Posts Tagged ‘New York native myths’

The “Devil’s Stepping Stones” off City Island

July 20, 2011

New York is a city of islands: large ones like Manhattan, plus smaller scraps off Orchard Beach in the Bronx, such as City Island and Hart Island (New York’s potter’s field), as seen on the map below.

And then there are even tinier chunks of bedrock that aren’t usually named on maps: Rat Island, the Chimney Sweeps Islands, and High Island.

Today, these islands dotting easternmost Long Island Sound are mostly uninhabited bird rest stops.

Hundreds of years ago, however, they were known as the Devil’s Stepping Stones:

“According to fable, Indians were chasing the Devil across the sound, and every time he put his cloven hoof down, an island was formed,” reported a 1995 New York Times article.

Though it’s technically inside Long Island’s borders, the nearby Stepping Stones Lighthouse gets its name from this fascinating legend.