How it all started... by Harry Ash

mirror card

When factual things are being considered and analyzed one always seeks for the first things first, in order to grasp and thread the needle of history. So, for a brief word picture of our development--North Shore Beach, here is how it all started:

Back in June 1928, the New York Mirror advertised to its million readers the charms of a heavily-wooded and high-cliffed section of the North Shore of Long Island, located halfway between Port Jefferson and Riverhead. The Mirror offered building lots for summer homes to those who wanted to "get away from it all" during the good weather season. The advertisements extolled the virtues of climate, the smoothness of the beach, the fine bathing, boating and fishing facilities. City folk read the tempting story told in the pages of the Mirror; they drove out or arrived by train (there was a whistle-stop for Rocky Point in those days on the Long Island Railroad line that terminated at Wading River); they saw, were charmed, and bought eagerly.

The old Rocky Point R. R. Station was located where the Thurber Lumber Co. now has its showroom. A short time later Warren and Arthur Smadbeck, a New York real estate firm, took over from the Mirror and established a young man named Edward Olsen, as their local representative. Ed got busy earnestly exhorting those who wanted the charms of the country combined with the friendliness of a young and growing community, to come out and build among the pines and cedars of Rocky Point.

It was about this time in the early development of the "Summer City" that the first towers of the huge RCA plant started to rise skyward and lent an international distinction to our area.

Stores to service this growing community went up like mushrooms--among the earliest was Manniello's and Cardona's grocery and general store, and Rocky Point's main street, called "Broadway" took on the semblance of a commercial thoroughfare. Bill Jampol built a line of "Tax Payers" along both sides of this broad avenue. This original expansion was soon added to by the Loper Brothers Co. and the Thurber Lumber Co., the Zeidler Bros. started to put in wells, followed by William Behr, with his oil burner and pump business. But, of major importance to the new homeowners was The Mirror's erection of a beautiful clubhouse on the highest point in the community, and the turning over of the same to the newly organized band of homeowners.

Thus North Shore Beach came into being and took possession on July 15, 1929, with appropriate ceremonies. The late Eugene Sherk, a Brooklyn lawyer, was elected first President of the NSBPOA, and with admirable courage and sagacity injected the kind of community life into it, which has animated and sustained it to this day.

(Reprinted from the North Shore Beach newsletter of Winter/Spring '97/'98. The above are excerpts that were printed in the 30th Anniversary issue of the NSBPOA newsletter. Harry Ash was a former president of the NSBPOA, and this first appeared in the Port Jefferson Record and the Port Jefferson Times in September 1959.)