Water Mill History & Culture
An actual water mill was the hamlet’s raison d'être: The original 40 acres were designated for the mill in 1644. The two-story shingle-style water mill (purportedly the state’s first) was in operation for three centuries, and now serves as a museum (and selfie magnet). Water Mill is a scenic place where the land and the paintbrush have long coexisted. The hamlet boasts an impressive artistic pedigree, with the 34,400-square-foot Parrish Art Museum attesting to the area’s identity as a haven for painters. More than a century old, the museum has commanded this Herzog & de Meuron-designed facility since 2012. It contains more than 3,000 pieces, including a peerless collection of works by the American Impressionist William Merritt Chase (1849-1916). A more eclectic space is the Water Mill Center, which is devoted to collaborations between visual and performing artists, scientists, and anyone who wants to learn and explore. The venue offers meditation, tours, a library, and peaceful gardens.