According to Marie Valenti pictured above, the area was called the promise land because of the "promise" of employment after WWII. This part of
Long Island hosted a number of
government work projects providing employment as well as several fish factories. One still stands on the site. Extinct railroad tracks lead directly to it.
Apparently the Manhaden fish, the factory's harvest, which was so plentiful in the 40's was just about fished to extension. The Factory closed in 1955, but its rusty carcass still stands, giving visitors a picture of industry in the folds of seaside environs.
What's interesting about this fish factory is both the setting, a locations scout's cannery row, and its storewhich has wares from Provence! I know, what does Provence pottery and pickles have to do with a fish farm? Why ask why? But I did, and the story is that a woman from Paris has gone into partnership with the purveyor's of the fish farm and they've opened this totally cool little French fish shop. The farm also has an extensive takeout menu including every manner of seafood (ever heard of clam bellies?), key lime tarts and chocolate souffle. You can eat there at outdoor tables overlooking the bay or to take it with you. Lobster rolls oceanside–a truly perfect (and stylish) combination.
As for the fish tanks, well they seemed really dark, dank, dingy and algae ridden. The fish probably are happy, or at least they don't know any better. I've no experience with fish farm culture, so I really can't comment. It was just really curious to me.
Photos, Thomas Bricker