A fiery Fire Island sunset

The Origin of "Fire Island"

We'll give you three hints: maps, pirates, and poison ivy. Learn more about how Fire Island got its name.

The hull of what is believed to be the wreck of the Bessie White exposed on the beach after Hurricane Sandy.

The Wreck of the Bessie White

Occasionally unearthed by powerful storms like 2012's Hurricane Sandy, the hull of what is believed to be the wreck of the Bessie White lies on the beach beside the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness. Learn more about this fascinating artifact.

A black and white image of waves crashing on shore.

The Elizabeth was one of the most publicized shipwrecks preceding the founding of the United States Lifesaving Service. Margaret Fuller, a famous writer and feminist, was on board the Elizabeth and died in the wreck. The publicity stirred up by her acquaintances in the highest literary circles of America are credited with inciting reforms to lifesaving measures along the east coast.
U.S. Life Saving Service crewmen launch a surfboat

The Wreck of the Louis V. Place

The wreck of the Louis V. Place is one of the best known wrecks that occurred on Fire Island. The small schooner carrying a cargo of coal from Baltimore to New York stranded on a sand bar east of the Lone Hill lifesaving station in the icy conditions of February 1895.

Visitors walk by the exterior of the Fresnel lens building

Return of the Fresnel Lens

Follow the Fresnel Lens from the top of the Fire Island Lighthouse to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and back to its new home in the Fresnel Lens Building.

John Taylor Wood
Fire Island During the Civil War

Learn how the Floyd family was impacted, and about Fire Island's connection to the Civil War.

Last updated: March 30, 2022

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