taken from a pamphlet by
The Mastics- Moriches- Shirley
Community Library


Walter T. Shirley was stationed at Camp Upton in Yaphank during World War 1. Years later he returned to the nearby area to take a gamble and bought 10,000 acres of undeveloped land from the Smith and Dana Estate. In 1941, he divided this property into small lots, selling many of them on an installment plan, with little money down. The buyers were generally working class people looking for an affordable summer home.

As the community grew, so did its needs. Walter Shirley and his land development company were Instrumental In procuring a post office, drive-in theater, supermarkets, a Howard Johnson restaurant and a railroad station for the landowners. The development, known as Mastic Acres, slowly began to change from a vacation community to one of year-round residences. With the extension of the Sunrise Highway and the relocating of the LIRR station to Shirley, commuting became more feasible.

During 1986 and 1987 an attempt was made to change the name of the community from Shirley to Floyd Harbor in honor of William Floyd. The supporters of the name change believe that this change will bolster the community's self-image and reflect its new economic growth. Opponents to the name change feel that it is unnecessary and that the community should continue to be named after its developer. No formal action has been taken in recent years regarding the name change.

Shirley is continuing to grow with an estimated 1988 population of 20,885. In 1954, the number of families who were year -round residents was between 300 and 350.

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