|The Bayport Train Station in 1927, the year of the first book. Notice the sign says "Bayport." This IS the Train station described in the books.|
The First Hardy Boys Book.
Bayport is not a mythical place!
Bayport of the Hardy Boys is no
more fictional than New York City. It was the original intent of Edward Stratemeyer was that the Hardy Boys live in the real Bayport, NY. In my research
I primarily took a look at the original books that Stratemeyer created, not the
rewrites or newer books. In addition, I took into consideration the situation of
Long Island in 1926. Long Island in the 1920s would be the most logical
setting for a book about a tip top famous private detective, since that is where
the richest clients were. The south shore would afford the boys with lots of
opportunities for adventure with a bay, ocean, islands, rivers, farms, etc and
hills to the north. In addition, south shore Long Island was the world's "Rum
Row" which caused an enormous influx of criminals into what was a peaceful
place. With proximity to New York City there would be all the excitement in the
books that the biggest city had to offer.
Long Island of 1926 was the land of the "Great Gatsby." The richest people of the country lived there and it was covered by mansions. Often in old movie when "Long Island" is mentioned it is in regard to the richest people in the world. Surrounding Bayport at the time were the estates of the Vanderbilt's, Roosevelt's (John, James, etc) and John Astor whose father died on the Titanic. Ever notice the huge number of estates surrounding Bayport in the books? Fenton Hardy left New York City to be a private detective and get clients. The only people at the time that were of the caliber to hire him would of course be from Long Island. Unlike today, this was common knowledge in 1927. According to an article in Newsday By Rhoda Amon "In Bayport, Huge Estates Were a Cottage Industry" (ny-history_then_and_now_htim917,0,4998459.story-coll=ny-lihistory-navigation) Being that the greatest concentration of the nation's largest estates were here, thieves were attracted like a magnet. Huge robberies made headlines all the time. And then the texts themselves.
Ever wonder why such a normal little town had so much crime? Why was it so important that Stratemeyer in the 1926 place the Hardy Boys on the South Shore of Long Island? First, a little history. Bayport at the time was in an area that was more like rural Indiana than New York City. Then all of a sudden Prohibition hit and the south shore of Long Island was overrun by criminals. To the West was Amityville where Al Capone set up a smuggling operation early on. To the East of Bayport a few miles down "Dutch Schultz" ran his smuggling operations in Patchogue. The south shore of Long Island was "Rum Row" and was the main point of entry for alcohol into the nation. In book #7 printed in 1929 a character tells the boys, "They do say that there's smugglin' of liquor in them parts." The response: "We're not afraid of bootleggers." (#7, 1929, p. 65.) In addition, since Long Island had the nations richest people, it became a magnet for all sorts of thieves and con men.
Another aspect that most people do not know is that in the "Keystone Kops" were being first filmed in Bayshore, NY, not Hollywood. That's in the same township as Bayport! Does not the Bayport police in the original versions seem like the Keystone Kops? The police in Suffolk County had a terrible reputation for other reasons at the time too, largely due to prohibition and constantly being made fools of. Many famous movies such as "The Sheik" was filmed in Suffolk County at the time as well as the "Perils of Pauline" where the famous scene of the villain tying the girl to the railroad tracks took place. There were several reasons why so many movies were being filmed there. First, there is very bright light there because of the way Long Island is situated to the Atlantic. It get a huge reflection of sunlight, which was very important for the primitive cameras. Second, there is a huge variety of movie locations. Need mountains? North shore. Need bays? Deserts? Forest? Long Island had somewhere a suitable location for all. This also would afford plenty of interesting locations to the Hardy Boys books.
|Bayport is three miles from the Atlantic, on a bay, and a commute to New York, as described in the early books. Notice river to the left of the word "Bayport."||
An estate in Bayport during its "Golden Age."
|The river, on the West side.|
In the Tower Treasure original version it said on page 2 that Bayport is "three miles from the Atlantic." Bayport, NY is three miles from the Atlantic. I mean, what more proof than that do people want? In the original 1935 "Mark on the Door" Bayport is described as having "...several thousand people in Bayport." Was this a correction from an earlier 50,000 figure? Where could the 50,000 figure come from? Bayport is in the Town of Islip. The summer population of Islip Township was 1930 was about 50,000! Some books later books described Bayport as being in "coastal New York" and others place elsewhere. The official Hardy Boys writing guide by the publisher says, "Bayport is also within easy commuting distance of New York City." (http://hardy-boys.com/bg/15/bg_15_7.html) How many places are within easy commuting distance to New York City, on a Bay and is three miles from the Atlantic? With islands out in the bay? In the Hardy Boys Casefiles, Bayport is described as being in coastal New York. An early books said there were mountains north of Bayport. Go a few miles north of Bayport towards Selden and there are very huge hills that I would certainly say are mountains. In the original "Tower Treasure," it says after leaving New York City Mr. Hardy reached Bayport by "having reached the city (Bayport) by a train from the west." Bayport is East of New York City. Some will say, "Well its not Bayport, NY because the Bayport in the book has some things in it that the one on Long Island does not have." Well, in the book there are many inaccurate things said about New York City and other places, does that mean that New York City does not exist? Many of the books were written in 5 days (The Beaver Exploring Canada’s History June/July 1997 http://www3.sympatico.ca/farini/peacock/pages/Aexcerpts/FatherOfTheHardyBoys.html) by people with little knowledge of the Hardy Boys or of Bayport, with no time for research. All there stories about faraway places are all full of inaccuracies because the people writing about those places were never there, just like they were never to Bayport.
