A BRIEF HISTORY OF MORGAN’S ISLAND
Morgan’s Island is actually composed of 2 islands, now called East Island and West Island, which are connected by a small bridge to the north shore of Long Island. Today, there are about 140 homes on East Island, a triangular island with shores on Long Island Sound facing New York City (to the west), and Stamford, CT (to the northeast). West Island is enclosed by a gate and contains 9 private homes, one of which is a mansion (see below). The mansion is hidden from view from the road, but can be seen from the water.
Because of its proximity to the water, people have lived in the area since at least the 1600’s. During the early 20th century, East Island was the home of J. P. Morgan, President of the Morgan Bank and one of the wealthiest men in America. J. P. and his family lived here from 1909 until his death in 1943. His mansion is no longer standing, but there are still some remnants of his estate on East Island.
After J. P. died in 1943, the mansion was occupied for several years by the Soviet Embassy to the U.S. After that, it became a home for monastic nuns. During the 1970’s the property was sold to developers; the mansion was torn down and replaced by smaller private homes.
Many famous people (besides J.P.) lived on Morgan’s Island. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, it was a home for NY professional sports personalities, including Hall of Fame catcher Roy Campanella (who lived at 1 Eastland Drive) and NY Jets Coach Weeb Eubank. The area was home to many other famous people (see list below). The son of J. P. Morgan (actually J. P. Morgan III) lived in a mansion on West Island, which is still standing and is privately owned. Many other mansions still exist in the area near Morgan’s Island, including the Woolworth Estate and several mansions built by the Pratt Family. (Pratt family members included a business partner of John D. Rockefeller and the founders of Pratt and Whitney Aircraft and the Pratt Institute.) In recent years, area residents have included entertainers Billy Joel and Mel Gibson.
During the early 20th Century, the area in and surrounding Morgan’s Island was referred to as the “Gold Coast of Long Island”. The area was described in many books, most notably “The Gold Coast” by Nelson DeMille. It is also believed to have inspired “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald (i.e. East Egg and West Egg).
Many movies and TV programs have been filmed on Morgan’s Island (see list below). During 2009, episodes of “Sex and the City” and “Law and Order” were filmed here.