Lonelyville, New York
Lonelyville has approximately 60 houses and is located between Dunewood and Atlantique. As on much of Fire Island, cars are not permitted in Lonelyville and bikes are the principal means of wheeled transport. The closest ferry service is from Dunewood. There are no stores, cafes, bars, clubs or other facilities 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 summer vacation homes and consequently there are only a handful of year-round residents. Probably the most famous, past, residents of Lonelyville were Mel Brooks 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.
It is unclear when and why Lonelyville earned its name. However it appears that the name was already in use by the 1880s when Captain Selah Clock built a four hundred foot pier into the ocean and established the Fire Island Fishing Company there. The idea of the venture 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 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.
As recently as August 2008, footings for the pier could be seen about 100 feet off the shore and submerged 20 feet under water.
- Cotsalas, Valerie (September 21, 2007). "Fire Island Heats Up". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- Salzberger, Jeffrey; Wolf, Nicole Pressly (2006). "Fire Island: The Celebrity Sandbox". Fire Island News. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- Johnson, Madeleine C. (1983). Fire Island, 1650s - 1980s. Mountainside, NJ: Shoreland Press. p. 133. ISBN 0-913479-00-4.
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