Welcome to Sand and City, a new electronic resource produced by the Local History Center of the Port Washington (New York) Public Library, under the direction of Elly Shodell. Created from a series of exhibits, books and public programs originating at the library, this digital database offers a social history and archival memory bank of Port Washington’s sandmining legacy. Based on the narratives of retired sandminers and their families, Sand and City contains photographs, indexed transcripts, audiotaped excerpts from oral history interviews, narrative text, video clips and scrapbook materials—all illuminating the day-to-day experiences of the men, women and children who spent their lives working and living in and around Port Washington’s unique sandbanks, starting in the 1870s and ending in the 1980s. This digital presentation expands upon past research conducted for the library’s Sands of Port and Particles of the Past projects.

Now, with a click of your mouse, you can learn first-hand about the geography and geology of the sandmines; the machines used by the sandminers; occupational culture and folklife; immigration history; recreational activities in the sandbanks; sand company enterprises; and the accidents and disasters that befell the sandminers and scow captains who transported raw materials to New York City and beyond.

We are grateful to Paul D. Pope for providing funding for this project, in honor of the leadership roles and contributions of Generoso Pope, Sr., and Generoso Pope, Jr. Their generosity has enabled us to share the rich history of Port Washington’s sandminers and their families with generations to come.

The original audio tapes, interview transcripts, photographic prints and slides, and other primary and secondary source materials from Sand and City are housed in the Local History Center of the Port Washington Public Library, One Library Drive, Port Washington, New York 11050.