Operation: Save the Muller Bayhouse
$1,445 raised
29% of $5k goal
10 contributors
5 Years running
Bayhouse History

From Montauk Point to Shinnecock Canal to the Great South Bay, Long Island is steeped in nautical tradition like few other places in the world. In particular, Long Island holds a rich maritime history which has seen both commercial ...
Bayhouse History

From Montauk Point to Shinnecock Canal to the Great South Bay, Long Island is steeped in nautical tradition like few other places in the world. In particular, Long Island holds a rich maritime history which has seen both commercial and recreational fishing as a focal point for hundreds of years. Dating back as far as the 1700’s, generations of baymen have earned a living on the
waterways of Long Island’s South Shore, commercially harvesting an assortment of shellfish and baitfish. They also gathered salt hay from the marshes and sold it to local farmers. These men often constructed “bayhouses” or small wooden shacks out on the marshes and used them for storage and shelter while working on the water.

During the mid-1900’s, local maritime enthusiasts began building bayhouses of their own for recreation use. At one point, bayhouses numbered in the hundreds and literally scattered marshes across the South Shore. Over the years, these bayhouses had become family heirlooms that were passed on from generation to generation. Sadly though, in recent years the number of Long Island baymen has dwindled to near extinction. Like the baymen, these bayhouses have also become a distant memory. Changing tidal and weather patterns have battered our coastal communities causing irreparable damage to these important historical treasures leaving only a handful still standing.

Muller Bayhouse

One bayhouse of local significance is the Muller Bay House located on False Channel Meadow in Merrick. Nicknamed “Ye Old Bay Shack,” this unique bayhouse has been in the Muller family since 1965 when it was purchased by Joseph Muller, Sr. The Muller family has a long history in the Long Island seafood industry with Joseph Sr. starting Muller’s Seafood in Freeport. During his teenage years, Joseph and his son Larry used the bayhouse as a primary residence. Larry would actually take a short boat ride each morning to the end of Woodcleft Canal, where he would walk to his bus stop and then go to school. Larry worked with his Dad for a number of years before branching out on his own and starting Island Seafood in 1977 and ultimately, Island Seafood Transportation shortly thereafter. The family tradition of this bayhouse is something Larry holds dear as he practically raised his three daughters there, teaching them the ways of the water from the time they could walk. Thus, it goes without saying the blood, sweat and tears Larry put into keeping his bayhouse up and running. He did it for his girls so he could pass the tradition on to them and eventually, their children.

Hurricane Sandy

As a result of November 2012’s devastating Hurricane Sandy, several of the few remaining bayhouses in and around the Great South Bay have perished. In most cases, the remnants are only sticks and pilings protruding from the marsh; the main structures having been torn and frayed by Mother Nature’s wrath. During the storm, “Ye Old Bay Shack” was ripped from her foundation by Hurricane Sandy’s 70+ mph wind gusts, captured by the surging high tides and then pulled away into the bay by strong moon currents. “Ye Old Bay Shack” was left battered and beaten. As the storm subsided, she managed to settle, teetering on the edge of the marsh on West Crow Island, over half a mile away. “Ye Old Bay Shack” sustained considerable damage to her foundation, but her strong walls and frame held steadfast and kept the house largely intact. She’s still alive but needs to go back home.

Operation: Save the Muller Bayhouse

It is the sincerest wish of the Muller Girls to restore and preserve this important piece of family history for their Dad, Larry, who is heartbroken from the loss. It is with him in mind that they undertake this epic project. However, three daughters, three dogs and some big dreams won’t be enough to return “Ye Old Bay Shack” to her proper address at 699 Ned’s Creek, Merrick, NY 11566.

The Operation: Save the Muller Bayhouse page was created to bring awareness to this cause and to enlist the help of family, friends and anyone else that can offer assistance in moving the bayhouse and helping to rebuild and restore her. We are asking for your support in the form of manpower, boats, equipment, supplies, and wherever possible, financial contributions.

It didn’t look like much to most, but it meant the world to us. We’d like to thank you for your interest and support in our project. Please feel free to comment or contact us with any questions or suggestions. Have a heart…Be a part!

Thank you,

The Muller Family


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