The Village of Southampton, settled in 1640 and incorporated in 1894, historically began with a small group of English Puritans who set sail from Lynn, Massachusetts and landed on June 12, 1640 at what is now known as Conscience Point. It is the oldest English settlement in the state of New York and is named after the British Earl of Southampton.
The early colonists, with the help of a resident Shinnecock Indian guide, were led over an old woodland trail that is now North Sea Road to an ideal spot for their first settlement. There, at the head of what today is Old Town Pond, they constructed their first homes. The Shinnecock Indian Reservation, established in 1701, is the oldest Native American reservation in the United States.
The Shinnecock tribe welcomed the arrival of the white settlers in 1640 and not only gave them land to live on, "Olde Towne", but also shared with the settlers their knowledge of planting corn and fertilizing it with fish, growing crops, digging clams and scallops from nearby bays and trapping game. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, fishing, farming (especially Long Island Potatoes and our local sweet corn) and duck raising were the predominant industries.
With the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783 and the extension of the railroad to Sag Harbor in 1872, wealthy New Yorkers seeking escape from the ever growing city sought the serenity of our countryside and the beauty of our pristine beaches. This new emergence of substance and wealth caused a building boom during the early part of the twentieth century. Large estates were designed and built and the Village of Southampton grew and prospered.
Judd, Dianne and Don, The Hamptons, NY: Crescent Books, 1991,
Centennial Committee of the Incorporated Village of Southampton,
Centennial Celebration 1994, NY, 1994