Book Signings

We will be discussing and signing copies of our book Long Island Oddities at the following dates and locations:

10/23/13 7PM Carle Place, Barnes and Noble

10/24/13 7PM Bay Shore, Barnes and Noble

10/30/13 7PM Lake Grove, Barnes and Noble

Image Bay Shore is known by many as the heart of the South Shore. It is a hamlet rich in history, and much of the history has traces left behind.

Carleton Opera House

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This small park, on W. Main St., was once the site of the Carleton Opera House. The Carleton was erected in 1900, and expanded in the 1920s. It included offices and commercial stores, including a drug store-Luncheonette and a liquor store.  During part of its lifespan it was also a movie theater. In 1957, a fire starting in the drug store spread throughout the building.  Firemen from Islip and Babylon assisted the Bay Shore Fire Department, but the building was lost. You can still see evidence of its existence on the neighboring building.


ImageVitagraph Studios

In January 1916, Vitagraph Studios opened a motion picture studio on Fourth Avenue.  The building chosen was formerly a Foresters Hall Lodge. It was opened for Ralph Ince to direct his films there. Ralph Ince and his sister-in-law, Anita Stewart, lived nearby. Anita was a famous actress in the silent film era.  Much of the studios staff lived nearby.


Movie Theaters

Bay Shore Theater in abandonment.
Inside the Bay Shore Theater.


Bay Shore Theater is now the YMCA.
The Regent.

Bay Shore used to have many movie theaters, now it basically has none. Two former movie theaters are now used by the YMCA. On the corner of Clinton Ave and West Main Street stands a large YMCA. It used to be a movie theater. I remember going there as a kid, and marveling at the humungous single screen, Italian furniture, large chandelier, and high ornate ceiling. This was the Cadillac of movie theaters, and I miss it dearly. It has been almost completely gutted, but I am told the projector room, ticket booth, and curtain pulleys still exist.

Another Main Street movie house was the Regent. I never saw a movie there while it was still a movie theater, because during my childhood it showed only pornography. Today it is the Boulton Center for the Performing Arts.


South Side Bank

Southside bank, became library.


Newer Southside Bank, now Citibank.

Originally the Southside Bank, this building served as the library from 1932 to 1965. The Southside Bank opened their new branch at the corner of Bay Shore Ave and E. Main Street.  Today this large impressive bank is a Citibank. Banks with large lobbies and high ceiling are become scarce these days. Bay Shore had another like it that is now the Drew Patrick Spa.


This old sub-station building, on Clinton Ave, still bears the acronym for the Long Island Lighting Company. LILCO was dissolved back in 1998. Next door is a lot that used to be a gas plant. Gas was produced by baking coal. The resulting ash was buried, resulting in a major cleanup operation currently underway.

Image Southside Hospital

Southside Hospital moved from Babylon to Bay Shore in 1923. The original colonial style building is hard to see, because of the hospital's additions.  Here you can see the roof of the original 1923 structure. A former home for nurses is still standing as well.

ImageMolly Malone's

This popular catering hall and night spot used to be an oyster processing plant.

ImageThe Half Penny Pub

During renovation of this small bar an anvil was found under the floor. The small bar was once a blacksmith shop, which made use of the stream that passes nearby.

ImageBay Shore Train Station

The first locomotive stopped in Bay Shore in 1868, on its way to Patchogue. The stationhouse was a small Victorian station located at Third Ave. A newer station, on Fourth Ave, replaced the Third Avenue station in 1882. The current station, seen here, was built in 1912. Originally, the line was owned by the South Side Railroad. Before 1868 a stagecoach ride to Brentwood was required to take the train.

Second Avenue Firehouse.

Early Firehouses

Toward the end of the nineteenth century Bay Shore had two competing hose companies. The east hose company, today an art gallery, is located on Second Avenue. For many years this firehouse was a private home, eventually it became run-down. It has been fully restored to its original charm.

ImageIn 1914, a more modern firehouse was opened on East Main Street and Third Avenue. Today, the building still stands as a popular bar, the Nutty Irishman.


ImageDuring the last half of the nineteenth century Bay Shore became a vacation and resort town.  Hotels were plentiful, and some still remain today. The Howell House, at 56 shore lane, is the earliest surviving hostelry from that era. It was build around 1855. It is named after John R Howell, a prominent businessman.

ImageThis apartment building, at 22 Lawrence Ave, was once the Clintonian Hotel. It was a popular lodging spot for vaudeville perfumers.

ImageThe Dominy House was built around 1861. Today the Dominy building, not the original structure, stands at the same site. The Dominy's carriage house was moved down Shore Lane, and still exists today. It can be seen behind a doctor's office at 21 Shore Lane.

ImageThe Prospect House was a huge sprawling resort.  It was comprised of a large hotel, cottages, a carriage house, and buildings for various amusements. The Prospect could accommodate 400 guests.  Inside the Astoria Federal Savings Bank, formerly Bay Shore Federal Savings, there is a mural of the Prospect House.  The hotel burned down in 1903. Part of the carriage house can be seen behind 53 Ocean Avenue. Also, a cottage from the Prospect can be seen on Bayview Ave.




Congregational Church
American Methodist Church

The United Methodist Church, on Main Street and Second Avenue, dates back to the 1890's. The Congregational Church was built in 1891. Both are beautiful architectural gems that Bay Shore can be proud of.

Historic Houses

ImageThis was the home of Dr. Jarvis Mowbray, eighth generation descendant from the patentee that founded what is today Bay Shore. Dr. Mowbray not only practiced medicine in Bay Shore, but also served as town clerk, justice of the peace, county treasurer, trustee of town lands, and health officer. This house originally stood where Southside Hospital is today, but it was moved to make way for one of Southside Hospital's parking lots. Today it sits at 22 Mowbray Ave.

