Bay Shore, New York

Bay Shore is a hamlet and census-designated place (CDP) in the Town of Islip, Suffolk County, New York, United States. It is situated on the South Shore of Long Island, adjoining the Great South Bay. In 2008, Bay Shore celebrated the 300th anniversary of the purchase of the land from the Secatogue Native Americans. The population of the CDP was 26,337 at the time of the 2010 census.[1]

Bay Shore, New York
Bay Shore Marina
The Heart of the South Shore
U.S. Census map
Bay Shore
Location within the State of New York
Coordinates: 40°43′47″N 73°15′13″W
Country United States
State New York
  Total14.3 km2 (5.5 sq mi)
  Land13.9 km2 (5.4 sq mi)
  Water0.4 km2 (0.2 sq mi)
5 m (16 ft)
  Density1,800/km2 (4,800/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)631
FIPS code36-04935
GNIS feature ID0943194

Early history

Bay Shore is one of the older hamlets on Long Island. Sagtikos Manor, located in West Bay Shore, was built around 1697. It was used as a British armed forces headquarters, at the time of the Battle of Long Island during the Revolutionary War. President Washington stayed at the manor during his tour of Long Island in 1790.

The land that would become Bay Shore proper was purchased from the Secatogue Native Americans in 1708 by local school teacher John Mowbray for "several eel spears".[2]

The hamlet's name has changed over time: Early European settlers referred to the area first as Penataquit and later as Awixa; both were names used by the Native American Secatogue tribe. For reasons never documented, the name was changed in the early 19th century to Sodom.[3] In 1842 there was a further name change to Mechanicsville, then a return in 1849 to Penataquit.[4] The name Penataquit proved unpopular because it was difficult to spell. The name of the hamlet and post office was changed to Bay Shore in 1868.[4][5]

19th and early 20th centuries

Bay Shore became renowned in the late 19th century for its shopping district and resorts. The rural hamlet became popular with affluent New Yorkers looking to escape the city to white sand beaches of the Great South Bay and the fishing villages of Fire Island. It was a tourist spot on weekends and during the summer, in large part because the newly built Long Island Rail Road enabled easy access from New York City. During World War I it became the headquarters of the First Yale Unit, a United States Naval Air Reserve unit.[6]

Post-World War II development

The population of Bay Shore increased significantly after World War II: from the mid-1950s through mid-1960s, a variety of housing developments were constructed on farms and unused woodlands. Those developments were settled largely by working and middle class first-time home buyers from New York City.

Despite strains on the community brought on by sudden, substantial growth, the hamlet remained sound. Main Street continued to be one of the region's most popular shopping destinations.

1970s and 1980s

Bay Shore suffered a decline beginning in the late 1970s. Without a local government, residents were unable to make decisions that were instead left to the Town of Islip and Suffolk County. The population density and demographics shifted when rezoning permitted businesses, rental properties and multi-family dwellings where previously only single-family houses had been allowed. Many Main Street storefronts became dilapidated or vacant. The Cortland Hotel, along with other historic sites, was closed, the parks were unkempt, and many residents relocated. Construction of the South Shore Mall (currently Westfield South Shore) two miles north of Main Street took business away from the small businesses on Main Street. Deinstitutionalization caused psychiatric patients of the nearby Pilgrim State Hospital to be hastily relocated to rental housing downtown, often without sufficient professional support.[7] With the opening of the county's social services "mini-center" on Union Boulevard, many residents witnessed an increase in crime, as indigents began wandering the streets and sleeping in public spaces and parks. Homes, businesses and restaurants on the waterfront fared better, partly because it's an embarkation point for ferries to beaches on Fire Island.

Restoration and the hamlet today

Work to restore Bay Shore has been ongoing since the 1980s. Upscale townhouses and condominiums were built in gated communities on the grounds of old estates. The former Bay Shore Theater and one-time opera house was renovated and expanded into a YMCA. The redevelopment of Main Street is ongoing; efforts include new sidewalks, antique-style streetlights, new landscaping and restored parks. Main Street has regained much of its popularity. There are many attractive new restaurants, clothing boutiques and other stores and offices. The Bay Shore Beautification Society transformed an empty lot on Main Street into a meditation garden that has since been recognized for its excellent design.

