Long Beach Barrier Island
Long Beach is one of the outer barrier islands off the south coast of Long Island, New York. Long Beach, New York is the principal city, sharing the island with Atlantic Beach to the west and Lido Beach and Point Lookout to the east. Long Beach is the westernmost of these barrier islands, fronting on Reynolds Channel to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. The Long Beach Bridge connects to Island Park, the Atlantic Beach Bridge connects to Lawrence on the mainland of Long Island, and the Loop Parkway bridge connects Lido Beach to the Meadowbrook State Parkway.
The first inhabitants on the Long beach barrier island were the Rockaway Indians; the Island was sold to the New Netherland colonists in 1643. Local Long Island baymen and farmers used the island for fishing and harvesting salt hay; no people lived on the Island year round for more than two centuries. The United States Congress established a lifesaving station in 1849, a dozen years after 62 people died when the barque Mexico carrying Irish immigrants to New York ran ashore on New Year's Day.
Development began on the island as a resort and was organized by Austin Corbin, a builder from Brooklyn New York. Austin Corbin formed a partnership with the Long Island Rail Road to finance the New York and Long Beach Railroad Co which laid tracks from Lynbrook, NY to Long Beach, NY in 1880. The company also opened the 1,100-foot-long Long Beach Hotel, at the time the largest in the world. The railroad brought 300,000 visitors the first season. By the next spring, tracks had been laid almost the full length of the Long Beach island, but after repeated winter storm washouts they were removed in 1894.