Point Lookout


About Point Lookout

Point Lookout is a small hamlet within the Town of Hempstead, located on New York’s South Shore. It sits on the Eastern end of the Long Beach Barrier Island and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Reynolds Channel, Jones Inlet and Point Lookout Public Park.


This area of Long Island had been occupied by the Merrick Indians . The barrier island, on the main approach from Europe to New York CIty, was the site of numerous shipwrecks. The tragedy of the USS Mexico wreck off its coast on January 1, 1837 – with the loss of 115 passengers and crew, many being Irish emigrants  – led to the founding of the US Lifesaving Service (which was later to form the US Coast Guard). A significant US Life Saving Service post was created and remained there through World War II; it was abandoned in 1948 and became the Point Lookout Community Church.


The Barrier Beach was the site of initial development, initially by the Long Island Railroad in the 19th century under its President, Austin Corbin. After the Long Beach Station had been established by the LIRR, tracks were laid east to Point Lookout, where a large hotel and a number of bungalows were located. Famous visitors included the Irish author Oscar Wilde.  Just to the west was a small bungalow community called Nassau By the Sea. Both communities were also served by regular ferry service from Freeport, NY.  Hundreds of “Day Trippers” would come to spend the day at the wide pristine beach before returning home. 

The LIRR tracks were lost nearly every winter during the storm season and ultimately were abandoned. Both the hotel and Nassau By the Sea were greatly damaged by fire. By the late 1920s, the remaining houses of Nassau By the Sea were incorporated into the new community of Point Lookout that was created by a consortium led by Senator William Reynolds, concrete streets were laid out and a new chapter was born. Homes were sold throughout Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx. Many generations of families have called this special place their home.

Point Lookout has grown and matured since then, but it has always remained a small and close-knit community. Much of this has been aided by geography – the nearly 900 houses will always sit apart from any development to the east, no on-street parking will be allowed on its residential streets, its residents walk mostly in the streets, and its 15 mph speed limit is strictly enforced. It is blessed by a well-organized and beautiful public park outside its limits.


Welcome to the most beautiful corner of Long Island. Welcome to Point Lookout.

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