A trip to Fire Island with Peggy Hopkins

By Amy Weiss

Feb 28 2019

While we might not get to summer with the likes of Madonna and John Lennon,¹ these specimens collected by Margaret “Peggy” Hopkins on Fire Island (New York) will get us a little closer to the beach.

View of Fire lsland near Oakleyville.

Peggy collected in and around Oakleyville, a tiny community of about 10 houses, just to the east of Point O’Woods (an exclusive club and the oldest community on Fire Island). The first house was built there in 1897 by John Oakley, who hoped to do carpentry work for the residents of Point O’Woods.²

In addition to photographing and pressing specimens, Peggy wrote, illustrated, and self-published a field guide to the plants she found titled Some wild plants of the beaches and dunelands of Fire Island.³ 

¹ Bolger, T. 2016. A beginner's guide to summer on Fire Island. Long Island Press. Available at: https://www.longislandpress.com/2016/05/21/a-beginners-guide-to-summer-on-fire-island/ (Accessed: 26 Feb 2019).
² Koppelman, L. E. and Forman, S. 2008. The Fire Island National Seashore: A history. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
³ Hopkins, E. M. 1967. Some wild plants of the beaches and dunelands of Fire Island. Ocean Beach, NY: self published.