1890's -1920's


Long equated with an ocean beach on Fire Island, just opposite the town of Shirley, Long Island, Smith Point or Smith's Point (as all the land,water, air etc in Brookhaven belonged to the Tangier Smith heirs, if only in their minds) was actually a piece of the mainland of The Manor Of St. George that jutted out into Narrow Bay (just east of Bellport Bay)

The relocation or application of the Smith Point name to the ocean beach, may of started with the naming of the Fire Island US Life Saving Service Station located there in the 19th century. When the Life Saving Service became the Coast Guard the outpost on the beach became U S Coast Guard Station # 78 at Smith Point. The US Government and Smith heirs sued and counter sued each other with the end result being a permanent Coast Guard Station on the sand and probably several thousand more dollars in the Smith mattress up at the Manor Of St. George.

By the late 1800's lawsuits and counter lawsuits with the Town, Townspeople, Baymen and the Smiths were commonplace. Early maps show acres of bay and beachhead partitioned off with one or more of the four children of Egbert T Smith names on it. Clarence G T Smith's bay, Martha's Bay, Williams Bay, and Eugenia A T Smith's .


map courtesy Mallory Leoniak Brookhaven Town Historians Office

In any event entrepenuers started to realize the commercial recreational value of beach on the ocean and someone established a pavilion there known as the Smith Point House. It quickly became a place to go in the summer for the regular folks from Bellport, Brookhaven and Moriches. Ferries were soon criss crossing the bay and a splendid time was had by all.

A Big Old Tennessee Thank You to Deter Bop's favorite hyphenated historian Marty Van Lith who went into the archives of the Post Morrow Foundation and snapped away at these rarities. All the following photos you are about to see are from Marty's efforts. You might want to think about it next time you cross over the Smith Point Bridge.


"Smiths Point Landing"

Waiting For The Robert E Lee?...... NO

Waiting for the "Fanny Fern" or perhaps "The Senekes"


The Steam Side Wheeler "SENEKES" circa 1897

A round trip fare from Centre Moriches to Smiths Point Landing was 25 cents.

I don't know where the ferry Fado went. Perhaps Bellport or Brookhaven.


The Fanny Fern

Sailed to Smith's Point from Squassocks Landing in Brookhaven.



Sail Away Ladies

Looks like a fine day for a beach outing. The skipper reminds me of folk singer Tom Paxton


A Great Place To Take Your Best Girl On A Sunday



Or Your Mom !


Waiting for the Fanny Fern? or a private sloop?