A US battleship was to have been placed at the Bay Shore Marina. However, the water was deemed too shallow, and instead a decommissioned WWII torpedo was converted into a monument. The aging bulkhead and other dock structures at the marina were rebuilt. Over the summer of 2010, a new waterpark was built at the marina with a renovated bath house and new landscaping.

The Bay Shore High School underwent an extensive renovation and an expansion from 2005 through 2008. The project has been noted for its close attention to architectural and historic detail.

Abandoned department stores at the Gardiner Manor Mall were razed to make new use of the property. Most of the old mall and adjacent buildings were replaced by new commercial and retail spaces, including a Lowe's home improvement center, a Target and a BMW dealership.

In 2008 and 2009, new condominiums replaced dilapidated housing next to the train station. Additionally, a pedestrian bridge was built over the tracks, and the old tunnel between platforms was closed.

Historic mansions and estates

South of Main Street, also known as Montauk Highway, is an area of mansions and other large homes, built from the 1880s through the 1920s.

Though many architecturally impressive homes from that period remain, others have been subdivided, demolished or converted to commercial properties.

West of downtown, extending into neighboring Brightwaters, is the best-known section of extant, older mansions and large houses. The private association, known as O-Conee Estates, also lies just west of downtown Bay Shore, and is considered the town's most prominent and impressive remaining estate section. The association encompasses three parallel lanes, Garner Lane, Lawrence Lane, and West Lane, all lying south of Montauk Highway. During the early to mid-nineteenth century, the site of the association was occupied by the summer estates of Francis C. Lawrance and Thomas Garner, whose son, William Garner, would later become the vice commodore of the New York Yacht Club. The Vitagraph Studios, one of the largest studios of the silent era, had a branch studio located at 94 Fourth Avenue in Bay Shore and operated in 1916.

At the east end of the hamlet (mainly on Awixa, Penataquit and Montgomery avenues) are the W.H. Wray House (which is believed by some to be haunted by the ghost of Adeline Wray), the Hulse House and the Gustavino Tile House, among others. There was the now-razed J.P. Morgan Estate, a large white mansion owned by the Johnson & Johnson family. This peninsula was originally named Thurber's Neck and subsequently renamed Penataquit Point.

Emergency services

Fire department

Since 1891, Bay Shore has been served by volunteer firefighters of the Bay Shore Fire Department. The department is headquartered on Fifth Avenue, and two additional stations are located on Union Boulevard and East William Street. The department also serves Brightwaters and West Bay Shore. The Bay Shore Fire Department is made up of members from five companies. In 1885, Bay Shore Hook & Ladder Company # 1 was formed. In 1891, within a few weeks of each other, Penataquit Hose Company # 1 and the Bay Shore Hose Company # 1 were formed. The three companies were soon merged to form the Bay Shore Fire Department that same year. In 1895, the Bay Shore Fire Patrol Company was formed. Finally, the Bay Shore Engine Company # 1 was formed in 1925. Briefly, during World War II, a sixth company was formed, Victory Engine Company # 2, to supplement the department while many of its members were off in Europe and Asia fighting for America's armed forces.

Police department

Bay Shore is served by the Suffolk County Police Department 3rd precinct. Highways are patrolled by the New York State Police and Suffolk County Police Department.

Rescue ambulance

Bay Shore is served by the Bay Shore-Brightwaters Volunteer Rescue Ambulance.[8]


Northwell Health Southside Hospital , which is part of Northwell Health, is located at 301 East Main Street in Bay Shore.



