Originally purchased from the Indians in 1701 and established by an English Royal Patent in 1708, Bay Shore has steadfastly retained its unique heritage as a waterfront community. Its location on the Great South Bay provided the livelihoods of its earliest residents-fishing, clamming, wood cutting and salt hay harvesting.
The bay also made Bay Shore the ideal place for summer visitors. Known as “The Garden Spot Of Long Island”, its enormous appeal as a resort community led early entrepreneurs to construct many legendary hotels and inns. They included the Dominy House, Prospect House and Cortland House on Main Street. Bay Shore’s charm captivated many famous and affluent visitors to take up residence along its shady, tree-lined streets and waterfront vistas.
The coming of the railroad in the late 1800’s contributed greatly to the expansion of the downtown.
Bay Shore Continued to grow steadily into a bustling, thriving community, becoming the “Gateway to Fire Island”, while maintaining the quaintness of an old, small, fishing village with Victorian homes, canals, waterways, docks and marinas.
Even today, its winding Main Street is a center for retail specialty shops and family businesses with strong ties to the early founders …standing tall along the picturesque waterfront it embraces.