ImageThe Gibson-Mack-Holt House dates back to around 1820. It is the oldest surviving tradesman's house. In 1985 it was acquired by the Bay Shore Historical Society, and subsequently moved to 22 Maple Avenue.  Today it houses a wonderful museum and photo archive.

ImageThis was the home of the Entenmanns family, famous for the bakery that bears their name. It is located at Shore Lane and Gibson Street.

Image ImageThese Ocean Avenue homes were the cottages of baymen who harvested the Great South Bay for clams and oysters.


ImageThis rural Greek Revival farm house, on Shore Lane, dates back to the 1820s.

ImageDesigned by, and once home to Raphael Guastavino Jr., this home features extensive tile work and vaulted ceilings.

ImageThis was once the home to Frank Gulden Jr., of Gulden's Mustard fame. Other than Gulden's home, Bay Shore has more than its fair share of Queen Anne style houses.

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ImageMost people don't know that Bay Shore has its own windmill. It sits on the former estate of Daniel D Conover. Conover resided there during the nineteenth century. He was a developer who had local creeks dredged, and developed the area of Bay Shore by Saxon Avenue. The only remnants of his South Saxon Avenue estate are the windmill and a barn.

ImageThis storefront used to be part of a mansion. When Heckscher State Park was constructed the Plumb Estate mansion was cut into three sections. The center section was moved to East Main Street, and is today used as a commercial building.

Comments (14)

    Great pictures. I grew up in Bay Shore and graduated in the class of 64. I still work on Main Street in the family business.
    Are you sure that the white house was Frank Gulden Jr.s....He and his wife Louise inherited the Guastavino home on Awixa Ave. (it belonged to her parents) They sold it as their kids were all leaving home, it had become to big. They moved from there to 110 Awixa Ave. where they had a large cape built on the northwest corner of Awixa and South street. (last house on the west side before the bridge onto the point) I know this as I grew up in the 50's and 60's next door to them at 108 Awixa. I used to play with some of their grandchildren, and go over to help him rake leaves...I have many memories of them, their children and grandchildren. They were wonderful, unassuming people.
    My grandmother's mansion was adjacent to the windmill property to the north. The original home burned down in the early sixties and my uncles built the subdivision which sits on Angela Lane and court. Wish I had some photos of the original home. Grandma bought it from Vic Damone, the Italian Singer
    I remember going to the Farmers Market with my grandparents. Great memories. I wish someone had some photos of it.
    I grew up in Bay Shore during the 1980's. I remember the Bay Shore Marina during the 4th of July celebration! Use to enjoy crabbing along the docks. I also remember a concert hall next to the basketball court. Too bad Beef Steak Charlies burnt down next to the marina. I also remember a bar across from BeefSteak Charlies called popyees. Anyone remember the mini mall on main street that had a indoor pool or the old gardiner manor mall? or Ruthies bar? Wish days of yesteryear could be played back in slow motion! Best years of our lives are forgotton!
    I also remember this cool restaurant called Porgies down at the marina that had the best French Onion soup that had the bread and cheese in it. I wish I could have some now! Im originally from N.Babylon but went to church in Bay Shore.
    Does anyone remember Farrahs at South Shore Mall? I remember very vaguely going to a birthday party there. I miss Bay Shore. My mother worked at the Sears for years in Gardiner Manor Mall and I remember roaming around there in 1976 going back and forth from the mall walking across the bridge that connected The mall and Gertz! Funtimes!
    I grew up in Bay Shore during the 1980's. I remember the Bay Shore Marina during the 4th of July celebration! Use to enjoy crabbing along the docks. I also remember a concert hall next to the basketball court. Too bad Beef Steak Charlies burnt down next to the marina. I also remember a bar across from BeefSteak Charlies called popyees. Anyone remember the mini mall on main street that had a indoor pool or the old gardiner manor mall? Wish days of yesteryear could be played back in slow motion! Best years of our lives are forgotton!
    I grew up in the 1960's and '70's on the far east side of Bay Shore, near the Islip border. It was sad to see the roller rink go in recent history, but at least there are photos of it out there on the Net. I have vivid memories of the Farmer's Market (especially Christie's Toys!) and the Sinclair gas station at Saxon Ave and Sunrise Highway, but I can't find ANY pictures. Also, there was a crown-shaped restaurant on the north side of Sunrise, just west of Brook and Atlantic Avenues (next door to where "Freindly Frost" appliances used to be)-- Does anybody know what that was? Any early Burger King? It seems no one cared to take photos of the entire area in those days-- Wish we had a nice coffee-table book with which to remenisce...]
    The Bay Shore Theatre was the greatest because it had more than enough room to feel up your girfriend!
    I was born at South Side hospital soon to be 55 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday. many family lived in Bay Shore so I was there most of my childhood. I am formerly from North Babylon.
    What do you know about the abandoned mansion at Garner Ln / Montauk Hwy (next door to the YMCA). It's been empty so long, had some fires, & is probably ready to fall down soon. No one seems to know it's history.
    The Bay Shore Theater was one the nicest theaters on LI. As a youth I always enjoyed going there and even as adult. It is unfortunate it could not have remained a theater
    Neat! Used to live in Brentwood, and I remember buying postcards showing Bay Shore in days gone by - one of them I distinctly remember showed what became the Southside Bank. Wish I knew where those postcards were today; they're probably in the basement or storage shed of my parents' house.

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