Bay Shore is accessible by major roads on Long Island such as:

  • NY 27, known as Sunrise Highway. An alternate name is POW/MIA Memorial Highway, but this name is rarely used.
  • NY 27A, known by several names within the Bay Shore limits, including Main Street (Bay Shore), South Country Road (Brightwaters) and Montauk Highway (West Bay Shore)
  • Southern State Parkway, exits 41S, 42N or exit 42S[9]
  • CR-50, Union Boulevard
  • CR-13, Fifth Avenue, runs from CR-4 (Commack Road) in Commack to Main Street in Bay Shore.
  • CR-57, Howell's Road/Bay Shore Road, runs from NY 231 in Deer Park to Third Avenue in Bay Shore.


Bay Shore is approximately 12 miles (19 km) from Islip MacArthur Airport, commonly referred to as Long Island MacArthur Airport, in Ronkonkoma. Because there are fewer flights to choose from, most Bay Shore residents (like other Long Islanders) travel to larger and more accommodative airports for most of their air travel, such as John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport, both in the borough of Queens in New York City, or to Newark International Airport in Newark, New Jersey.


Bay Shore is a stop on the Montauk Branch of the Long Island Rail Road. LIRR trains travel westward toward Babylon and New York City, and eastward toward Montauk. The Bay Shore stop is a popular stop for visitors traveling to and from Fire Island.


Bay Shore has terminals for the Ferries to Fire Island, serving Atlantique, Dunewood, Fair Harbor, Kismet, Ocean Bay Park, Ocean Beach, Saltaire, and Seaview, and smaller hamlets. They are located at the southernmost end of Maple Avenue. Some daily ferries to Atlantique also make a stop at the Bay Shore Marina, which is across the canal from the Maple Avenue ferries.


There are many bus stops in Bay Shore on different lines, provided by Suffolk County Transit. Most of the buses that run in the Bay Shore area are operated and maintained by Suffolk Bus Corp, a subsidiary company of Suffolk Transportation Services, which provides transportation service for the Bay Shore Union Free School District. Suffolk Transportation Services is headquartered on Moffit Boulevard in Bay Shore.[10]


The Bay Shore CDP is located at 40°43′47″N 73°15′13″W (40.729857, −73.253722),[11] on the South Shore of central Long Island, approximately 42 miles (68 km) from Manhattan and 79 miles (127 km) from Montauk. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 5.5 square miles (14.3 km2). 5.4 square miles (13.9 km2) of it is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2) of it (2.88%) is water.[1]

The northern boundary of the Bay Shore CDP is the Southern State Parkway. The northern part of the CDP (just south of the parkway) includes the hamlet of North Bay Shore. North of the parkway is the CDP of North Bay Shore, which contains the hamlet of Pine Aire and part of the hamlet of Brentwood.[12]

The Village of Brightwaters is west of Bay Shore, and east of West Bay Shore and south of a portion of the Bay Shore CDP; The Great South Bay is to the south.[13] The hamlet separates Bay Shore proper from West Bay Shore.

Almost all of the North Bay Shore CDP and the West Bay Shore CDP have the same postal ZIP code as Bay Shore, and nearly all residents of those communities are also served by the Bay Shore Union Free School District, as are residents of the Village of Brightwaters. The US Postal Service does not officially recognize North Bay Shore nor West Bay Shore as correct postal addresses, causing residents of those communities to use Bay Shore as their postal address. Portions of Fire Island are also served by the Bay Shore Post Office and Bay Shore Union Free School District.

Demographics of the CDP

As of the census of 2010, there were 26,337, 9,064 households, and 6,079 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 4,877.2 per square mile (1,894.7/km²). There were 9,663 housing units at an average density of 1,789.4/sq mi (695.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 61.0% White, 19.6% African American, 0.7% Native American, 3.2% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 11.3% from some other race, and 4.2% from two or more races. Hispanics of any race constituted 30.8%.[14]

There were 9,064 households out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.7% were headed by married couples living together, 17.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.9% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.3% were individuals 65 years of age or older living alone. The average household size was 2.88 and the average family size was 3.45.[14]

The population was spread out with 24.6% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 26.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.4 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.5 males.[14]

For the period 2009-2011, the estimated median income for a household in the CDP was $64,681, and the median income for a family was $74,223. Males had a median income of $44,816 versus $38,744 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $26,847. About 2.8% of families and 5.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.1% of those under age 18 and 9.5% of those age 65 or over.[15]

Bay Shore Union Free School District

The Bay Shore UFSD serves most of Bay Shore, West Bay Shore, and North Bay Shore, with some portions served by neighboring school districts. Bay Shore School District colors are Maroon and White and the mascot is the Marauder.

