Bob Spencer has been working with the FIA since 1962, back when he was an ad man by trade and an artist at heart. He designed beach houses before 1962 for friends and currently paints and writes, penning columns for Great South Bay Magazine, the Fire Island Tide, and for the FIA, here from his home at Spencer's Point.


Whale - Off!

One of the earliest references to Fire Island I’ve ever found is for 1653 when Isaac Stratford set up whaling huts at Whalehouse Point on the Great South Beach, opposite Bellport, on what is now Fire Island. It is still called this today, and even has a private community ferry that chugs out there for recreational “beaching,” within the “Wilderness Area” of the Seashore. (It’s about halfway between Smith Point and Watch Hill.)

Back in 1653 Stratford didn’t have “beaching” in mind. His objective was to harpoon a whale or three, and make a profit.

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Fire Island's Natural Neighborhoods

An island in the ocean – with its mystique enhanced by being a bit isolated – offers essential treasures to those who seek peaceful freedom of mind.

Fire Island’s barrier beach island – 32 miles long, bordering the south of Great South Bay — has millions of people living within 50 miles of it, yet is largely unknown to most.

Fire Island – has 17 “neighborhoods”– which are small, and individualistic hamlet-communities of only 4,000 homes, scattered like rare beach glass treasures along that natural sand stretch, each hamlet averaging less than 1% of total Fire Island’s space. 

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Early Autumn on Great South Beach

Autumn is now blending over a natural wonderland – the Great South Beach – also known as Fire Island, which is the barrier island rimming the southern side of the Great South Bay.

This nature-filled island is uniquely blessed with 26 miles of parkland all nestled around 17 small villages and hamlet-communities. Imagine — there are less than 4,000 homes over the six miles of people-populated areas, and zero paved roads and driveways, except within two of the parks. Also – there are zero high rise buildings in any of these 17 living zones, which all have different personalities. Each community has its own unique character.

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