Freeport's rich maritime history is
marked by oystering, clamming and
boat-building. At the end of the 19th
century, John Randall and William G.
Miller dredged Woodcleft Canal, creating the largest working waterfront on
the south shore of Long Island. The
Nautical Mile was born and Freeport
became a summer destination for visitors traveling from New York City.
Boat yards sprang up along Woodcleft
Canal and by World War II they were
building vessels for the U.S. and British
naval forces. Sailboats and pleasure craft
docked along the canal''s entire length.
As Long Island's population grew, the
Nautical Mile also became a center for
recreational boat sales, commercial
and charter fishing fleets, fish markets,
and numerous seafood restaurants.
Today, the Nautical Mile is being transformed again, as Village improvements correct decades of tidal flooding, increase pedestrian access, preserve maritime culture, and stimulate redevelopment. Implementing Freeport's vision will enable this historic maritime center to continue as a working waterfront, recreational destination, and marine educational center for the 21st century.