Book Review: Oheka Castle, Gold Coast, Fire Island

Arcadia Publishing

Some of Long Island’s ritziest and most photogenic regions recently got close-ups in the Images of America series, which compiles historical images from communities nationwide. In addition to two of the latest LI villages chronicled in separate books—Freeport and Locust Valley—three other new releases this spring each focus on Fire Island, the Gold Coast and Oheka Castle.

Oheka Castle by Joan Cergol and Ellen Schaffer, draws out the history of the Castle from its Gilded Era heyday, its abandonment, military occupation and eventual restoration.

Long Island’s Gold Coast by Paul J. Mateyunas takes readers on a trip to the North Shore in the early 1900s when the area was a breeding ground for architectural innovation—some of which remains preserved today.

Fire Island: Beach and National Seashore by Shoshanna McCollum starts its journey back in the 1800s, when the barrier island was the scene of heroic lifesaving efforts, infamous shipwrecks and public protests against quarantining immigrants there during an 1892 cholera scare. It traces the beach’s history to 1964, when the Fire Island National Seashore was established, defeating Robert Moses’ plan to extend Ocean Parkway to the Hamptons.

The books should be considered required reading for local history buffs or anyone researching their hometown’s roots. —Anna Dinger