A Generous Donation from the Charles B. Ferguson Family

By |2020-05-16T12:00:12-04:00May 25th, 2018|Gifts, Island History, Newsletter, Newsletter 2018|

Charlie Ferguson posing with Tedwyns Tailagan, Field Trials, Fishers Island, 1931 A Generous Donation from the Charles B. Ferguson Family In the period following Charlie Ferguson’s death on January 7, 2018, his family searched through his many possessions for objects, books and creative works that were a good fit with the Museum’s various

Island History: Going to Isabel Beach, Anyone?

By |2020-04-14T20:11:29-04:00May 23rd, 2017|Island History, Newsletter, Newsletter 2017|

The Museum has sought for years to locate details on the shipwreck that gave Isabella Beach its name. .  . Henry L. Ferguson’s history of the island, “Fishers Island, N.Y.: 1614-1925,” published in 1925, had only the sketchiest reference to the wreck: “The schooner Isabella Blake, after which the beach is named, went ashore in

(Nearby) Island History: South Dumpling Island

By |2020-04-14T20:06:06-04:00May 23rd, 2017|Island History, Newsletter, Newsletter 2017|

Man standing on south shore of South Dumpling Island, Fishers Island Sound, 1895. Photo by James S. Casey. by Robert P. Anderson, Jr. My earliest memory of the name South Dumpling Island, almost 70 years ago, was hearing my father Robert P. Anderson entertain guests in the main cabin of our ketch Kestrel

Island History: Silver Eels Becoming Scarce

By |2020-05-16T09:58:35-04:00May 23rd, 2017|Island History, Newsletter, Newsletter 2017|

by Pierce Rafferty After purchasing the western tip of Fishers Island for fortification purposes in September 1898, one of the U.S. Government’s first tasks was to create a landing dock for supplies. Silver Eel Pond drew immediate attention as a favored site. A letter to the Chief of Engineers, dated December 13, 1898, revealed

The Role of Cottage Colonies in Shaping Fishers Island’s Development

By |2020-04-16T20:32:22-04:00May 29th, 2016|Island History, Newsletter, Newsletter 2016|

Mansion House Cottages on Bell Hill, circa 1913. Postcard published by Brown & Dawson. Museum Collection. Island History by Pierce Rafferty In 1889, two brothers named Edmund and Walton Ferguson, both successful bankers, bought approximately ninetenths of Fishers Island from the Fox family. The new owners immediately began to implement a plan to

Island History: Paths Not Taken

By |2020-05-16T09:47:47-04:00May 24th, 2015|Island History, Newsletter, Newsletter 2015|

by Pierce Rafferty Of all the decades in Fishers Island’s storied history, there are few whose outcome was as unpredictable as the 1870s. The sudden death in 1871 of Fishers Island’s owner, Robert Ralston Fox, derailed his ambitious farm operation and exposed the island to wildly divergent development plans. Robert R. Fox, a wealthy

Two Historic F.I. Leases Purchased by HLFM

By |2020-04-23T17:09:17-04:00June 16th, 2014|Documents, Island History, Newsletter, Newsletter 2014|

Two Historic F.I. Leases Purchased by HLFM by Pierce Rafferty It may come as a surprise to many that for much of its fabled history Fishers Island was an absentee-owned rental property. From the mid-1600s until the early 1810s, successive generations of island-owning Winthrops more often than not rented out all of Fishers Island

The Long Forgotten Fishers Island Jail

By |2020-06-02T17:49:21-04:00November 6th, 2013|Island History|

The Long Forgotten Fishers Island Jail by Pierce Rafferty November 2013 Immediately after E.M. & W. Ferguson purchased almost all of Fishers Island in 1889, they enlarged the Mansion House, extensively renovated the Lyles Beach Hotel, carved new roads, established a West End water system and revived farms throughout the island. One long forgotten improvement

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Blimps on Fishers during World War II

By |2020-06-02T17:43:42-04:00September 10th, 2013|Island History|

Blimps on Fishers during World War II by Pierce Rafferty September 2013 Aerial view looking south by southwest over Fort H.G. Wright's main reservation, August 21, 1944. The photograph was taken from an altitude of 1000 feet. It provides a clear view of the Fort's extensive facilities, barracks and buildings during the World War

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F.I. Telephone Co: A Brief History

By |2020-05-04T21:27:14-04:00June 12th, 2013|Island History, Photo Gallery|

Island Telephone 1890’s ~ Fishers Island’s Telephone Co. is Formed The Fishers Island Telephone Co. was formed in the early 1890s by the Ferguson brothers. 1920’s ~ Olmsted Plan An infrastructure upgrade known as the “Olmsted Plan” brought brand new telephone lines and


Young Eastern Painted Turtle on lily pad, the Peninsula, Darby’s Cove
Photograph by Terry McNamara

Fishers Island, Naturally


This year’s Annual Exhibition, complemented by two special exhibitions, celebrates the natural history of Fishers Island, primarily through the lens of contemporary photography, with a focus on both habitats and the diverse species that utilize and/or occupy them.

Enter Virtual Exhibit

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