North Shore (Long Island)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The bluffs of the North Shore

The North Shore of Long Island is the area along Long Island's northern coast, bordering Long Island Sound. The North Shore has a history of affluence, most notably at the turn of the 20th century, which earned it the nickname "the Gold Coast".[1] Historically, this term is used only in reference to the Long Island coastline in the towns of North Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Huntington and Smithtown in Nassau and western Suffolk County.

Being a remnant of glacial moraine, the North Shore is hilly, and its beaches are more rocky than those on the flat, sandy outwash plain of the south shore. Large boulders known as glacial erratics are scattered across the area.[2]

Gold Coast[edit]

Thanks to the late 19th century spread of the private estates of Vanderbilts, Roosevelts, Whitneys, Charles Pratt, J. P. Morgan, F. W. Woolworth, and others in areas where rocky terrain is more productive of pretty views than crops, the North Shore has a long-held reputation of elegance. Many stately old homes can be found there, and an "old money" atmosphere pervades. Some of the largest or most prominent ones, such as Castle Gould (known as Hempstead House under the ownership of Daniel Guggenheim) in Sands Point, Sagamore Hill, Vanderbilt Museum, Alexander P. de Seversky Mansion, and Oheka Castle still exist but are no longer private homes. There are many articles, books and films depicting Gold Coast Mansions.

In popular culture, the North Shore is perhaps best known as the setting of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel The Great Gatsby, which centered on the area's wealth and the aspiration of the title character to be accepted as a part of its society. The novel's "West Egg" and "East Egg" were fictionalized versions of the real North Shore villages of Kings Point and Sands Point, respectively. The Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille is a work of fiction set in the area. The distinctive upper class speech pattern known as Locust Valley lockjaw takes its name from the North Shore's Locust Valley area. The aristocratic cachet persists despite suburban infill converting much of the North Shore into commuter towns.

Though the western stretch of the North Shore is considered by most locals to be the more fashionable of Long Island's coasts, once the island splits into two forks at its east end, the North Shore becomes largely rural. This area is known as the North Fork, and it contrasts starkly with the South Fork's Hamptons, though it resembles the more easterly Outer Lands. In the past 25 years,[when?] the North Fork has reinvented itself as a major center for the production of wine.

Cities, villages, neighborhoods, and hamlets[edit]


  1. ^ "Long Island". Classical Excursions. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "Geology of Long Island". Garvies Point Museum. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 

External links[edit]