A quiet thoroughfare connecting West Neck Road to Stearns Point Road, the roots of Behringer Lane have historical ties to several Island institutions.
According to primary documents from the Shelter Island Historical Society (SIHS), the name “Behringer” refers to Louie Behringer.
Alois John Behringer was born in Munich, Germany, in the last part of the 19th century (an estimate since the SIHS has no documentation of his birth) and travelled extensively during his life throughout Europe and the United States. He became “Louis” when he lived in France.
He worked as a chef in many luxury hotels here and abroad, one of the last of these being the Prospect House on Shelter Island, according to an account by his daughter.
His last name christened a street, and his first a beloved beach — “Louis’ Beach.”
In October 1906, Mr. Behringer married Anna Veit, stepdaughter of George Meinhardt. Originally from Brooklyn, the Meinhardt family owned a hotel on Shelter Island around this time, which Mr. Behringer purchased the same year he and Ms. Veit were wed.
The Behringer family owned and operated the Meinhardt Hotel, which was integrated into the Shelter Island House after Mrs. Behringer’s death in 1945. The original Shelter Island House remains on Stearns Point Road, just a short walk down to Louis’ Beach.
It’s true that there’s another name for the long, lovely, sandy stretch — Crescent Beach. However, never refer to the beach as “Sunset,” because any true Islander will not let that pass.