Could everyone write one simple essay about something that once happened in Saltaire…that they saw or were a part of…and put it on one big website? Somebody should collect a lot of stories before we all forget. Otherwise it is like a line in “On The Beach” : The history of the war that now would never be written.” -(JO'H)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Strangers in Paradise

How Come they didn't name her STRANGER II?

modern image by Justin Zizes Jr.

Actually, way back when they added the new STRANGER to the fleet, our vote would have been to name her the FIRE ISLANDER II. That was never done, and now so much time has gone by, there are people out there who never heard of the FIRE ISLANDER. So here's to you, Captain Al, wherever you are. This should have been your namesake.

Hi Saltaire 38 bloggers -
good to see some interest back here about Great South Bay /ferry.I would say traditionally Fire Island Ferries Inc. has never named a II or III ferry, Sayville Ferry had many years ago the Beachcomer fleet of the II and III and also the Flying Hornet. If you look back at the history the original Stranger, Stranger was a part of the Village of Saltaire no need for the modern Stranger to be II. In fleets of vessels, the II or III are used when there is an existing named vessel around. FIFI has on order a new ferry. Inside sources tell me it will be named after a former vessel they once owned- FI Queen, Isle of Fire are the lead names. Isle of Fire II was in their fleet as well, being acquired in the purchase of the Fair Harbor/Dunewood ferry Co- actually the real name of that company was the Cherry Grove Ferry Co. owned by Gus Pagels who lived on the Westside of Maple Ave. in Bay Shore (Brick house). He had the fleet of the Atlantic and Running Wild, then came along Isle of Fire and followed by Isle of Fire II.I remember the Atlantic and being aboard her for many a crossing of the Great South Bay. She was a two deck gray painted vessel in my time. It took over 40 minutes from Fair Harbor to the Maple Ave. dock in Bay Shore. There were two freight boats, but only used by Eddie Lipinski ( the father of Arthur Lipinski of Saltaire) who owned the store on the bay Bay front known as the Fair Harbor Market. The name of those vessels were Souvenir and then came Chesapeake.

Captain Frank fills in the story:

Guys,Yes, FA forgot the "Cherry Grove". Gus's first ferry operation was in Cherry Grove, hence the name of his corporation. The "Atlantic" (or "Crab Crusher") had such a low freeboard that she always appeared to be sinking.Ed Lipinsky had the "Chesapeake" but did not keep the "Souvenir" which he bought along with the Fair Harbor Market from Eddie Grassnik. He sold "Souvenir" to Ed Robbins who was beginning to develop the area now known as Atlantique and Robbins Rest.Dick Block and Bill Leyrer (lost on PanAm 103) ambitiously took the name Fair Harbor Ferry Corporation when they began to run the first Dunewood ferry, anticipating that they would subsequently buy out Pagels, with the help of Bill's father-in-law, Phil Helriegel. Their dream was short-lived. Their boats were named South Bay in place of American Export-Isbrandtsen ships of the same name. The Isbrandtsen family is from the Bay Shore-Brightwaters area and a few of them worked for us at FIFI.We never adopted the convention of naming boats "II" or "III". Patterson bought "Roamer II" from Clyde Best in 1965 and "Saltaire III" came along with the Saltaire Ferry Co. in 1950. We began to recycle the names of old ferries once they were safely off Great South Bay or "sleeping under it".Capt. Frank

1 comment:

Vendel said...

Love the Saltaire38 website! I was just checking out the Monday November 15, 2010 post, "Stangers in Paradise" and the great picture of the Fair Harbor Boats I used to work on. I started working for "Gus Pagels in 1970 when I was 16 and worked for him until he sold the company. Those were truly the best of times! Fresh air, sunshine, girls, motorcycles and 15 dollars a day pay. What more could a guy want! I miss Clyde Oakley and all the great guys I worked with. I'm close to retiring now. I wonder if Fire Island Ferries needs any old deckhands? I was also wondering if I could get a higher resolution picture of the Fair Harbor boats shown in the post? Take care, Vendel Boeree