Photo: Bay Shore Spanish Colonial house

Welcome to the Community history section of the South Shore Estuary Reserve portal site. In this area you will find brief essays about the historical development of the different geographic regions of the Reserve, based on our surveys and interviews. In 2004 LI Traditions conducted a maritime survey of the communities spanning from Oakdale to Brookhaven Hamlet, focusing on boat yards, fishermen and baymen, duck hunters and decoy carvers, summer homes, bungalows and commercial fishing operations. We have included the survey forms here. The project was funded by grants by the Preservation League of New York, the South Shore Estuary Reserve Council, former Suffolk County legislator Brian Foley and currently Brookhaven Town Supervisor, Assemblywoman Ginny Fields and the Village of Patchogue.

You will notice that some regions have more information than others, for several reasons. The primary reason is that Long Island Traditions is a small non-profit organization which relies on grants and contracts for cultural resource surveys, funds that are becoming smaller each year. As a result we have not been able to conduct nearly as much research as we would prefer.

That’s where you come in. We hope you will share your knowledge of your community’s maritime heritage and historic sites, through our survey packet Think of this as the Estuary’s “Wikipedia,” except that we will actually talk to you about your information, and ask you to provide the research sources. Research sources include newspaper articles, interviews, published works, maps and photographs. And if you are energetic, and want to document some of the communities not included, and there are many, use the survey packet to guide you.

Through this collaborative enterprise the site will expand, so visit the site often to see what else is new. And please, send us your photographs! They should be jpegs with resolution of 300 dpi. We also need to know the photographer’s name. Please do not send us photographs from other web sites, as they may be copyright protected. Contrary to popular belief, not all photographs on the web are part of the public domain.

Now go explore these wonderful places!