Southampton is a village in Suffolk County, New York, USA. The village is named after the Earl of Southampton. The Village of Southampton is in the southeast part of the county in the Town of Southampton. The population was 3,109 at the 2010 census.
Southampton is arguably the commercial center of the southern "fork" of Long Island, serves as the home base for several region-wide businesses and has the area's only hospital. It is part of the summer colony known as The Hamptons, and is generally considered one of the area's two most prestigious communities. A large number of wealthy and influential people have homes in the "estate section" of the village, the area immediately north of the Atlantic ocean front. The presence of this group provides Southampton with its reputation for affluence and exclusivity.
Southampton, settled in 1640 and incorporated as a village 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 English Earl of Southampton.
The early settlers, 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 Reservation, established in 1701, is the oldest Native American reservation in the United States.
A property called the Halsey House was a homestead by pioneer Thomas Halsey in 1640. A rare "first period" house was built in 1660 when Main Street, in the pioneer hamlet of Southampton, was first laid out. Its owner, Thomas Halsey, was one of the original families who bought property from the Shinnecocks in 1640. It is one of the oldest English-type frame houses in the state.
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 18th and 19th centuries, fishing, farming (especially potatoes and the local sweet corn) and duck raising were the predominant industries.
Southampton Village boasts great ocean beaches including Cooper's Beach, which was voted #3 in a recent national poll. In 2010 it was listed as America's top beach according to the annual list of the best American beaches compiled by Dr. Stephen Leatherman, AKA Dr. Beach.