Lonelyville, New York

Last updated
Red pog.svg
Location on Fire Island
Coordinates: 40°38′27″N73°10′29″W / 40.64083°N 73.17472°W / 40.64083; -73.17472 Coordinates: 40°38′27″N73°10′29″W / 40.64083°N 73.17472°W / 40.64083; -73.17472
Country United States
State New York
County Suffolk
Township Islip
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
  Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 631
Lonelyville Beach Lonelyville, New York.jpg
Lonelyville Beach

Lonelyville is a small, beach community located in the western end of Fire Island in the Town of Islip in Suffolk County, New York, United States. [1]


Lonelyville has approximately 80 houses and is located between the communities of Dunewood and Atlantique. As on much of Fire Island, cars are generally not permitted in Lonelyville during the summer months and bicycles are the principal means of wheeled transport. The closest ferry service is to Dunewood from Bay Shore on Long Island. There are no stores, cafes, bars, or other facilities in Lonelyville, but it is a fairly easy walk, or bike ride, to Fair Harbor which serves as a town center for the community. The majority of the houses are predominantly summer-only vacation cottages, and consequently there are only a handful of year-round residents.

Probably the most famous, past, residents of Lonelyville were Mel Brooks [2] and his wife Anne Bancroft who had an ocean front house there for many years. Brooks purportedly wrote many of his movies and comedy sketches there. Incidentally, the structure was the first project to be designed and built by famed architect, Richard Meier [3] [4] in 1963.


Sketch of early Lonelyville, NY, circa 1908 Sketch of Lonelyville. NY.jpeg
Sketch of early Lonelyville, NY, circa 1908

It is unclear when the first dwelling was built in Lonelyville, but speculation suggest that fishermen may have used the area as a camp site in the late 1890s.

By 1908, it appears that three structures had been built in the community by three businessmen and friends from Bay Shore, NY who [5] “spend their time in killing ducks … catching ‘suckers’ and other things out in the bay when there is nothing else to do, and between intervals of sleep, dining at the expense of each other and swapping stories”. The three structures were built by ex-Justice of the Peace, Harry M. Brewster -- “Brewster’s Bungalow”, ex-cashier of the South Side Bank, Harry S. Raven --“Raven’s Ranch” and ex-Tax Collector of Bay Shore, Selah T. Clock --“Clock’s Castle”.

At one such dinner, Brewster came up with the idea of calling the place “Lonelyville” and “with due éclat and champagne, the resort was christened and launched upon the sea of fame”

The three presented a set of rules [5] for Lonelyville which they, the only voting members, unanimously adopted.

“We, the undersigned … being fully clothed and in our right (questioned) minds, do herby agree that …. No person or persons not of good moral character shall be permitted to dwell with the city limits." "The settlers already established are herby proclaimed exempt from this regulation.” “No saloons, dives or gambling resorts shall be permitted within a mile of any church or school house.” “The Sabbath day shall be strictly observed by every person in sound health taking a bath." "There shall be no horse racing, cock fights of firemen’s tournaments on Sundays.” and finally “The board of Aldermen shall be responsible that shall see that the tide rises and falls every day and that the surf continues to roll in.”

By 1909, Captain Ed Thompson of Northport and Brooklyn and an associate of Captain Clock’s built himself another bungalow [6] “a good many miles from the noise of everything but the surf”

Fire Island Estates (Lonelyville); 1915. Fire Island Estates (Lonleyville) CU.jpg
Fire Island Estates (Lonelyville); 1915.

In June 1915 Captain Clock, [7] along with Thompson, planned to build a 1000-foot pier into the ocean and establish the Fire Island Fishing Company there. The idea of the venture [8] was to unload fish from commercial fishing boats, along with fish caught with the use of large fishing nets which were strung out some 1600 feet from the pier and reeled in daily. The catch would then be loaded onto a small railroad system and then run across the island to another pier extending 500 feet on the bayside. The fish would then be loaded into other boats and then sailed to the mainland. This avoided the long and tricky passage through Fire Island Inlet thus saving countless travel hours for the fishermen. The pier remained standing long after Captain Clock’s fishing company shut down and became somewhat of a landmark for that part of Fire Island. The Hurricane of 1938 finally took what remained of the slowly deteriorating pier.

In a 1915 map from the Hyde, E. Belcher, Map Company of Brooklyn, Lonelyville is also listed as "Fire Island Estates" and the pier appears to have been in place at that time as well as the railroad track for the Fire Island Fishing Company. The 1938 New England hurricane completely demolished the pier leaving little except the bayside portion of the dock which stood until the 1950s.

As recently as August 2008, footings for the pier could be seen about 100 feet off shore and submerged under 20 feet of water .

Related Research Articles

Jamaica Bay Bay on the southern side of Long Island, New York

Jamaica Bay is an estuary on the southern portion of the western tip of Long Island, in the U.S. state of New York. The estuary is partially man-made, and partially natural. The bay connects with Lower New York Bay to the west, through Rockaway Inlet, and is the westernmost of the coastal lagoons on the south shore of Long Island. Politically, it is primarily divided between the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens in New York City, with a small part touching Nassau County.

