Long Island Traditions

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  • Collection DOI:
    Principal Investigator:
    Nancy Solomon
  • Folklorist Nancy Solomon has documented the maritime culture of Long Island through these interviews spanning the years 1987 – 2016. The collection includes baymen, fishermen, boat builders and other maritime tradition bearers.   

Interviewee Sort descending Collection Description Interviewer Date of Interview Location of Interview Affiliation
Bill Hamilton Long Island Traditions

Bill Hamilton is a long-time member and representative of the Brookhaven Baymens' Association (BBA) based in Patchogue, New York. He has been involved in the organization since his time in Islip Town, where he initially participated in the barmen's alliance and collaborated with Brookhaven Town due to their shared work in Brookhaven waters. Hamilton joined BBA in the 1970s when the association primarily focused on clamming issues, particularly related to the use of town lands and underwater areas for clamming and oystering.

Nancy Solomon Patchogue, NY Long Island Traditions
Bill Reed Long Island Traditions

On February 3, 2015, Nancy Solomon interviewed William "Bill" Reed for Long Island Traditions. Bill comes from Hampton Bays and is the fourteenth of sixteen children in his family. From a young age, he was influenced by his older brothers, who were baymen, and he developed a keen interest in the water and fishing. He pursued college for a brief period before fully immersing himself in a career as a fisherman.

Nancy Solomon Hampton Bays, NY Long Island Traditions
Bill Tunney Long Island Traditions

Bill Tunney is a commercial fisherman based in East Patchogue, near Bellport village. He began his career in fishing at the age of thirteen when he bought his first boat with money earned from mowing lawns. His initial interest in fishing was sparked by the popularity of clamming in his area during his youth. Over the years, Tunney has expanded his fishing activities to include dredging crabs and scallops, gill netting, and potting blue claw crabs. He is known for his innovative approach to fishing, often experimenting with different techniques and equipment to improve his catch.

Nancy Solomon East Patchogue, NY Long Island Traditions
Bob Doxsee, Jr. Long Island Traditions

Bob's family has a long history in the fishing industry. His great-grandfather, J.H. Doxsee, started a clam canning business in Islip, known as "J.H. Doxsee & Son."

Nancy Solomon Point Lookout, NY Long Island Traditions
Bob Doxsee, Jr. Long Island Traditions

Bob Doxsee Jr. is a coastal resident with a family history in the seafood industry. He has been involved in projects related to coastal erosion, including the construction of rock jetties and bulkheads. Doxsee has also been involved in the transportation of shells to create a reef. His family business utilized a scissor lift and dump body truck to dump shells seaward. Doxsee has firsthand experience with coastal erosion, having witnessed the impact of storms on properties along Ocean Boulevard.

Nancy Solomon Point Lookout, NY Long Island Traditions
Bob Kaler Long Island Traditions

Bob Kaler, a lifelong resident of Patchogue, New York, has spent most of his life in the area and on the same street. He transitioned into crabbing after the decline of clamming in the 1970s. During his clamming days, he engaged in raking for hard clams. When he is not crabbing, Bob works as a bait musseler on the North Shore of Long Island in the spring. He has been involved in crabbing for twenty years and describes the area and his boat as beautiful, dubbing his boat "Paradise" to reflect the surroundings.

Steve Warrick Patchogue, NY Long Island Traditions
Bob Slager Long Island Traditions

Robert Lowell Slager, also known as Captain Bob, was born in Bay Shore in 1945 and has lived his entire life in West Sayville, Long Island. He followed in the footsteps of his father, who was involved in shellfish management, dredging, and tonging. Slager quit high school at the age of sixteen in 1968 and started dredging clams, becoming the youngest captain on the bay. He continued this work until 1982, during which time he also participated in various projects aimed at supporting the stocks of the bay.

Steve Warrick West Sayville, NY Long Island Traditions
Brad Keene Long Island Traditions

Brad Keene is a seasoned boatman with a deep-rooted connection to his family's maritime legacy. Born on April 5, 1988, Brad's passion for the sea was ignited at the age of twelve when he purchased his first boat, Garvey. Growing up in Freeport, he had the privilege of working alongside his father, who owned a dragger, on Woodcleft Canal. Brad's family history in the boating world can be traced back several generations.

Nancy Solomon Freeport, NY Long Island Traditions
Carmine Marinnacio Long Island Traditions

Carmen Marinaccio was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1912. His parents were immigrants from Italy, his mother from Basilica, and his father from Accadia. Carmen's family moved to Long Beach, New York. Growing up near the water, he developed a passion for fishing and boating, which became a central part of his life. During the Great Depression, fishing became his primary occupation. Carmen eventually transitioned from charter boatman to making fishing lures and other equipment.

Nancy Solomon Freeport, NY Long Island Traditions
Charles Brower Long Island Traditions

Charles Brower is a seasoned fisherman and bayman, hailing from a long line of individuals who have made their living off the waters. Born and raised in Baldwin Harbor, he began his fishing journey at the young age of 15 under the tutelage of his father, who taught him the art of cod fishing. Brower Avenue itself is named after his great-grandfather, showcasing the family's deep connection to the fishing industry. Throughout his career, Charles Brower primarily engaged in net fishing, specifically using a gillnet.

Nancy Solomon Baldwin, NY Long Island Traditions