Among These Rocky Shores

Introduction


Introduction
The Village of Ketansett is an unusual place in the history of the United States of America. Located off the coast of the North Fork on Long Island, New York, it is compared to other neighboring communities a small village of 2,600 people. However, while today its relevance has shrunk as the industries that once made it thrive have disappeared, its history is endemic of the ebbs and flows of American history. Officially founded by Joseph Marshall in 1823 after nearly three decades of settlement by other merchants, Ketansett very quickly became the home of one of the largest villages on the East End of Long Island, with fishing, whaling, and ferrying souls from Long Island to Connecticut bringing in a significant income during its first century of incorporation. A unique working-class culture formed on the island from this industry, which during the Second World War helped to transform the Old Seminary into a local headquarters of Coast Guard Intelligence, manned the countless vessels in the Coast Guard Reserve in the hunt for U-Boats off the coast of Long Island and contributed to the construction of aircraft at Ketansett Airfield. It was in the post-war years that the village transformed into what it is today, a quaint coastal village that attracts tourists to its businesses at the Historic Seaport and the sandy beaches on the shores of Ketansett. Many of the coastal areas in the northern half of the island serve as a "Working Man's Hamptons" as local businessmen and women, celebrities, and others call the village home.

While the history of Ketansett is filled with the actions of brave people, including serving as the home of the Ketansett Blues, a local baseball team, and as the site of a religious revival on the East End during the 1840s, it also has some history to be ashamed of. The Manhanset, a local tribe that resided on the island prior to the settlement of white Europeans, were reduced to less than one hundred on the island. From the 1820s to the 1860s, thousands of freedmen traveled through Ketansett to safety in New England and Canada. Many settled in the scenic village, creating a neighborhood called Fredonia that thrived for nearly an entire century. However, in the 1920s and again in the 1940s it was reduced in size to create new residential developments for the growing population coming in from New York City. Although Fredonia still exists today, it is only a shadow of what it once was. Elsewhere, Ketansett is today also far from its heyday. With the fisheries now but a distant memory, a niche industry far from its height, the tourist industry as well as the service industry have exploded, and while companies like Hastings Whaling & Fishing still exist, other employers such as Ketansett College and Ketansett Public Schools have replaced them. Although the only sign of whaling ever existing in Ketansett is the museum ship Tempest, the village is starting a new revival. This history will provide a sense of hope for the future while recognizing that the history of Ketansett often aligns with the wider history of the United States, and how the fortunes of this small village might portend the future course of Long Island and the country.

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Author's Note: The Village of Ketansett is a private project I have been working for the last two years. Largely consisting of a tiny fictional village off the coast of Long Island, this project transformed into a panacea for a lot of my stress over the last few years. It became a vehicle for my research about Long Island which led to my master's thesis, which I am still writing about. Although this is a fictional island that is partly based on Orient Point, I am trying to make it as realistic a village as possible on Long Island. I want to thank a few people for helping me out during this project. In particular, @Turquoise Blue, @frustrated progressive, and @Zioneer, who have all heard more about this village than any person should, as well as members of alternatehistory.com and other areas on the internet who have encouraged me over time.

Here is a link to a community I founded in August 2019 named for Ketansett. It has over fifty members now, a lot of them familiar to this site. If you are interested join up if you'd like to.
 
My apologies for the delayed first update. I plan on updating this weekly once I get started with the first post. Probably going to do an article about the pre-colonization history of Ketansett first.
 
Okay. So the first chapter will be called "History of Ketansett: Pre-Columbian and Early Settlement" and will explore the indigenous Manhanset peoples who lived on Ketansett prior to European settlement, the first Europeans to come to the small island, and partly the role of the Manhanset today and their memory, including a recent surge in interest towards their history.

I am sorry if this update is taking a long time to write. Usually, the first update in timelines is the most difficult. If anyone has questions about Ketansett I would be happy to answer them, though. There are no spoilers in history, as a professor of mine once said.
 
I am sorry if this update is taking a long time to write. Usually, the first update in timelines is the most difficult. If anyone has questions about Ketansett I would be happy to answer them, though. There are no spoilers in history, as a professor of mine once said.
How big is the island?
How can it support three separate schools and a college with only 2600 people?
Is there a cinema on the island? Is there a lot of tourism?
What Restaurants and Shops are located on the island?

Sorry for all the questions this premise just intrigues me :coldsweat:
 
How big is the island?
How can it support three separate schools and a college with only 2600 people?
Is there a cinema on the island? Is there a lot of tourism?
What Restaurants and Shops are located on the island?

Sorry for all the questions this premise just intrigues me :coldsweat:
1. The island is only around one and a half miles east-west and around the same north-south. Most of the population resides in the Historic Seaport area near the village hall.
2. Yes, the Ketansett Union Free School District (KUFSD) is really small. The school buildings are really small compared to their counterparts in other areas of the country and are usually combined with other services. Ketansett Elementary School, for example, shares space with a preschool. Ketansett Middle School before 1927 was Ketansett High School, while the present-day Ketansett High School used to be the Fredonia School, a private school for the people of color who lived in Fredonia. In 1927 the district added the building to its district. Right now there are talks of getting rid of the high school to create a public park. Ketansett College was created as a flight school and is an extremely small liberal arts college with around three hundred students
3. There is a cinema on the island. There are drive-in movies at Peppertree Community Center, while Ketansett Theater sits next to Village Hall and is the only movie theater in the village, although it also serves as a theater for plays
4. On Main Street and the Village Green, there are a lot of shops and restaurants, which are outside of the beaches the main draw of tourists. The most popular restaurant is Cucchiara's, a gourmet Italian restaurant next to the eponymous fishmarket. It is regarded as one of the best restaurants on the East End and specializes in seafood. However, locals prefer the Freedom Trail, a small bar near Village Hall
 
1. The island is only around one and a half miles east-west and around the same north-south. Most of the population resides in the Historic Seaport area near the village hall.
2. Yes, the Ketansett Union Free School District (KUFSD) is really small. The school buildings are really small compared to their counterparts in other areas of the country and are usually combined with other services. Ketansett Elementary School, for example, shares space with a preschool. Ketansett Middle School before 1927 was Ketansett High School, while the present-day Ketansett High School used to be the Fredonia School, a private school for the people of color who lived in Fredonia. In 1927 the district added the building to its district. Right now there are talks of getting rid of the high school to create a public park. Ketansett College was created as a flight school and is an extremely small liberal arts college with around three hundred students
3. There is a cinema on the island. There are drive-in movies at Peppertree Community Center, while Ketansett Theater sits next to Village Hall and is the only movie theater in the village, although it also serves as a theater for plays
4. On Main Street and the Village Green, there are a lot of shops and restaurants, which are outside of the beaches the main draw of tourists. The most popular restaurant is Cucchiara's, a gourmet Italian restaurant next to the eponymous fishmarket. It is regarded as one of the best restaurants on the East End and specializes in seafood. However, locals prefer the Freedom Trail, a small bar near Village Hall
Thanks! This is really cool!
 
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