Bay Ridge, Brooklyn Neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City

Bay Ridge is a neighborhood in the southwest corner of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. It is bounded by Sunset Park to the north, Dyker Heights to the east, the Narrows and the Belt Parkway to the west, and Fort Hamilton Army Base and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge to the south. The section of Bay Ridge south of 86th Street is sometimes considered part of a sub-neighborhood called Fort Hamilton.

Barren Island is a peninsula and former island on the southeast shore of Brooklyn in New York City. Located on Jamaica Bay, it was geographically part of the Outer Barrier island group on the South Shore of Long Island. The island was occupied by the Lenape Native Americans prior to the arrival of Dutch settlers in the 17th century. Its name is a corruption of Beeren Eylandt, the Dutch-language term for "Bears' Island".

Midland Beach, Staten Island Neighborhood of Staten Island in New York City

Midland Beach is a neighborhood of Staten Island in New York City. It lies along the east-central coast of the island, in the area known locally as the "Mid-Island, Staten Island" or the "East Shore".

Fire Island Island in New York

Fire Island is the large center island of the outer barrier islands parallel to the South Shore of Long Island, in the U.S. state of New York.

Canarsie, Brooklyn Neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City

Canarsie is a mostly residential neighborhood in the southeastern portion of Brooklyn, New York City. Canarsie is bordered on the east by Fresh Creek Basin and East 108th Street; on the north by Linden Boulevard; on the west by Ralph Avenue; on the southwest by Paerdegat Basin; and on the south by Jamaica Bay. It is adjacent to the neighborhoods of East Flatbush to the west, Flatlands and Bergen Beach to the southwest, Starrett City to the east, East New York to the northeast, and Brownsville to the north.

Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn

Gerritsen Beach is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, located between Sheepshead Bay to the west and Marine Park to the east. The area is served by Brooklyn Community Board 15. The population of the neighborhood is 4,797 as of the 2020 U.S. census.

Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn Neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City

Sheepshead Bay is a neighborhood in southern Brooklyn, New York City. It is bounded by Ocean Parkway to the west; Avenue T and Kings Highway to the north; Nostrand Avenue and Gerritsen Avenue to the east; and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. Sheepshead Bay is abutted by the neighborhoods of Brighton Beach and Homecrest to the west; Midwood to the north; and Gerritsen Beach to the east.

Cape Cod Bay Large bay of the Atlantic Ocean adjacent to the U.S. state of Massachusetts

Cape Cod Bay is a large bay of the Atlantic Ocean adjacent to the U.S. state of Massachusetts. Measuring 604 square miles (1,560 km2) below a line drawn from Brant Rock in Marshfield to Race Point in Provincetown, Massachusetts, it is enclosed by Cape Cod to the south and east, and Plymouth County, Massachusetts, to the west. To the north of Cape Cod Bay lie Massachusetts Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Cape Cod Bay is the southernmost extremity of the Gulf of Maine. Cape Cod Bay is one of the bays adjacent to Massachusetts that give it the name Bay State. The others are Narragansett Bay, Buzzards Bay, and Massachusetts Bay.

Mill Basin, Brooklyn Neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City

Mill Basin is a residential neighborhood in southeastern Brooklyn, New York City. It is on a peninsula abutting Jamaica Bay and is bordered by Avenue U on the northwest and the Mill Basin/Mill Island Inlet on its remaining sides. Mill Basin is adjacent to the neighborhood of Bergen Beach to the northeast, Flatlands to the northwest, Marine Park to the southwest, and Floyd Bennett Field and the former Barren Island to the southeast. Mill Basin also contains a subsection called Old Mill Basin, north of Avenue U.

Lundys Restaurant Former seafood restaurant in Brooklyn, New York

Lundy's Restaurant, also known as Lundy Brothers Restaurant, was an American seafood restaurant in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City, along the bay of the same name. Lundy's was founded in 1926 by Irving Lundy as a restaurant on the waterfront of Sheepshead Bay; five years later, the original building was condemned to make way for a redevelopment of the bay. The present building opened in 1934 or 1935, and closed in 1979. Another restaurant operated in the Lundy's building from 1997 to early 2007, after which the building was converted into a shopping center.

