The first day of May has different significance for different people, depending on where you live. But if you live in New York City—or like to summer nearby—May 1 means the beginning of the Fire Island season. And this year promises to be one of the biggest ever on the barrier island, located off the coast of Long Island. Not only is 2013 the 60th anniversary of the founding of Fire Island Pines, one of two predominately LGBT communities on the island (along with Cherry Grove), FIP's legendary club the Pavilion, which burned down in 2011, will re-open on Memorial Day weekend. In salute to the start of the season, here's a look back at some of previous seasons in the Pines, courtesy of the Fire Island Pines Historical Preservation Society. (Find more photos on FIPHPS's Facebook page.)
This is where it all started in the early 1950s. People came to Lone Hill (as the Pines was called then) because of its beauty and privacy.
The Cherry Grove Ferry Service made its maiden voyage to the newly named Fire Island Pines in 1953. Fifty-four people were on that first ride, which cost $1.15 roundtrip.
The Sandpiper, which is where the Pavilion now stands, was a FIP hotspot from 1965-1979.