Fisher Island meets every expectation of a pricey community, more fitting for Mr. and Mrs. Howell than Gilligan. Residents drive around on golf carts and the clubhouse formerly belonged to the Vanderbilts.
Accessed by an invitation-only ferry, Fisher Island is one of the most expensive Zip Codes in the U.S. , just under New York City, Atherton in California, and the Hamptons.
A History of Grandeur
Fisher Island didn’t exist until 1906, when the Government Cut project separated it from the mainland to create a canal. Dana Dorsey, Florida’s first black millionaire, bought it in 1918, but sold it a year later. Carl Fisher owned the real estate company that acquired the land and gave the island his name.
The 198-acre island then changed hands again, less than a decade later in an infamous bet with William Kissam Vanderbilt II. Fisher’s deal (“my island for your boat”) referred to Vanderbilt’s 250-foot yacht. In his defense, he only traded seven acres, keeping some for himself.
So began a legacy of wealth and indulgence on Fisher Island. Vanderbilt spent the following decades building on the island, including the 19-bedroom mansion that stands there today.
When Vanderbilt passed in 1944, the property eventually ended up in the hands of “Speed Boat King” Garfield Woods. He worked there for twenty-five years and added the Garwood.
Lounge, which still operates in the Fisher Island club today. Woods sold to an investment group in 1971, who partnered with developers to create more usable property. Finally, The Fisher Island Club opened in 1987.
An Exclusive Island Community
Fisher Island’s expensive reputation comes from a history of wealthy owners and its current world-class amenities. The recently-renovated Vanderbilt mansion serves as the island’s main attraction.
Club members gain regular access to the golf course, spa, beach club, even an aviary. Enough Fisher Island residents stay in the 700 homes all year round that a small school had to be added. Nonetheless, many of the world’s rich and famous travel to Fisher Island for a serene, private retreat.
Credit Picture: Forbes