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Catherine Nemecek
Phone: (631) 741-1700   |  
Bay Shore
Situated on the south shore of Long Island, adjoining the Great South Bay. One of the older hamlets on Long Island, Bay Shore celebrated the 300th anniversary of the purchase of the land from the Secatogue Native Americans in 2008. The land was Purchased from the Secatogue Native Americans in 1708 by local school teacher John Mowbray.
With a history as rich as this Bay Shore has it share of historic sites. Sagtikos Manor, located in West Bay Shore, was built around 1697. Was originally built by Stephanus Van Cortlandt sometime between 1643-1700. During the 18th through 20th centuries, it was owned by the prominent Thompson and Gardiner families. 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 as recorded in his diary. Today it is operated by The Sagtikos Manor Historical Society and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

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. In 1842 there was a further name change to Mechanicsville, then a return in 1849 to Penataquit. But when 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.
Fishing, clamming and boat building were the earliest industries then. Just about the time it was discovered by Manhattanites searching for warm weather retreats. Sometimes referred to as the Gateway to Fire Island because of the easy access from New York City via Long Island Railroad, Bay Shore was a stop for many affluent aristocrats on their way to Fire Island by ferry. Hotels and inns sprang up to accommodate summer visitors. Amoung them were Dominy House, Prospect House, and The Cortland House all on Main Street. Wealthy businessmen built vast private estates and the hamlet thrived.

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.
After World War II 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.

Work to improve Bay Shore has been ongoing since the 1980s after a decade of decline. 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. Redevelopment 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.

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.

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Winkler Real Estate
474 Montauk Highway • West Islip, NY 11795
Phone: (631) 741-1700 •

West IslipBayShore