Brief History of the WaterFront Center
From a shipyard to an environmental education facility, in the oyster capital of NY state.
This area of the waterfront used to be the site of Jakobson’s Shipyard, which during World War II employed over 600 workers, building minesweepers, tugboats and mini-submarines for the U.S. Navy. The Jakobson Shipyard in Oyster Bay was once at the center of Long Island's shipbuilding industry. At its height of production, it was the largest builder of tugboats east of the Mississippi.
Eventually, changes in the industry left the future of this valuable waterfront site in question. Concerned citizens of Oyster Bay, who feared that the site could wind up in the hands of developers, stepped in to ensure the site remained a center for the community to explore its rich maritime heritage and connection to the bay. So in 1996, the site was purchased by the State of New York and the Town of Oyster Bay, and in 2000 the WaterFront Center was born to transform the site into a hands-on educational and recreational facility.
Today this is the home of the WaterFront Center, an environmental education and recreation not-for-profit community center. It is also the home of Christeen, a National Historic Landmark and the oldest surviving Oyster Sloop in North America.