Rudolph Oyster House

Located on the grounds of the Long Island Maritime Museum, The Rudolph Oyster House was built circa 1890. It is typical of the many oyster culling houses which once lined the local waterfront, providing work for hundreds of predominantly Dutch immigrant local residents.

Until 1938, the local oyster industry was the center of a booming economy. Unfortunately, a major hurricane on September 21 of that year wiped out the south shore oyster beds. Today the Rudolph Oyster House is one of the few remnants of that heritage.

Thousands of immigrants came to villages like West Sayville in the late 19th century to make their livings in the thriving oyster trade. If the streets of the New World were paved with gold, the streets of West Sayville were paved with oyster shells … literally!

The Rudolph Oyster House is a typical cullhouse. Very lightly constructed with no amenities, it was never meant to be a permanent structure. Walking through the building, you can see, preserved in the rafters the carved names of many of the young men who worked here.

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965.,