rescue of the “U.S.S. Northern Pacific”

    By Thomas McGann No one knows how many wrecks have occurred off Fire Island’s shores, some horrific, some forgotten to history, but the most miraculous rescue must be that of the “U.S.S. Northern Pacific,” which ran aground on New Year’s Day in 1919, with a shipload of wounded soldiers. The World War I troop carrier left Brest, France, en route ... Full StoryREAD MORE »
  • O Whitman! My Whitman!

    O Whitman! My Whitman!

    By Thomas McGann Happy birthday, Walt Whitman, born 200 years ago, May 31, 1819. It is of thee we sing! We celebrate your birth! “Starting from fish-shape Paumanok, where [you were] born, well-begotten, and rais’d by a perfect mother…isle of salty shore and breeze and brine.” Printer’s Devil, typesetter, pressman, editor, publisher, teacher, writer, government clerk, nurse, poet of the ... Full StoryREAD MORE »
  • The Hurricane of ’38

    The Hurricane of ’38

    Personal Stories from Fire Island By Thomas McGann The hurricane hit Fire Island around 2:30 p.m. The eye was about 50 miles wide, the storm itself about 500 miles across. High tide was even higher than usual because of the autumnal equinox when the sun and moon align with the Earth. Pushed by winds gusting over 180 mph, the sea ... Full StoryREAD MORE »