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The LIRR and Fire Island

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By Thomas McGann Besides the obvious — beaches, beauty, and solitude — a major reason Fire Island is so popular is its proximity to New York City and its environs, drawing on a population of 12 million people within a 50-mile radius. Its draw is also the ease of access for those who choose Fire Island for their getaway, the … Full Story

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A Brief History of Maguire’s Restaurant

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By Thomas McGann It is hard to miss the obvious pride that the owners of Maguire’s Bay Front Restaurant, Jim Betz and Drew Becker, amply demonstrated over this past winter. One look at their extensive renovations is proof positive. Maguire’s is one of the oldest restaurants on Fire Island, predated by the Surf Hotel of 1855 (since demolished) and the … Full Story

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HISTORY: General George C. Marshall and Fire Island

by Thomas McGann |

General George C. Marshall (Dec. 31, 1880 – Oct. 16, 1959) author of the internationally acclaimed and hugely successful Marshall Plan and recipient of the 1953 Nobel Peace Prize was a resident of Ocean Beach, Fire Island for over 20 years, from the summer of 1930 until 1951. The house on Bayberry where he stayed was originally purchased by his … Full Story

Celebrating John Muir: “Father of the National Parks”

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By Thomas McGann IT IS ONLY FITTING that as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of our National Park System on Aug. 25, 2016, we should also celebrate the life of John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club and the man rightfully called the “Father of the National Parks.” John Muir (April 21, 1838 – December 24, 1914) … Full Story

Happy 70th Anniversary to the Fire Island Summer Club

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By Thomas McGann FIRE ISLAND SUMMER CLUB is one of the lesser known of the 16 individual and distinct communities on Fire Island. It is located between Corneille Estates, a mere two-block walk from the infamous metropolis of Ocean Beach on the east, and the Fire Island National Seashore (FINS) on the west. The Summer Club was incorporated in 1946, … Full Story

Free Union Church of Ocean Beach Celebrates its Centennial Anniversary

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By Thomas McGann THE FREE UNION CHURCH located at Ocean Breeze Walk and Midway in Ocean Beach will be celebrating its 100th anniversary with a re-dedication ceremony on Sunday, August 28, 2016. Events will include: Saturday, August 27 at 7 p.m. Picture show – 50/60 pictures – These pictures will include the laying of the church cornerstone, various events throughout … Full Story

Fire Island National Seashore as a World Heritage Site?

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By Thomas McGann A WORLD HERITAGE SITE (WHS) is a PLACE listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as being of special cultural and/ or physical significance. Once a World Heritage Site designation has been assigned, world-class expertise can be brought to bear to protect that area. There are 1,031 sites (and counting) throughout the world, … Full Story

Women’s Rights, an Italian Revolutionary and a Shipwreck

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By Thomas McGann This year marks the 165th anniversary of the shipwreck of the barque “Elizabeth” off the coast of Fire Island. On July 19, 1850, a sailing vessel named “Elizabeth” ran aground on a bar near Point O’ Woods, five miles east of the present day Fire Island Lighthouse. Eight persons died in that tragedy including the renowned author … Full Story