Edward Stratemeyer most certainly had at least a vague idea of Bayport, after all his headquarters was in New York City and in prior works he wrote of Long Island. New York was even the location of the homes of Tom Swift and the Rover Boys. It would make sense that a top private detective would live in an upper middle class neighborhood like Bayport near the bay. The neighborhood is as described. Big old houses on streets on tree shaded streets, and there is even an Elm St. The early books even described woods in the North just as they are.
Some may say, "Well, there are some
differences in the books from Bayport NY, and the one in the books." The truth
is, Stratemeyer played loose with facts and would add anything to make a good
story. Facts were of less importance than writing the books FAST and be
entertaining. Need a cave, then just add one. Since different ghostwriters were
used, often authors would not have a good knowledge of the Hardy Boys. The books
were often written in as little as three weeks by people that were never
even to New York State. Contradictions grew over the past 80 or so years. None
of the exotic locations were as described exactly as they really were. Does that
mean Mexico and Europe does not really exist? For example, in the
first book the road the Hardy Boys were on outside of Bayport was called "a
shore road" but later in later books it became named "Shore Road."
Bayport NY of 1927, is the Bayport of the Hardy Boys because: 1. It is a suburb of NY 2. It is 3 miles from the Atlantic 3. It is on a Bay 4. It was surrounded by the estates of the richest people of the world, a natural place for a top detective. 5. It was in the middle of the number one bootlegging location in the country. 6. Right size. 7. Stratemeyer was based out of NY City. How could he not of heard of Bayport? 8. It is called "Bayport. 9. East of New York City
|Al Capone laid the early
groundwork for smuggling alcohol in Amityville, west of Bayport. The world
famous gangster "Dutch" Schultz set up his bootlegging headquarters in
Patchogue, a few miles east of Bayport.
Izzy & Moe, the famous Prohibition agents, in a picture taken on Long Island.>>
|The Keystone Cops were filmed in the same township that Bayport is in, Islip Township! Do they not remind you of how the local police were portrayed in the early Hardy Boys books?||Edward Stratemeyer creator of the Hardy Boys.|
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A QUOTE from a Hardy Boys book that specially says
Bayport is in New York:
"Tornado? Frank thought with a shake of his head. He had seen pictures of tornadoes hitting places like Oklahoma but not in New York and especially not in a coastal city like Bayport."
This was in regard to one specific tornado in Bayport.
Page 1, Casefiles #39 "Flesh And Blood"
The ONLY state that a Hardy Boys book ever specified was that Bayport was in was NY. This should not surprise us since when we look on any map, we see Bayport is 3 miles from the Atlantic on a bay, in: NEW YORK!
A page for fans of the Hardy Boys mystery stories, with history, plot summaries, cover images, trivia, a survey, and more. Frank Hardy, Joe Hardy, Fenton Hardy, Aunt Gertrude and Chet Parker were all characters., Grosset & Dunlap and Simon & Schuster were publishers. Stratemeyer's series books The Casefiles, mystery stories. The town of Haileybury, Ontario was his hometown. The Bayport of the Hardy Boys books is located in NY. The town of Bayport is not fictional or mythical at all. Where is Bayport located? New York, of course. Long Island mansions in the 1920s, with info on the Great Gatby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Page 66 Greenwald Book: Stratemeyer writes up to 20 pages.
The Hardy Boys series, like most of the books produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate, is a joint effort of in-house editors and ghost writers.
Behind the Hardy Boys, though, stood the figure of Edward Stratemeyer, who created the characters and devised an ingenious way to mass-produce and mass-distribute these inexpensive books for early adolescents. As ghost writer Leslie McFarlane said, Stratemeyer was "a Henry Ford of fiction for boys and girls." The series Stratemeyer originated has achieved an enduring place in the hearts and minds of millions of readers.
Frank and Joe Hardy were created by Edward Stratemeyer, the founder of an influential book mill that churned out hundreds of juvenile series books, including the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, and the Bobbsey Twins. Stratemeyer knew what boys liked. He instructed his ghost-writers to produce rollicking tales, jam-packed with the things that appealed to boys the most: adventure, intrigue, and humor.
The Town of Huntington and witch trials. Long Island History.
Even though the books are called mystery stories, the primary ingredient in the Hardy recipe is adventure. Frank and Joe have a knack for stumbling into one hair-raising situation after another. On Barmet Bay, an unexpected fog rolls in and the boys are nearly hit by a tugboat. In the North Woods, they encounter bear traps, crackling branches, and a snarling wolf named Saber. Offshore caves are an endless source of adventure -- volume seven is titled The Secret of the Caves, and as Frank and Joe have learned, most caves do have secrets. The subterranean caverns off Bayport have been used by smugglers, saboteurs, and kidnappers, and at one point, they even housed a foreign spy center, complete with radio equipment and submarines.
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Thank you! Some of you have asked me to add scans of the covers in full size,
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