Look Inside the Bay Houses of Long Island

September 30, 2020

Treasures of New York – A World Within a World: Bay House of Long Island premieres October 15 at 8 p.m. on WLIW21. Stream now.

Get a rare look inside a private bay house and meet the family caretakers of these treasured and rustic homes-away-from-homes on the bay, in a documentary by Long Island filmmakers Barbara Weber and Greg Blank. The film profiles Long Island families who have owned bay houses for over 100 years, including the Muller, McNeece, Burchianti, Warasila, Jankoski families.

Aerial view of McNeece house.

These small shacks that stand on Long Island’s South Shore marshlands were originally built in the 1700 and 1800s, and cannot be bought or sold, only inherited or transferred to a close friend or family member. Some families have owned these houses for more than 100 years. Based on fieldwork by folklorist and maritime ethnographer Nancy Solomon of Long Island Traditions, Treasures of New York — A World Within a World: Bay Houses of Long Island captures the essence of how bay house owners have persevered and endured through severe storms and hurricanes (of 40 bay houses, 14 withstood Hurricane Sandy), as well as eroding marshlands, all while preserving traditions that began in the early 19th century.

Bay house owner Brian Warasila describes the joys and challenges of owning a bay house in this YouTube video, below. See more Treasures of New York episodes.

Bay Houses Photo Gallery