Carl Fisher, the developer of Miami Beach, had a dream to make Montauk the Miami Beach of the North. He laid out the town, built the golf course, the Manor, the tall office building in town, indoor tennis courts, the Surf Club and the Yacht Club, and gambling casino on Star Island. He also opened the jetty into Lake Montauk, making the lake our saltwater harbor. His dream collapsed with the Stock Market crash of 1929, but not before he had accomplished a great many of his visions. The Great Hurricane of 1938 turned Montauk into an island after water flooded across Napeague. Floodwaters inundated the original downtown, which was then moved to its present location. During WWII much of Montauk was turned into a Navy base; Fort Pond was turned into a seaplane base and Camp Hero was established, disguised to appear from above as a New England fishing village. In the 1960s, prefabricated "Leisurama" summer homes, fully furnished right down to the toothbrushes, were built and sold. Many of the motels were also built in the 60s, due to Montauk's increased popularity as a summer resort town. Montauk today remains a popular tourist destination and is home to the largest commercial and recreational fishing fleet in New York State.
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