  • Five elementary schools[16]
    Mary G. Clarkson, grades Pre-K–2
    Brook Avenue School, grades Pre-K–2
    Fifth Avenue School, grades Pre-K–2
    Gardiner Manor School, grades 3–5 (located in West Bay Shore)
    South Country School, grades 3–5 (located in West Bay Shore)
  • One middle school
    Bay Shore Middle School, grades 6–8
  • One high school
    Bay Shore High School, grades 9–12. Bay Shore High School offers extensive AP courses, and became an official International Baccalaureate (IB) school in December 2008.

In addition, Bay Shore Parochial School of St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church offers elementary education covering grades K–8 courses and curriculum.

Places of worship

Among Bay Shore's places of worship are: the Christian Science Society of Bay Shore, the First Baptist Church, First Congregational Church, Heritage Baptist Church, St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Unitarian Universalist Society of South Suffolk, Bay Shore Jewish Center, Chabad of Islip Township Jewish Center, the United Methodist Church, Bethel A.M.E Church, St. Peter's by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, Saint Luke's Lutheran Church, Calvary Baptist Church and Masjid Darul-Quran.

Notable people

Films with scenes filmed in Bay Shore


  1. "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Bay Shore CDP, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
  2. "Bay Shore Historical Society". Retrieved July 7, 2013.
  3. Bret Senft (April 12, 1992). "If you're thinking of living in: Bay Shore". New York Times. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
  4. The Awixa Castle (August 27, 2008). "The Awixa Castle". The Awixa Castle. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
  5. Kay, John L.; Smith, Chester M. Jr. (1982). New York Postal History: The Post Offices and First Postmasters from 1775 to 1980. American Philatelic Society.
  6. Marc Wortman, The Millionaires' Unit: The Aristocratic Flyboys who Fought the Great War and Invented America's Airpower. New York : Public Affairs, 2006. ISBN 1-58648-328-5
  7. Senft, Bret (April 12, 1992). "If You're Thinking of Living in: Bay Shore". The New York Times. Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  8. "Bay Shore Brightwaters Rescue Ambulance". Retrieved July 8, 2010.
  9. "Bay Shore road map & street view". Most complex maps for all cities in the world. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  10. "Suffolk Transportation Service, Inc". Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  11. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  12. "Map of North Bay Shore CDP". Archived from the original on June 7, 2011."Map of hamlets and villages within the Town of Islip".
  13. "Map of Town of Islip".
  14. "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Bay Shore CDP, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
  15. "Selected Economic Characteristics: 2009-2011 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates (DP03): Bay Shore CDP, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
  16. "Bay Shore Union Free School District". School website.
  17. Bay Shore Yacht Club
  18. "Saul Kripke (American logician and philosopher) – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". November 13, 1940. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
  19. Crist, Steven. "Migliore Starts Riding Career at the Top", The New York Times, April 21, 1981. Accessed September 10, 2019. "That year, Migliore's family - his parents and three brothers - moved from the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn to Bay Shore, L.I., and he decided he wanted a pony."
  20. "CBS San Francisco".
  21. "Harvey Milk: The Early Years". Retrieved March 18, 2012.
  22. "Harvey Milk". Basic Famous People. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
  23. Last Summer (1969) on IMDb
  24. "Shooting Stars In Babylon East". Daily News. New York. April 2, 1995.
  25. Santorelli, Thomas (September 15, 2011). "Cinema Historian". Suffolk County News, Islip Bulletin. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.