About the Book

Since the 1930s, the communities of Hewlett, Woodmere, Cedarhurst, Lawrence, and Inwood have been known collectively as "the Five Towns." One of the oldest population centers on Long Island, the area attracted Victorian vacationers, many of whom returned and settled in lavish homes. During the Gilded Age, captains of industry, government, and finance came from the city to enjoy the Rockaway Hunting Club, Woodsburgh Pavilion, and the Holly Arms Hotel. The growth of the railroads created service industries and turned quiet fishing and farming villages into a suburban, commercial, and residential hub. A microcosm of the great metropolis to its west, the Five Towns strived to maintain their distinct characters despite the development and homogenization of the 20th century. In The Five Towns, vintage photographs from unique library and personal collections are brought together to recreate the rich history and charm of the Rockaway Peninsula.