When City Island was first settled, it was actually part of Westchester County- but eventually got annexed to the borough of the Bronx. Originally inhabited by Lenape Native Americans, it was purchased by Thomas Pell in 1654, then by Benjamin Palmer in 1761. Unfortunately for Palmer, the Revolutionary War drained his purse. It would not be another 60 years before shipbuilders and oyster-fishers restored the area.
Today its population is under 5000 people- a mix of natives (“clamdiggers”) and residents who were not born there (“musselsuckers”). There is also a healthy amount of wildlife: raccoons, squirrels, ducks, geese, and herons, just to name some. For those more interested in dining than birdwatching, City Island boasts a number of famed seafood joints, such as Johnny’s Reef and The Black Whale.
One can view maritime artifacts at the local Nautical Museum, photograph landmarks like the Samuel Pell Mansion, or catch a production by the City Island Theater Group if Broadway ticket prices get too high. Finally, the neighborhood has a thriving yacht scene, with a number of boating clubs and several commercial marinas.
On Minnieford Avenue, there is a hidden family of beekeepers that produce namesake Gold Honey right at their apiary.