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Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

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Preserve America Community:
Southampton, New York

The village of Southampton, New York, (population 3,965) was settled in 1640 and incorporated in 1894. It is the oldest English settlement in the state. The early colonists were welcomed by the Shinnecock Indian tribe, which shared its knowledge of planting corn, growing crops, and digging shellfish from nearby bays. During the 18th and 19th centuries, fishing, raising ducks, and farming (especially Long Island Potatoes and sweet corn) were the predominant industries.  

Beginning in the late 18th century, wealthy New Yorkers seeking escape from the ever-growing city sought the serenity of Southampton Village’s countryside and the beauty of its pristine beaches. Large estates are a hallmark of the village today, which is also a popular resort destination for summer visitors, when the population exceeds 35,000 during high season. 

Southampton’s historic resources reflect more than four centuries of development. Four historic districts and five individual landmarks in the village are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and/or the New York State Landmark Register, including more than 400 contributing historic buildings.  

The Southampton Historical Museum supports the Rogers Mansion, which features 12 historical structures including a one-room schoolhouse, a colonial-era barn, and a 19th century paint shop. The museum also maintains the Thomas Halsey Homestead, built in 1660, and the Elias Pelletreau Silver Shop, built in 1686. 

The community celebrates its heritage every summer in the Harvest Day festival, when children and families sing, dance, make crafts, and learn about the history and cultures that are unique to the area. 

For more information

Village of Southampton: www.southamptonvillage.org

Historical Museum: www.southamptonhistoricalmuseum.org

Posted March 16, 2009

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