Living & Eating on Long Island's East End 

        Profiles: Before They Were the Hamptons...

My name is Monique.
I'm a 2-time Emmy Award winning TV Producer.
Having been in the business for over 15 years I've produced my share of live tv cooking segments, but never had much time to devote to cooking myself.

Last year when I got married, I moved out of New York City to the east end of Long Island, to ...wait for it...The Hamptons.

Now before you roll your eyes, there's more to the Hamptons than mansions and celebrities.

The Hamptons have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, miles of productive farmland, plus a rich clamming history that continues to this day.

When I moved out east and realized I was surrounded, not just by the bounty of the sea, but also local farms and vineyards, I couldn't wait to explore and sample my new environment.

That's what this blog is about.  Cooking, living, exploring and sharing those experiences.

You'll notice that my blog is a little of this and a little of that, kind of like a potluck meal.

They say a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet, but would Bridgehampton and Westhampton be just as cool if they were called "Bullhead" and "Ketchaponack?"

Turns out a lot of the villages and hamlets we now know as "The Hamptons" had very different names when they were first established.

Amagansett reportedly got its name from the Montaukett term for "place of good water" from a water source near what today is Indian Wells beach. It has also sometimes been referred to as Skimhampton, but this name usually refers to the area south of Montauk Highway along Skimhampton Road.

Once Southampton was founded in 1640, settlers began moving east to Sagaponack and Mecox. At the head of Sagg Pond settlers established a community there called Bullhead. It was later renamed Bridgehampton, after Sagg Bridge, which was built across the pond in 1686. That bridge was the link between Mecox and Sagaponack, giving the locality its name, Bridgehampton.

The town of East Hampton includes the village of East Hampton, as well as the hamlets of Montauk, Amagansett, Wainscott, and Springs. It also includes part of the incorporated village of Sag Harbor.

East Hampton was first called Maidstone, after the county Town of Kent, England. That name was later changed to 'Easthampton', reflecting the geographic names of its neighbors, Southampton and Westhampton. In 1885 the name became two words after the local newspaper, the East Hampton Star, began using the two-word name. Maidstone is still used in places throughout the town, like the Maidstone Golf Club.

East Quogue had quite the identity crisis in its early days. According to the East Quogue Historical Society, it was originally settled in 1673 as Fourth Neck. Then the name was changed to Atlanticville in 1858. It finally became East Quogue in1891. A northern portion of the hamlet was also called Oakville at one time.

The hamlet of Hampton Bays was settled in 1740 as "Good Ground". It was the main hamlet in that area, which included even smaller hamlets like Canoe Place, East Tiana, Newtown, Ponquogue, Rampasture, Red Creek, Squiretown, Southport, Springville, and West Tiana. Most of these hamlet names are still used as local neighborhoods and street names today.

Of course Montauk got its name from the Montaukett tribe. They were an Algonquian-speaking tribe, who lived in the area.

North Sea was first called Feversham, then Northampton. Both names were from places in England, before being renamed North Sea.

According to the Quogue Historical Society, the name Quogue derives from the Native American name Quaquanantuck or Quawquannantucke. Other records refer to Coagg, Quago, Quag, Quoag, Quagga, then finally, Quogue.

Sag Harbor was settled sometime between 1707 and 1730. While some say it was named after neighboring Sagaponack, which at the time was called "Sagg". Others say Sagaponack and Sag Harbor both got their name from a tuber raised by the Algonquins.

A tuber is a botanical term for a fleshy, underground stem of certain seed plants like potatoes, sweet potatoes and cassava. These were reportedly one of the first crops sent back to England from the new world. The tuber-producing vine, which is now called the Apios americana, was called sagabon by the Algonquins.

Founded in 1640, Southampton Town was named after the port city of Southampton in Hampshire, England.

The hamlet of Wainscott was named after Wainscott, Kent, a village north of Maidstone, England. This is also where many of East Hampton's early settlers reportedly came from.

When a mill was built to grind settler's grain into meal, people soon began referring to other settlements as "east or west of the water mill." By the 1800s, that area was known as Water Mills and later became Water Mill.

According to the Westhampton Beach Historical Society, the Shinnecock Indians originally called parts of Westhampton, Ketchaponack, or “place where large roots grow.” That area covered the region that now includes Westhampton Beach Village and surrounding parts, including unincorporated Westhampton.

Next up: The North Fork's hamlets.

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