Our Little Town

Oceanside, New York

Hometown History

(In Pictures)

Introducing OCEANSIDE (the Book):

According to its publisher, "Oceanside is a close look at a community whose history begins with the history of Long Island. Captured in these images is the south shore town that was once one of the largest oyster-producing communities in the world. It is a place that, over the years, has attracted farmers, baymen, middle-class families, and millionaires. It has also drawn more than its share of visitors to St. Anthony’s underground church, Beall’s Zoo, the Roadside Rest, and Nathan’s Famous Restaurant.

"The author, Richard Woods, grew up in Oceanside and has taught and coached here for more than two decades. For Oceanside, he selected stunning photographs from


library archives, the school district, and private collections. He combined these images, dating from the late 1800s to the 1960s, with historical detail, a touch of wit, and much warmth to make Oceanside a fitting tribute to a deserving community."



Richard (Richie) Woods is an OHS class of 1976 alumnus who has been teaching biology and environmental science at his alma mater (and ours) since 1981. Because of his love for our little town , he has prepared a photographic history book entitled Oceanside. Oceanside (the book) is part of a series of similar books on American communities collectively called "Images of America," published by Arcadia Publishing, the largest local and regional history publisher in the United States. The "Images of America" series  "celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns and cities across the country ... each title presents the distinctive

stories from the past that shape the character of the community today."


With Richie's permission, a selection of seven photographs depicting familiar places as they were in the 1950s are displayed on this website's "Our Little Town" page. As you browse through Oceanside (the book), in addition to those and other familiar places, you will find the names and faces of several of our classmates (or their family members), along with other people we knew from our time in OHS


As if, for some reason, Oceanside (the book) was intended just for us, like the Boardman piece written about 45 years earlier, Richie tells the story of our little town from its early beginnings only through 1960, this time, however, with annotated images, and with some more recent information appended. We should be both pleased and honored. But Richie hopes his book "will reach many people, instill in them a sense of pride, and help them recognize the importance of their hometown and its history." With this work, Richie has earned the gratitude of everyone, young and old, who will see it and who either lives or has lived in our little town 

In doing his research, Richie came upon and became a fan of www.1960sailors.net, and he contacted me for help with the photographs, which I was privileged to provide. (Click here to see what Richie had to say about our class website.) When the book came out in the fall of 2004, I was delighted to see my name among the acknowledgments

Update on Richie:

In 2013, Richie published his second book, a companion volume entitled Legendary Locals of Oceanside. Click here to read about it and find out how you can get your copy.

And on April 28, 2012, our good friend, Richie Woods, was honored with a "Public Service Award" by a local Oceanside civic group, the Kiwanettes of Oceanside, at its annual fundraising dinner themed this year, Oceanside Past and Present. Among other things, the event featured a slideshow of old photos, many of which came from Richie's book and from this website.

Click here to view the tribute journal ad issued in Richie's honor by our class association to support the event.

Click here for more about Richie.

Joseph Kellard wrote about Oceanside (the book) in the
Oceanside HERALD:

"Woods' enthusiasm for this book project springs from his interest in the past and love of discovering obscure information about the town where he's always lived. Inspired by the history captured in photos at the sports Hall of Fame at Oceanside High School, Woods has long collected Oceanside memorabilia, including news clips, pictures and post cards he's found on eBay."

Thanks, Richie. Great job! We love it.


Some readers' reviews of the book (all are Oceansiders):

  • Oceanside RULES This book is awesome. It is good for children and oldsters, too. The pictures are cool, and the text is interesting and funny at times.
  • Oceanside Rocks This book on Oceanside shows us that we are one of the great historic communities on Long Island. I loved the pictures and relished the memories.
  • WOW! I'm tickled pink that our town has a book to represent it. Richard Woods has done a wonderful job capturing Oceanside's spirit via pictures and text. I'm going to buy copies for everyone in our family.
  • A must have Growing up in Oceanside, I was impressed with the depth of research in the history of Oceanside. The collection and presentation of the photos were beautifully woven into the text. There were many generations represented  both in text and photos. This book is a must have for anyone with an association with this town.
  • Great to look at This book was great to look at for me. First of all a picture of my house (which is circa 1835, though stated differently in the book) is in the book, and the author was my 9th grade biology teacher. If you enjoy Long Island history. you most likely know a little about Oceanside, or Christian Hook, as it once was called. Nathan’s might ring a bell. This book has a great collection of photographs and information regarding the development of the town. Interesting stuff, especially for someone of the area.


This wonderful keepsake, Oceanside (the book), which sold out of its first printing, may be still available on some retail counters around our little town, possibly from local bookstores everywhere (but only by special order except, perhaps in or near Oceanside) and from other sources as follows. The suggested retail price is $19.99.  It may also be obtained online from the publisher, Arcadia Publishing, or by calling toll-free at 888/313-2665, or from barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com (both frequently have a free shipping offer if you spend at least $25).


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