2012-06-08 / Community

Hog Island Wiped Out In 1893 Hurricane

This old photograph shows Hog Island, a large island off the coast of Far Rockaway that was attached to the beachfront by a causeway. The island held some homes and amusements and it was a favorite of many Rockaway beachgoers. The area in the center part of the photo is roughly where Wavecrest Gardens stands today at Beach 20 Street. The photo was taken prior to 1893, because on August 23 of that year, the entire island sank from sight in a massive hurricane that sped over Long Island and wiped out parts of New England. Noted Queens College expert Nicholas Coch believes that this is the only reported incidence in history of an entire island being wiped out in a hurricane. Some resettlement occurred on the small section of the island that still stood above the surf, but the Island was reportedly completely gone by 1902. The history of the island was revealed when Coch and a group of his local coastal geography students were monitoring a beach replenishment project and saw many artifacts being dredged up in the sand, taken from the East Rockaway Inlet – including whiskey bottles, beer mugs and a hurricane lamp. They began to unravel the history of Hog Island from those artifacts.

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