In a matter of weeks, Shelter Island's population will more than triple in size. But before the summer crowds descend, photographer J. Conrad Williams took the ferry ride and captured scenes of pre-summer life on the East End island.
The sun sets over a dock on one of Shelter Island's inlets. (May 7, 2011)
Bicyclists on Shelter Island's Grand Avenue. (May 14, 2011)
Other quaint boutiques on Shelter Island's Grand Avenue include home decor shop Thé à la Menthe, left, and Zack & Chance. (May 14, 2011)
Union Chapel sits on a Shelter Island Heights hilltop in The Grove. Built in 1875, the chapel was part of an architect's original plans of the area and represents the community's late 19th-century history. (1981)
The Smith-Taylor Cabin was built around 1900 on Taylor's Island in Shelter Island as a picnic retreat for Francis M. Smith, who bought the property, then known as Cedar Island, in 1899. It was later purchased by hotelier S. Gregory Taylor and passed on to the Town of Shelter Island in 1997 after the death of Taylor's nephew Stephen Stephano.
The Chequit Inn is part of the Shelter Island Heights Historic District, a planned residential resort community of about 105 acres that was first established as a Methodist camp in 1872. The district contains 141 buildings and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.
Manhanset Chapel in Shelter Island is pictured here in an undated photo. Built in 1890 in the Village of Dering Harbor, the Gothic Revival church was moved to its present site in 1924. Also known as Mechanics' Hall, it now serves as the Shelter Island Historical Society Museum.
The James Havens Homestead was built in 1743. Havens, a local settler, was a member of the state's Provincial Congress in 1776. The largely unaltered home represents the area's early settlement period. (1985)
An undated photo of Camp Quinipet, a Methodist camp and retreat center first established in 1920. Buildings there date back to 1882.
Clothing boutique Marie Eiffel on Grand Avenue is a popular place to shop on Shelter Island. (May 14, 2011)
A "Wellness Fair" for seniors, who are a growing population on Shelter Island, is held at the Shelter Island Youth Center. In the 2000 census, seniors made up about 38 percent of population. (May 7, 2011)
The South Ferry, which carries cars and trucks, plies its way between Shelter Island and North Haven. Everything must be ferried on to the island -- from pavement for the roads, to provisions for the stores, to supplies, to the mail. (May 7, 2011)
Shelter Island poet Hilary King reads from her recent book, "Love & Other Poems," at the Shelter Island Library. (May 7, 2011)
Once comprising all of Shelter Island back in 1652, today the Sylvester Manor encompasses 243 acres of fields, forests, gardens and estuaries and serves both as a working farm and an educational center. Above, workers check on the early plantings. (May 6, 2011)
Once comprising all of Shelter Island back in 1652, today Sylvester Manor encompasses 243 acres of fields, forests, gardens and estuaries and serves both as a working farm and an educational center. Above, workers and volunteers check on seedlings started in the greenhouse. (May 6, 2011)
The South Ferry, which carries cars and trucks, plies its way between Shelter Island and North Haven. (May 6, 2011)
Shelter Island supports a single school serving kindergarten through grade 12. (May 6, 2011)
Shelter Island has no hospital, no fast-food restaurant and no bus service. It has just one school district and one volunteer fire department — there were originally two, but they merged years ago. (May 14, 2011)
The Shelter Island Library recently began offering ESL (English as a Second Language) classes to interested Hispanics. (May 7, 2011)
A bicyclist rides one of the un-trafficked roads on Shelter Island. (May 7, 2011)
Sweet Tomato's, a restaurant in Shelter Island. In the summer, outdoor restaurant dining becomes a treasure hunt -- where tourists can find everything from an elegant dinner to a homemade bowl of soup. (May 14, 2011)
An inside view of clothing boutique Marie Eiffel on Shelter Island's Grand Avenue. The owner, Marie Eiffel, left, helps a customer. (May 14, 2011)
A view of the shops on Shelter Island's Grand Avenue. (May 14, 2011)
Cafe owner Pepe Martinez, when he gets a free moment, goes fishing or spends time with his kids. (May 14, 2011)
Shelter Island's year-round population of 2,300 residents gives it only about 190 people per square mile. In contrast, Suffolk County has about 1,500 people per square mile. During the summer months, tourists and vacation homeowners swell the island's population to more than 8,000. (May 14, 2011)