Long Island Sandmining Collection
The high quality sand found on Long Island was used for over a century in making the concrete of the New York City skyscrapers, sidewalks, subways and bridges. Between 1870 and 1920, workers were drawn to Long Island from all over Europe to mine this in demand resource. By 1930, 100 million tons of sand had been delivered from Port Washington – the major sandmining area, to the metropolitan New York area. Out of dozens of sandmining companies that flourished in the 1920s, McCormack Sand Company continued to mine the area of sand through the 1980s until its lease expired.
Although not widely known, the sandmining industry on Long Island was a significant contributor in the construction of New York City’s skyscrapers, sidewalks, subways and bridges. From 1898 to the 1980s sand was mined in various parts of Long Island, the majority of which took place along the eastern and western sides of the Port Washington peninsula.
Scope of Collection
This collection contains photographs, documents, artifacts through various community donations. Also included are oral history interviews conducted at the Port Washington Library in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.