2009-06-12 / Community

Historical Photos of Long Island

By Jennifer Pagano

This tent city at Rockaway around 1903 is most likely the setting for a religious revival, popular during the era. In the background are hotels, amusements, and a long fishing pier. During the summer the beach towns came alive. This tent city at Rockaway around 1903 is most likely the setting for a religious revival, popular during the era. In the background are hotels, amusements, and a long fishing pier. During the summer the beach towns came alive. In the case of Long Island, both words are key. Long Island is long— 118 miles. Its widest distance is 23 miles. And it is an island, the largest in the continental United States. Long Island comprises four counties, two that are boroughs of New York City (Brooklyn and Queens) and two that contain suburbs of the city (Nassau and Suffolk). Though it is part of New York State, that hasn't stopped some from suggesting it should be the fifty-first state of the Union because it certainly has everything to thrive and survive on its own including industry, agriculture, natural beauty, and its most important attribute, its inhabitants.

With town names like Matinecock, Massepequa, and Quogue, American Indians inhibited the island leaving a lasting impact on its culture. The Dutch were among the Island's earliest settlers, spreading out from the growing town on the smaller island of Manhattan. The British eventually dominated on Long Island, commanding trade and settlement. The area was settled slowly, and those who wanted a change and a challenge found its paradise.

Young ladies are dressed properly for the beach on Rockaway around 1903. While sea air and salt water were deemed healthful, apparently the sun was not. Young ladies are dressed properly for the beach on Rockaway around 1903. While sea air and salt water were deemed healthful, apparently the sun was not. At the turn of the century, with the influx of immigrants from Europe, the jump from Ellis Island to Long Island was inevitable as well as profitable. New life now meant new business. All forms of work were available—skilled and unskilled; shipping, farming, transportation— and with prosperity increasing for many, something called leisure time entered the vocabulary, and Long Island's beaches including Rockaway, harbor's and forests were there to enjoy.

Showcased in this volume, Historic Photos of Long Island, are nearly 200 images of everything Long Island has to offer from the lighthouse at Montauk, to the growth of the Long Island Rail Road, to the factories of Long Island City, to windmills, tide mills, potatoes, oysters, aviators, and fishermen. All are part of the Island's history with the contributions of its nearly eight million residents.

Purchased from the Canarsie tribe by an English colonist in 1685 and developed as a resort area as early as the 1830s, Rockaway had been attracting beach excursions for decades by the time this group of strollers was photographed on the boardwalk circa 1904. Purchased from the Canarsie tribe by an English colonist in 1685 and developed as a resort area as early as the 1830s, Rockaway had been attracting beach excursions for decades by the time this group of strollers was photographed on the boardwalk circa 1904. The book's author, Joe Czachowski, grew up in Newark, New Jersey and has also written Historic Photos of Jersey Shore and Historic Photos of Hoboken.

Return to top


Email Us
Contact Us

Copyright 1999 - 2014 Wave Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved

Neighborhoods | History

 

 

Check Out News Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Riding the Wave with Mark Healey on BlogTalkRadio