Bergen Beach, Brooklyn Neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City

Bergen Beach is a residential neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, New York City. It is located on a peninsula abutting Jamaica Bay in the southeastern portion of the borough, and is bordered by Mill Basin and the neighborhood of the same name to the south and west; the neighborhood of Flatlands to the northwest; Paerdegat Basin and the neighborhood of Canarsie to the northeast; and Jamaica Bay and the Belt Parkway to the east. Bergen Beach contains a sub-neighborhood named Georgetown. The vast majority of residents are white, and the neighborhood generally has a suburban quality.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Riegelmann Boardwalk</span> Boardwalk in Brooklyn, New York

The Riegelmann Boardwalk is a 2.7-mile-long (4.3 km) boardwalk along the southern shore of the Coney Island peninsula in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, facing the Atlantic Ocean. Opened in 1923, the boardwalk runs between West 37th Street at the edge of the Sea Gate neighborhood to the west and Brighton 15th Street in Brighton Beach to the east. It is operated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

Industry City Historic intermodal shipping, warehousing, and manufacturing complex in Brooklyn, New York

Industry City is a historic intermodal shipping, warehousing, and manufacturing complex on the Upper New York Bay waterfront in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City. The northern portion, commonly called "Industry City" on its own, hosts commercial light manufacturing tenants across 6,000,000 square feet (560,000 m2) of space between 32nd and 41st Streets, and is operated by a private consortium. The southern portion, known as "Bush Terminal", is located between 40th and 51st Streets and is operated by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) as a garment manufacturing complex.

Brooklyn Navy Yard Shipyard and industrial complex in Brooklyn, New York

The Brooklyn Navy Yard is a shipyard and industrial complex located in northwest Brooklyn in New York City, New York. The Navy Yard is located on the East River in Wallabout Bay, a semicircular bend of the river across from Corlears Hook in Manhattan. It is bounded by Navy Street to the west, Flushing Avenue to the south, Kent Avenue to the east, and the East River on the north. The site, which covers 225.15 acres (91.11 ha), is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">South Beach–Franklin Delano Roosevelt Boardwalk</span> Boardwalk in Staten Island, New York

The South Beach–Franklin Delano Roosevelt Boardwalk, alternately referred to as the FDR Boardwalk or the South Beach Boardwalk, is a boardwalk facing the Lower New York Bay on the East Shore of Staten Island, one of the five boroughs of New York City. The boardwalk is the main feature of a public park that stretches from Fort Wadsworth and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge to Miller Field, both part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. The park also contains numerous recreational facilities, including a skate park.

Staten Island Tunnel Abandoned and incomplete subway tunnel in New York City

The Staten Island Tunnel is an abandoned, incomplete railway/subway tunnel in New York City. It was intended to connect railways on Staten Island to the BMT Fourth Avenue Line of the New York City Subway, in Brooklyn, via a new crossing under the Narrows. Planned to extend 10,400 feet (3,200 m), the tunnel would have been among the world's longest at the time of its planning, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edgemere Landfill</span> Former landfill in Queens, New York

Edgemere Landfill is a former municipal landfill located in Edgemere on the Rockaway peninsula in Queens, New York City. It is located on a man-made peninsula on the Jamaica Bay shoreline, at the eastern end of the Rockaway peninsula. A portion of the site is currently open to the public as Rockaway Community Park. The entire site is owned by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

Shore Theater

The Shore Theater is a former theater in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City. The seven-story neo-Renaissance Revival building, with office space as well as a theater, is located at the intersection of Surf and Stillwell Avenues, across from Nathan's Famous and the Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue station. Completed in 1925, it was one of several structures that was intended to boost the development of Coney Island as a year-round entertainment destination. After being abandoned in the 1970s, it stood unused for several years before being redeveloped into a hotel in the late 2010s; however, as of 2022, the building is still closed and undergoing construction.

Piti Bomb Holes Marine Preserve

Piti Bomb Holes Marine Preserve is a marine protected area comprising all of Piti Bay on the western coast of Guam, located off of the village of Piti in the Philippine Sea. The defining "bomb hole" features, named because they look like bomb craters in the reef flat, are actually natural percolation pits where fresh water filters into the shallow lagoon at a depth of 25 to 30 feet. The largest pit houses the commercial Fish Eye Marine Park tourist attraction, which includes a wooden pier to a underwater observatory and a Seawalker tour of the lagoon bottom. It is visited by more than 200,000 people annually. The Piti preserve is the most ecologically diverse of Guam's five marine preserves. The pit around Fish Eye is a popular snorkeling and recreational diving site.


  1. Cotsalas, Valerie (September 21, 2007). "Fire Island Heats Up". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
  2. Salzberger, Jeffrey; Wolf, Nicole Pressly (2006). "Fire Island: The Celebrity Sandbox". Fire Island News. Archived from the original on 2012-02-16. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
  3. "Fire Island House Built in 9 Days With Precut Lumber; Task Would Usually Take Six Weeks-- Cost Is $1,000". nytimes.com. April 21, 1963.
  4. "USModernist".
  5. 1 2 "The Brooklyn Daily Eagle from Brooklyn, New York on April 11, 1908 · Page 17". newspapers.com.
  6. "The Brooklyn Daily Eagle from Brooklyn, New York on July 19, 1909 · Page 5". newspapers.com.
  7. Johnson, Madeleine C. (1983). Fire Island, 1650s - 1980s. Mountainside, NJ: Shoreland Press. p. 133. ISBN   0-913479-00-4.
  8. "The Brooklyn Daily Eagle from Brooklyn, New York on June 20, 1915 · Page 57". newspapers.com.
Preceded by Beaches of Fire Island Succeeded by