Let’s take a virtual trip back in time to 1916 to get a feel for what Pride in Port meant then. Imagine you’re standing near the entrance to the town dock with your back to the water.
To your immediate right is Louie’s—a clam shack along the water’s edge (the dock wasn’t nearly as big then). Enjoy a bowl of hot chowder made with clams harvested that morning while standing at the outside counter.
Nearby, the locals are chatting about everything from the quality of this year’s oyster harvests to how “the town isn’t what it used to be now that the city folk are moving in.”
Continue along the shoreline to your right past the boathouse and blacksmith shop—where Louie’s stands today. Looking out onto Manhasset Bay, a sailboat race is in full swing. As usual, they have to navigate around the planes, boats and barges on the bay. Here comes a small barge being pulled by a boat carrying freshly harvested oysters, clams and mussels.
It’s impossible not to hear the drone of flying boats (seaplanes of yesteryear) taxiing, taking off and landing. Look across to what is now Manorhaven Park to see if any celebrities or dignitaries are disembarking.
Here comes a paddlewheel excursion boat at the mouth of Manhasset Bay. It’s making its way to the Locust Grove dock and pavilion—just west of what is now Manorhaven Park—to drop off passengers for the day or weekend.
Can you hear the faint sounds of the sand conveyors on the eastern shore near the Hotel Renwick (Diwan) and the Mill Pond? See Manhasset Isle over there? Before it was mined for sand, it was about 50-feet higher in elevation.
That oyster and clam shack on Sunset Park’s northern shore is bustling with activity now that the barge has landed with its fresh catch of the day.
Directly in front of you across the street is Bradley’s Hotel. You can’t help but smell the famous seafood cuisine wafting your way. Look closely—you just might see a famous politician, actor or athlete on the veranda.
As your journey ends, look behind you along the water’s edge to see people taking casual strolls, fishing, walking down the ramp onto the beach or the swimming platform. Port Washington was then and still is a place that evokes great pride.