Each week, reporter and history-lover Mariana Dominguez visits a historical location on the South Shore or attends a local lecture on historical topics. This week, she decided to round up even more of the best books on local history that she has read.
Last week’s roundup of some of the local historical books I have read had a great response, so I wanted to highlight a few more that have caught my attention. Long Island and the New York region has such great local history that is fascinating to learn more about and explore.
“Lost Mohawk Valley”
By Bob Cudmore
This book does not detail local history on Long Island, but rather the history of the Mohawk Valley in upstate New York. I enjoy learning more about the history of a place I do not know much about. I am also fascinated to learn more about communities that revolve around one singular industry, as the Mohawk Valley revolved around old mill towns and carpet making. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about life as a worker in these factories, from the grind and dangers of the factories to the activities that happened once workers clocked out. Another great section details famous people and their ties to the Mohawk Valley, such as John Philip Sousa, Ed Sullivan, Teddy Roosevelt and Mike Tyson.
“A World Unto Itself: The Remarkable History of Plum Island, New York”
By Ruth Ann Bramson, Geoffrey K. Fleming and Amy Kasuga Folk
I attended a lecture about this book that details the history of one of the most speculated and talked about areas on Long Island. This book goes into the facts of Plum Island and its fascinating history. I really enjoyed learning about the island during wartime and how it once had a future as a resort destination that did not pan out.
“The Massapequas: Two Thousand Years of History”
By George Kirchman
An aspect of this book that I really liked was how Kirchman went all the way back to when Native Americans lived in the Massapequas and provided a more full history of the area. Many local history books begin their timelines in the 18th or 19th centuries, so it was nice to read a deeper account of local history. I also really enjoyed reading about the founding families of the Massapequas who had great generational wealth. Rosalie Jones was my favorite. She was a member of the suffragette movement and walked the 170 miles to Albany in December of 1912 as part of a march.
“The Rain Drinkers”
By G. Finan
“The Rain Drinkers” is a novel that takes place in Bay Shore at the beginning of the 20th century. It is a coming-of-age story written by an author from Bay Shore who expertly weaves in historical elements of the town. It’s a great read for those who love local historical fiction.
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