Fire Island HistoryThe origin of Fire Island dates back all the way to 1653 when Babylon resident Isaac Stratford created a whaling station on the island and called it “Whalehouse Point”. Stratford and his crew carried boats across the Island and towards the Atlantic Ocean. To help watch for whales, towers were constructed and when a sprout was spotted, Stratford yelled “Whale Off!” and the boats would make their way into the ocean in the hopes of getting a catch.
In 1825, the Federal Government built the Fire Island Lighthouse at the western end of Fire Island. In a little less than 100 years later, four miles of sand had built up between the infamous lighthouse and the western end of the Island.
By the turn of the century, the Fire Island light was a crucial landmark for transatlantic boats and ships arriving in the New York Harbor. For numerous immigrants, the Lighthouse was a beacon of hope as it was the first scene they were witness to upon arriving in America. This historic light serves at the symbol of Fire Island and is still erected and serves as both a landmark and museum.
By the 1920’s, Fire Island was considered an illustrious summer resort. Beach goers flocked to Fire Island while residing in newly built bungalows all across the beach. Parties were an absolute as newly constructed speakeasies and pubs sprouted all across the Island. Fire Island became the ultimate hot-spot for artists, writers, musicians and celebrities.
With a thriving real estate market in the 1950’s, the first real communities on Fire Island began to flourish. Small cottages were built and by the 1960’s, Fire Island had become a retreat where the rich and famous rushed to get away from their busy New York lives.
Fire Island remains one of the trendiest places to own and inhabit property and beach homes. Fire Island is still a popular haven for artists, actors and the ultra rich. Fire Island is truly a unique get away as the island remains car free and devoid of the commercialism that inhabits much of the Hamptons. Fire Island is relaxed and casual, as the restaurants don’t have dress codes and visitors typically opt to dine and relax in casual clothes.
For visiting times and contact info please see our "things to do" section.