The Rich Geological History of Long Island's Gold Coast!

For most people familiar with the area, Long Island’s north shore conjures images of palatial estates and the serene waters of the Long Island Sound. Members of New York’s cultural elite have been making their homes on the Sound’s beautiful beaches long before F. Scott Fitzgerald drew international acclaim for his portrayal of “East Egg” and “West Egg” (based on Port Washington and Great Neck respectively) in The Great Gatsby. It’s safe to say that the “Gold Coast” has a long and storied history for New Yorkers, but what isn’t spoken about as often is the fact that the area’s geological past runs much deeper and is just as interesting. 

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From Elephants to Frankenstorms: A Brief History of the Long Beach Boardwalk

In terms of iconic Long Island landmarks, the Long Beach boardwalk shares the same hallowed ground as the Montauk Lighthouse or Sagamore Hill. Ever since William Reynolds first orchestrated its construction in 1906-1907, the boardwalk has played a central role in the Long Beach community and served as a destination for New Yorkers looking to spend a nice day at the beach.  

Today, the boardwalk remains as integral to the Long Beach economy and way-of-life as ever. It has survived several incarnations, but still draws thousands of people to enjoy its beauty and meet with neighbors.

Here are a few of the key stages of the boardwalk’s history.

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Keep Me Where The Light Is Part 1: Orient Point + Montauk Lighthouses

Montauk Point + Orient Point Lighthouses
As one would expect from an island located just outside a major port, lighthouses have played an important role in the history of Long Island. Since 1796, over twenty five lighthouses have been built on Long Island, each with their own unique story. On the north shore, lighthouses helped sailors navigate the jagged rocks and abrupt shoals of the Sound. On the south side of the island, lighthouses were often the first thing European immigrants saw when they reached their new home.
The Keep Me Where The Light Is series will look at two of Long Island’s lighthouses in each part. The goal is to provide a better view of the underwater geography of Long Island, as well as, the history of some of our most beloved historical structures and how to enjoy them today.

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Outdoors Lessons from Long Island's First Inhabitants

Chief among the many important lessons that the first settlers on Long Island learned from the Native Americans was how to make use of the abundant natural resources the island had to offer. The tribes who made their home on Long Island were expert fishermen, whalers, hunters, farmers and gatherers and their descendants still live in harmony with the land in many of the same ways today. They kindly passed that knowledge on to their new neighbors upon their arrival, and the stories of these first interactions between Native Americans and settlers on Long Island were not much different from those of the Wampanoag helping the Pilgrims survive their first harvest season at Plymouth in 1621. We’re all familiar with that tale as the inspiration for the first Thanksgiving Feast.

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