George Combs comes from a long line of baymen and rum runners in Freeport. Listen to his stories about the legendary Bill McCoy and other characters during Prohibition.
The 1920s was an interesting time on Long Island, with the passage of the Volstead Act that prohibited the importing and consuming of alcoholic beverages, ushering in the prohibition era. Many residents turned to local baymen and other boat owners to help satisfy their demand for wine and liquor through illegal smuggling and homegrown moonshine. […]
Bay house owners face unique challenges in building and preserving their homes, due to their location in a precarious maritime environment. Storms and hurricanes, along with frequent vandalism routinely threaten these fragile structures. Hurricane Sandy in 2012 destroyed many of the bay houses, but some remain. Hard work and labor are necessary to maintain the […]
Throughout the 19th and 20th century Long Island has been the home of many boat builders, ranging from traditional boat builders such as Gil Smith of Patchogue, who constructed garveys and skiffs for local baymen, to the Scopinich & Maresca boat yards that outfitted coast guard vessels and commercial fishing boats. Numerous industries supported this […]
On The Bay is a book on the bay houses within the Town of Hempstead. Written by Nancy Solomon, executive director of Long Island Traditions, the book documents the architecture of these unique structures originally built by baymen, fishermen and duck hunters in the early 19th century for shelter while clamming, fishing, harvesting salt hay or […]
Long Island Traditions, in collaboration with City Lore and the Village of Freeport, installed Freeport Waters,, a permanent trail of artful signage that highlights the personal stories, histories, and traditions of Woodcleft Canal, also known as the Nautical Mile. Woodcleft Canal is a major historic working waterfront corridor that is the site of various historic buildings including the Freeport […]
Historic Hotels The earliest recreational visitors came to Patchogue in the 1800s, typically businessmen who were involved in transporting the lumber and other products to New York City. Recognizing the natural beauty of the area, some visitors stayed overnight to enjoy the scenery and bountiful seafood. However these inns and houses are no longer standing. […]
Boatyards There have been many boatyards throughout the estuary that provided commercial fishermen with draggers or trawlers, garveys, skiffs, dories, and other watercraft used in both the bay and the ocean. In addition there have been boatyards, mostly in the 20th century, who specialize in recreational boats ranging from luxurious yachts to simple skiffs able […]