FIRE ISLAND HISTORY >> By Thomas McGann

  • 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 ...READ MORE »
  • Wolcott Gibbs: F.I. mellows a curmudgeon

    Wolcott Gibbs: F.I. mellows a curmudgeon

    History By Thomas McGann “Backward ran sentences until reeled the mind,” reads Wolcott Gibbs’ parody of Time magazine, an article that is still highly touted, so much so that it tends to obscure much of what else he wrote, and write he did. Gibbs concluded his lampoon, “Where it all will end, knows God!” Gibbs wrote for The New Yorker ...READ MORE »
  • The Fascinating History of Lighthouses

    The Fascinating History of Lighthouses

    From Pharos to Fire Island By Thomas McGann On Aug. 7, we will celebrate National Lighthouse Day, and countdown to the 30th anniversary in which Congress passed this resolution. It was on Aug. 7, 1789, that the Bureau of Lighthouses was founded. When President Ronald Reagan signed the bill 200 years later, he did so in recognition of the incalculable ...READ MORE »
  • Lambda Legal: Protecting LGBT rights for 45 Years

    Lambda Legal: Protecting LGBT rights for 45 Years

    By Thomas McGann Lambda Legal is a civil rights organization that specializes in lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender (LBGT) rights, as well as those living with AIDS/HIV. In 1971, Lambda Legal’s founder William J. Thom was sitting around a pool in the Fire Island Pines lamenting the frequent arrests of local gay men. Before being a liquor store owner, the ...READ MORE »
  • The William Floyd Estate

    The William Floyd Estate

    Gunpowder and Gumption By Thomas McGann This year celebrates the 300th anniversary of the William Floyd Estate, one of the gems of the Fire Island National Seashore. The estate is the ancestral home of William Floyd (1634-1821), one of only 56 original signers of the Declaration of Independence. The estate is not contiguous with the rest of the FI National ...READ MORE »