Manhasset Bay

Manhasset Bay, New York, is an embayment in western Long Island off Long Island Sound. Manhasset Bay forms the northeastern boundary of the Great Neck Peninsula and the southwestern boundary of Cow Neck (Port Washington Peninsula or Manhasset Neck). On the north side of the bay there are three points, Barkers Point at the entrance, Plum Point coming the furthest into the Bay, and Tom's Point in the back bay. On the other side, Hewlett Point forms the entrance nearly a mile from Barkers Point.[1] Hart Island lies in the Sound just outside the mouth of Manhasset Bay.

The Manhasset Bay area was first inhabited in the 17th century by the Matinecook tribe of Algonquin Indians.[2] Then the Dutch and the English settled around the bay in the 17th century because of the proximity of fish. The Bay was called Schout's Bay by the Dutch, and then Howe's Bay by the English.[3] Subsequently, due to the presence of cattle raising, it came to be called Cow Bay, and the local neck, to the northeast, "Cow Neck". It finally became Manhasset Bay in 1907.

In the 1920s it began to switch from the cow-and-fish industry to support services for commercial boating,[3] as it is considered to be one of the best harbors on Long Island Sound with little tidal current except at the entrance and average tidal displacement of only six feet.[4] By the 1980s it was full of marinas and yacht clubs. The Sands Point Seaplane Base on Manhasset Bay was at one time the main airport for passenger service between New York and Europe. At the beginning of the 21st century, it had about 16% of all the marinas and yacht clubs in the whole of Long Island Sound.[3]


  1. U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (1918) United States Coast Pilot U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, Washington, D.C., p. 233
  2. However, that view has been challenged. See, Strong, John A. (1997) The Algonquian Peoples of Long Island from Earliest Times to 1700 Empire State Books, Interlaken, N.Y., ISBN 1-55787-148-5
  3. "Historical Background of Manhasset Bay". Manhasset Bay Protection Committee. 2006. Archived from the original on 19 April 2006.
  4. Duncan, Robert C. W. and Fenn, Wallace (2002) "Manhasset Bay and Port Washington, Long Island" The Cruising Guide to the New England Coast W. W. Norton & Company, New York, p. 178, ISBN 0-393-04858-6
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