Each week, reporter and history-lover Mariana Dominguez visits a historical location on the South Shore. This week, she visited the William Floyd Estate in Mastic Beach.
The William Floyd Estate may be a bit out of the way, but it is well worth the journey. Under the direction of the Fire Island National Seashore, the 613-acre estate makes for a great stroll for nature-lovers and a great slice of the past for history-lovers. Unfortunately, the Old Mastic House is currently closed for preservation work, but visitors can still view the house from the outside and wander around the grounds.
William Floyd was the only signer of The Declaration of Independence from Suffolk County and during the Revolutionary War, British forces actually occupied the house when the Floyd family was forced to flee to a safer location. In 1976, Floyd’s great-great-granddaughter donated the home to the National Park Service so that it could be preserved.
The grounds are great to walk around, as it is not all one “type” of park. According to the National Park Service, 65 percent of the grounds is forested while 25 percent is wetlands, which allows for visitors to see different environments and species in different areas. It is also really interesting to visit the Floyd family cemetery on the property.
Visiting the William Floyd Estate is also a great day trip, as once you are there it is only a quick drive to the Smith Point County Park on Fire Island. I have always found fall is the best time to visit Smith Point, especially during the week if you are able to, as it is nice and quiet yet not too cold—perfect for strolls on the beach to look for sea glass!