Women's Softball Game near the West Bathhouse, 1948, Jones beach State Park. Photo courtesy New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Summer at Jones Beach
Called the crown
jewel of the New York State Park system, Jones Beach State Park is
an internationally renown bathing facility, drawing seven million
visitors a year. The park derives its name from Major Thomas Jones
who acquired 6,000 acres of land in Massapequa around 1700. Jones
established a whaling station on the outer beach near the current
side of the park. Following his death, the area became known as
Jones Beach. In 1925, Robert Moses, the visionary designer of the
Long Island State Park system expressed interest in making Jones
Beach into a park. In 1926, the first engineering survey stake was
driven in the sands of Jones Beach at the precise spot where the
water tower now stands. After three years of work, the new park was
inaugurated at an opening ceremony attended by then Governor
Franklin D. Roosevelt, former Governor Alfred E. Smith, and
Commission President Robert Moses.
In the park's first full year of operation in 1930,
one-and-one-half million people visited. The park's nautical theme
was reflected in the staff's maritime-style uniforms; water
fountains enclosed in various nautical instruments, and cigarette
receptacles designed as life preserves. Among the park's highlights
was its massive tower, modeled after the campanile in St. Mark's
Square in Venice, which contained 315,000 gallons of water. The
park's first bathhouse had 10,450 lockers, a cafeteria, a beach
shop, and sun deck. In 1931 the west bathhouse, which resembled a
Moorish castle and contained two heated saltwater pools, opened. In
1967, the east bathhouse was expanded and two freshwater pools were
Jones Point has evolved to meet the needs and desires
of each generation of park goers. Over the years, park attractions
have included a sports stadium, miniature golf course, theater,
pony track, Indian Village, and band shell for evening concerts and
dances. In 2000, a nature center was added to the park.
Documentation includes a text report, historic
photos, and a video.
Originally submitted by: Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Senator.
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.