Roundup of local history books


Each week, reporter and history-lover Mariana Dominguez visits a historical location on the South Shore or attends a lecture on a historic topic. This week, she decided to recap some of the great books about Long Island history that are available.


Over the past year, I have been given or picked up many books that discuss the history of Long Island. While this list is not at all exhaustive, I wanted to highlight some of my favorites.

“Rumrunning in Suffolk County: Tales from Liquor Island”

By Amy Kasuga Folk

Kasuga Folk’s book details the history of rumrunning on Long Island during the Prohibition era in the 1920s. The book tells of rumrunners apprehended in Bay Shore and Brightwaters Bay and other towns on the island, as well as the men and women who worked as Prohibition agents trying to catch the smugglers. Before reading the book, I had not realized how much smuggling occurred on Long Island during Prohibition to bring liquor into the city and the rest of the country. Because of Bay Shore’s location roughly halfway across the island, it was one of the hottest spots through which liquor flowed. A really interesting thing about the book is that it features photos from the Patchogue Advance from over 100 years ago as well as a code book that rumrunners used to communicate with each other.

“Boat Building and Boat Yards of Long Island: A Tribute to Tradition”

By Nancy Solomon

The South Shore of Long Island has a long and rich history of boat building and boat yards. Solomon’s book goes into the history of boatyards on both the North and South Shores of Long Island from yesteryear to today. Particularly interesting chapters detail Charlie Balsamo of South Bay Boat Repair in Patchogue, Frank M. Weeks Yacht Yard in Patchogue, boat builder and model maker Chris Hale from Medford, and Steiger Craft of Bellport.

“Hidden History of Islip Town”

By Jack Whitehouse

This book is one of my favorites, as it provides an interesting and extensive history of Islip Town. As I have written my historical column, I have especially loved learning about Islip Town. The town is so much more historical than I ever knew. One of my favorite chapters details Snedecor’s Inn, which later became part of the South Side Sportsmen’s Club and now Connetquot State Park Preserve. Another great chapter tells the history of the Jacob Ockers House in Oakdale.

“Haunted Long Island Mysteries”

By Kerriann Flanagan Brosky

This book is great for anyone who loves anything about the supernatural and enjoys a good ghost story or two. Some of the mysteries I had heard of, while others were new to me. My favorite chapters detailed the supernatural stories of Meadow Croft in Sayville, Lakeview Cemetery in Patchogue, and the Long Island Maritime Museum in West Sayville.


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