Fair Harbor began as a real estate enterprise between George Weeks and Selah Clock (also the founder of Lonleyville) in 1923 with the concept of making beach houses available to the “working man” and indeed they attracted a strong clientele from south shores Long Island hamlets like Bay Shore and Islip. However with the Great Depression on the horizon the business concept became strained. Then the Hurricane of 1938 roared on over Fire Island leaving only eight houses standing in Fair Harbor and enterprise went bankrupt. The community rebounded however after World War II, attracting New York’s City’s metropolitan upper-middle-class.
Now known as a refuge from the urban grind, Fair Harbor is a sanctuary for New York City inhabitants who find solace in its unbuttoned atmosphere. Fair Harbor features a small but well-planned downtown district made up of an upscale food market, post office, liquor store, the ice cream stand known as “Unfriendly’s,” and a funky general hardware store called Corliss on the Bay which sells both used and vintage items. Most importantly it is the home of Le Dock, an acclaimed bar and restaurant known for its spectacular bay views.
Fair Harbor is famous for its annual Pine Walk Arts and Crafts Fair, a Fire Island favorite, which adds to this community’s bohemian beach vibe while still being an intimate family community where neighbors congregate at the bay to watch the sunsets. Some 400 modest yet gracious beach houses adorn the narrow residential walks. There are no hotels or B&B’s in Fair Harbor, but they do have a thriving real estate agent industry and house rentals are readily available. The community can also boast one of the finest volunteer fire and EMS departments on the western end of Fire Island, the Fair Harbor Fire District. Fair Harbor also has its own direct ferry line out of Bay Shore and private community marina.