Steam shovel crew at Colonial Sand and Stone's Garden City plant, 1930. Photo courtesy Port Washington Public Library
Particles of the Past:
Sandmining on Long Island, 1870s - 1980s
For over a century the high quality sand on
Long Island was used in making the concrete that built New
York City's skyscrapers, sidewalks, subways, and bridges. By
1930, 100 million tons of sand had been delivered from Port
Washington, the major sand mining area, to metropolitan New
York. Between 1870 and 1920,workers from all over Europe were
drawn to the sand mining industry on Long Island. Out of
dozens of companies that flourished in the 1920s, only one
remains in operation today. As the work diminishes, memories
grow stronger, and this project documents those memories in
extensive tape-recorded interviews with dozens of memorists.
Archival photos of the workers, their families, and the mining
operation complement the audio tapes. A historic map of the
Sands of Port walking tour is also included.
Originally submitted by: Gary L. Ackerman, Representative (5th District).
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.