Armbruster Book - Page 03
I. Nature has endowed Long Island so bountifully, that, as a matter of course, the island must become the home of millions of healthy people. Nature has provided for the wants of an untold number of generations. The salt-meadows, which we are so eager to fill in, were the main cause of Long Island being earlier settled than other regions around New York City, the salt hay having enabled the cattle of the early settlers to survive- the first years, until the land was partly cleared and plantations could be established; the salt hay was also of great importance for building farmhouses. Thus the marshes, having been polluted, are an eyesore for the present generation, but were highly appreciated by other generations. Settlements, started a half century ago on western Long Island, became soon popular but portions situated on somewhat elevated ground found no purchasers, because people were not inclined to climb hills in order to reach their homes. With the advent of the automobile these hill-sites became suddenly very desirable and quickly found buyers at greatly increased prices. These two items may help to show how the needs of the various generations differ.
The beach along the Great South Bay was evidently destined to become one great health-resort, and the extreme ends of the island, immense playgrounds for the Long Island folks and their less fortunate neighbors. Coney Island on the west end and Montauk on the east end were a century ago considered to be of little value, compared with other land nearby. Both tracts were used as pasturage grounds for the cattle of the towns of which they formed parts. Dur-