Fire Island is a string of communities and parks, gay and straight bars, boats and bridges, beach umbrellas and bungalows--all bound together by the pristine white sand of the island's beach. This 32-mile-long barrier island off the coast of Long Island has been defined by legendary shipwrecks and heroic lifesaving in the 19th century, but also kindled by menacing storms and a web of sociological intrigue as an upwardly mobile American middle class sought out vacation homes and coastal recreation during the 20th century. From cholera protests at the Surf Hotel in 1892 to a grassroots campaign to prevent a highway that ultimately established Fire Island National Seashore in 1964, Fire Island's history is a grand melodrama that has caught world attention.
About the Author
Former curator of the Ocean Beach Historical Society, Shoshanna McCollum is a freelance writer who has won awards with the New York State Press Association and Press Club of Long Island. Gerard Stoddard, who sat as president of the Fire Island Association for an unprecedented 24 years, contributes the book's foreword. Images gathered for this project come from a diverse group of collectors to reflect the mood, spirit, and way of life of this unique place.
Table of Contents
1 A Barrier Island 11
2 Lighthouses, Lifesavers, and Lodgings 15
3 Rise of the Resort Communities 33
4 Icons 47
5 Wrath of Storms 69
6 Fire Island National Seashore 83
7 Nature in the Balance 95
8 The Building Beach 105
9 A Beach Heritage 113
About the Organization 127