The First European to come across Long Island, back in 1524 was the Italian Navigator Giovanni Verrazano. He should have stayed. Four years later, while exploring Central America and the Caribbean, he was eaten by hungry Natives. Hunger wasn’t as big a problem for Long Island’s natives, the many tribes of the Algonquin Indians, including the Mohawk, Massapeauge, Setauket, and Shinnecock, seafood was abundant. One version of the Indian name for Long Island — Paumanok — means “Fish Shape”.
Not a bad description, given the 118 mile Island’s tail shaped North and South Forks, broad midsection that stretches as far as 23 miles, “head” of Brooklyn and Queens, and “Jaw” of Jamaica Bay and Rockaway.
Either way, by the 1600’s, the island’s charms were attracting the English and Dutch, who called it Lange Eylandt (close to natives’ name for it today, Lawnguylint). Whaling became big business, as did clamming and oystering. Rugged, independent — and now fast vanishing — workers known as Baymen toiled through Summer sunsets and grey winter days to keep Oyster Houses well stocked in the burgeoning neighborhood next door, Manhattan.
Food and dining have always been an integral part of Long Island’s makeup. During the Great Depression, Michael J. Cullen converted a garage in Queens into what is considered to be the nation’s first supermarket.
But finding your way through the towns from the first King Kullen to the Island’s first Lighthouse in Montauk can be a tongue twister: Apoquogue, Connetquot, Hauppauge, Marratooka, Miseqouque, Ponquonge. Long Island has other ways to confuse. East Islip is in the western half of Islip Town and south of Central Islip. On the south fork, there’s the North Sea, North Harbor, North Haven, North Side Hills and Northwest Harbor. A lapse of attention could get you close but no cigar if you’re looking for Bayville. There’s Bayview, Bay Point, Bayport, Bay Park, Bayside Park, and Bay Shore. And of course, there’s Sayville. If you can handle that, try Lloyd Harbor and Floyd Harbor, Freeport and Freetown.
Beachtree’s Chef and service staff are as tough as steamers when it comes to the quality of our food and care for our guests. We’ve tried hard to give our restaurants a casual and personal atmosphere.
Today you won’t have to look far to spot a Bohlsen or two (Sons Michael and Kurt are taking care of the family business), walking around, chatting with customers, or driving folks at the bar crazy by trying to watch five different sports at once without missing a snap, pitch, slapshot, or dunk.
Relax and Enjoy. Geologists estimate, at current rates of erosion, Long Island won’t disappear for at least another 100 million years.