For information on our upcoming Bay House Tours, visit our Events page. Since 1992, Long Island Traditions has sponsored a bay house tour in Freeport. Bay houses are small shacks that stand on the marshlands that were originally built in the 1700 and 1800s by fishermen, baymen, and duck hunters for shelter while they harvested […]

Along the Jones Beach bicycle path next to the Wantagh Parkway is the permanent exhibition “Sandy Shores,” curated by Long Island Traditions. The 3-section exhibition explores the history and construction of the Wantagh Parkway, one of the first parkways created by Robert Moses, the history of Jones Beach, Moses’ first state park on Long Island, […]

Long Island’s South Shore is one of the oldest historic regions in the United States, from the pre-contact period when Native Americans harvested shellfish and finfish for survival, to the arrival of European settlers beginning in the 1500s. Over the past 300 years it has grown from a rural economy to a densely populated suburb, […]

Western Suffolk Western Suffolk: Bay Shore, Oak Beach, Gilgo Beach and Fire Island Bay Shore Settlement of the Bay Shore area began in the early 1700’s when John Mowbray received a royal patent and concluded negotiations with Native Americans for the land on May 9, 1721. The deed specified that Mowbray had possession for the neck […]

South Shore Survey Welcome to the survey and nomination section of the South Shore Estuary Reserve portal site. 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. Visit […]

Estates The South Shore has long been a haven for industrialists, celebrities, actors and musicians, politicians and other wealthy people.  What began as a summer retreat gave birth to a year-round region of well-healed families, stretching from Atlantic Beach in the west to Westhampton Beach in the east.  They erected monumental houses and estates, along […]

Bay Houses Bay houses stand on the fragile marshlands in the Town of Islip and the Town of Hempstead.  Built by fishermen and baymen, duck hunters and recreational boaters, they come in all shapes and forms, with as many variations as there are builders.  Most of the houses that stand today range in age from […]

Communities 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 […]

Sights and Sounds Since 1987 we have been interviewing local tradition bearers and community historians to understand how the South Shore has changed over time.  Long Island Traditions has an extensive archive of over 400 taped interviews that are available to researchers at the LI Studies Institute. We hope you enjoy listening to these revealing […]

Architecture of the Estuary The architecture of the South Shore is a very complex and diverse region, spanning from the Colonial Era to the suburban communities throughout the region.  Our goal on this site is to examine maritime architecture in its various forms that were built for ordinary people, wealthy waterfront estate owners and commercial […]