History & Culture
Named for an English earl and settled in 1640, Southampton takes pride in its long-recorded history. Accounts suggest that the early settlers enjoyed an amicable relationship with the Shinnecock Native Americans, who helped the Europeans settle. By the early 20th century, Southampton established itself as a premier summer resort and became a magnet for the superrich, über-powerful, and supremely successful, and the village boasts some of the most architecturally and historically significant (as well as the most expensive) estates in the country. Boldfaced names who have called the village home include Calvin Klein, Tory Burch, Ian Schrager, Brooke Shields, author Tom Wolfe, and legendary modern artist Roy Lichtenstein. Those culturally pedigreed names signal Southampton’s thriving cultural scene. Galleries abound, and the Southampton Cultural Center is a hub of visual and performing arts (including the Center Stage Theater), as well as educational opportunities.