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In 1980, the Ocean Beach Historical Society was founded as a non-profit institution dedicated to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of photographs, artifacts, and documents pertaining to the history of Ocean Beach . In addition, the Society supports local artists whose work is in some way relevant to or evocative of life in Ocean Beach or Fire Island, by providing opportunities for them to exhibit and/or sell their work. A portion of the proceeds of these sales benefits the Society. The Society was founded through the efforts of Roberta Gratz, who secured the grants and charter, and then-mayor Thomas Schwarz, who granted the Society space in the Community House and helped establish the Society as an important community organization. The Society is now jointly supported by the Ocean Beach Community Fund and the Incorporated Village of Ocean Beach.

Our collection contains over 1,000 photos and artifacts, including postcards, posters, concert and theater programs, oral histories, buttons, period costumes, and furniture. Each season we acquire several new items (usually donated by homeowners) that tell us yet another story about life in Ocean Beach , yesterday and today.

Our exhibits have highlighted the important historical events that have had the biggest impact on life in Fire Island, and have depicted our way of life and the way it has changed over the years. Other exhibits have showcased the collections of local residents, people who’ve collected the images and memorabilia that tell their stories and stories of the island. We’ve also tried to show residents and visitors what makes life on Fire Island unique, like no other place in the world. Past exhibits include Crossing the Great South Bay, Firefighting in Ocean Beach, The Isabella Frazer Adler Collection, and The Wally Pickard Collection.

We are located on Bay Walk in the Community House in Ocean Beach , directly across from the post office. Our season begins in late June and runs through Labor Day. In the off-season, you can reach us at the above address. (Our phone service is suspended in the winter.) Please call us in June or check back at this site for our calendar of upcoming events.

- A Brief History of Ocean Beach and Fire Island
- Become a Member
- Artist Application Process
- Research and Reproduction Policy