FIRE ISLAND HISTORY >> By Thomas McGann

  • Pandemics and Fire Island: A Brief History

    Pandemics and Fire Island: A Brief History

    AS ISOLATED AS FIRE ISLAND is it has had more than its share of pandemics. COVID-19 is only the latest, and thanks to the leadership of mayors, police officers, business owners and just plain folk, Fire Island is skirting most of the damage being inflicted on the rest of the world. Actual cases of the disease here on the island ... Full StoryREAD MORE »
  • Forgotten Bay Shore Aviation History

    Forgotten Bay Shore Aviation History

    Long Island has a rich aviation history. It is home to the three busiest airports serving New York City (JFK, LaGuardia, and MacArthur) as well as numerous small airports dotting the island that provide everything from recreational flying to flight training to skydiving. There are other significant airports that have been lost over time to shopping malls, schools, parks and ... Full StoryREAD MORE »
  • 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 »