House with a Name – A Fire Island Tradition

If you have been to Fire Island you probably noticed many of the homes have names. Whether they are obscure, humorous, clever or ironic, they are all interesting. There are houses named after owners, a favorite song or just something to bring out that summer feeling. One of my favorites is “Open Your Heart” owned by a heart surgeon. As some members of the old Facebook group noted, people even name houses that associate with other houses, as is the case with two Fair Harbor houses that sit side by side, one “Hiya Dune ” the other “Dune Well”. Then there is the ironic “Wrong House” in Ocean Bay Park named the same name as another house on the block called “Wrong House”. Whatever the meaning, naming ones home is certainly a Fire Island tradition.

fire island homes
So where did the naming of houses come from?

From what I have gathered its mostly an English and Irish custom that has been adopted by many beach communities in the United States. Perhaps because the original settlers of these areas were largely of European or maybe, like Fire Island many beach areas have limited or confusing street structures. After all, most research determines the reason for the tradition is simply because street numbers didn’t exist and naming a house was a way for people to locate and recall a specific residence. Whatever the reason we should embrace it and continue this amazing tradition on Fire Island.

I asked members of the Fire Island Facebook group to list some favorites, the response was huge. You can see the full list here, and feel free to add your houses on the FB page or right here in this post.

Bronx Zoo Too Camp Sunshine Casablanca Catch 22
Choc-Full-O-Nuts Dew Drop INN Dome House Don Woj
Double 40 Dress House Fabulosity Forever Young
Healing Waters King’s Castle King’s Ransom Love 45
Mello Yellow Old Ironsides Piano House Salt Air
Sandbridge Sangri-La Sans Souci Shel Shocked
Shells Simon Sez Smuggler SurfsUp
Sweet Revenge Terrapin Station The Deal Red Onion
Tree Tops The Duchess Under the Pines Wits En

I added a photo gallery of some of the homes I was able to take pictures of this summer. You can see that here Fire Island Homes.
If you have a house on Fire Island and you don’t have a name think about it give it time and see if anything evolves. Look towards your house guests as they have a habit of coming up with the perfect title when you least expect it.

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