This was the name given to Shelter Island by the Manhanset Indians, long before the first English settlers arrived in 1652. They must have had a peaceful and bountiful life, since the Island is protected from the worst of weather by the sheltering arms of the Long Island's North and South Forks. The surrounding waters yielded up a bounty of fish and water fowl, while the woods and fields were equally stocked with deer and other game. The Manhanset's are gone, but the Island remains, still peaceful, still protected, still bountiful. Nearly one-third of this 8000-acre Island is owned by the Nature Conservancy and kept in a forever-wild state.
Our three deep-water harbors each have a fully equipped marina and are welcome havens for those arriving by boat.
Access to the Island is by car ferry; from Greenport on the North Fork, a 10 minute run, or from Sag Harbor on the South Fork, only three minutes away.
Shelter Island is for those who seek respite from the noise and turmoil of city and suburban life. Careful zoning has preserved much of the Island's rural character. The 35 mph speed limit plus the gentle pace of life bring our visitors back to a time many have thought was gone forever. If the Manhanset Indians could return through a time machine, they would experience some culture shock, but they would recognize this island sheltered by islands as the one they knew so many years ago.