FIRE ISLAND HISTORY >> By Thomas McGann

  • Robert Moses: A Visionary Stricken with Myopia

    Robert Moses: A Visionary Stricken with Myopia

    It is not hard to understand why Fire Islanders with a knowledge of history of the island would dislike Robert Moses. He did, after all, try to jam a four-lane highway down the center of their island in spite of their vehement opposition. As ill-conceived as that idea was it is not representative of the visionary Robert Moses. He foresaw ... Full StoryREAD MORE »
  • The Two Other Halves: William Floyd’s Wives

    The Two Other Halves: William Floyd’s Wives

    General William Floyd (1734-1821), one of only 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, had two homes and two wives. The first home is the William Floyd Estate in Mastic, part of the Fire Island National Seashore. His first wife was Hannah Jones (1740-1781), daughter of William and Mary Jones of Southampton. His second home is the General William Floyd ... Full StoryREAD MORE »
  • Shinnecock’s Missing Light

    Shinnecock’s Missing Light

    Necessity builds lighthouses. Progress replaces them. Heritage preserves them. At one point there were three proud lighthouses standing guard over the south shore of Long Island: Fire Island Lighthouse, Montauk Lighthouse, and the Shinnecock Lighthouse. Today only two remain. Where the Shinnecock Lighthouse once stood something is missing. Even back in the mid 19th century something was missing. There was ... Full StoryREAD MORE »
  • Wild Things: Maurice Sendak on Fire Island

    Wild Things: Maurice Sendak on Fire Island

    Maurice Sendak is the author of the 1964 Caldecott Award winning children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are.” The book remains number three on the top 10 bestselling children’s books of all time.1 You may have read it yourself. And while not often documented, Sendak also spent time on Fire Island. Background: The basics of Sendak’s life are well documented. ... Full StoryREAD MORE »
  • 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 »