In the beginning, there was ice.
Eighteen thousand years ago, a massive wall of ice 300 feet thick extended south from the Arctic to what is now New Jersey. There was no Long Island then. There was no island at all, because the land was a solid mass covered by this enormous ice cap.
Slowly — glaciers do not move quickly — this ice cap began to pull back, retreating north, inch by inch, and scraping the land at its base to such an extent that it ground up entire boulders and reduced them to sand. This would become the topsoil that today makes the North Fork and Shelter Island the remarkable farmland that it is. (more…)