EARLY SUMMER COLONIES: SOUTHAMPTON VILLAGE, THE HAMPTONS IS ONE OF THE BEST
THE HAMPTONS IS THE PREMIRE RESORT on the East Coast of the United States. It is a place of residence and resort for people across the globe including those from New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, and from other countries like Germany, Russia, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, China and more.
The demographics of the Hamptons are vague and always changing: We go from a population in the winter of a few thousand to the summer population which goes well into 50,000 to 60,000 people--some summers we see even greater numbers.
THE HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN "SUMMER COLONY"
In looking into the distant past, I found that there are several very early Summer Colonies--those resorts that were settled in the early 17th and 18th centuries. Most of these "Summer Colonies" are located here on the East Coast, simply because this region was settled first, in the 1600's.
Places like Cape May in New Jersey, Marble head, Massachusetts, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire and Sag Harbor New York were known for their fishing village charm---some even for the great whaling expeditions in the earliest days.
Then there were the resorts such as Fishers Island, New York, Southampton, New York and many other coastal towns and villages where the British Armies occupied forts and fields for years, thus leaving many of the residents without homes and a source of making a living.
Settled by the early colonists, these locations were in many cases, seaports, whaling towns and fishing villages that evolved into resort areas over the centuries. Many were also the sight of dramatic Revolutionary War battles...battles that have long ago faded into the fog of history and have left the earliest settlements with a rich history of our birth and growth here in America!
It is not so obvious that Southampton was the sight of a major early battle in the Revolutionary War. Southampton was occupied by the British during the War and during one of the major battles, all the local folk cleared out completely and went to Connecticut to avoid the horrors of the battles and starvation that set in during the War. It took years for the population to feel comfortable enough to move back and they did so after almost 5 years of a war-weary existence of displacement.
As travel between states became easier because of the expansion of the railroads in 19th century, leisure time became the focus for those who could afford a second home, with both the time and money to spend there. The need for water side escapes and retreats came with the burgeoning wealth of the few who were part of the establishment of seaports and railroads here in the United States during the great growth of the 19th century. Summer Cottages were popping up all along the coastline and here in Southampton Village, New York, there was a slow development of some of the most expansive and luxurious estates in the world on Meadow Lane, Gin Lane and the "Necks", all part of the original Estate Section here.
Southampton has excellent company in the "Summer Colony" identification: Bar Harbor, Maine--Newport, Rhode Island--Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod, Massachusetts--Fisher's Island, NY are summer resorts, to name just a few of the most famous early "Summer Colonies" on the East Coast.
Most of these "watering holes" were founded by the earliest American settlers but many came about because of the shipping and whaling trades...even the railroad brought the wealth that seeded the growth of many of these summer colonies.
Founding families like the Vanderbilts, the Melons and the many other early families were those who made the idea of a "Summer Colony" come into being---They found, along with their large and extended families, these seaside resorts to be the comfortable, down-time locations where they could relax away from all the bustle and trappings of city life.
Philanthropy was far reaching and the Patriarchs of these families were generous beyond measure, leaving schools, museums and large parcels of land to be used as they saw fit. Parks, reserves and game farms were established in these coastline resorts. Because of the exorbitant wealth of these families, even the summer colonies benefited from the largess. The homes they left behind as they passed on are still found in many of the Summer Colonies that were founded in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Early Summer Colonies can be found on the shores of Lake Michigan and Wisconsin as well. Most of these resorts have been in existance almost as long as those here on the East Coast and they too thrive and continue to draw people from across the globe.
This "young" nation offers some of the most glorious resorts in the world, with a beauty that is unparalleled.
Because the Summer Colonies are spread across this beautiful land, there is a constant renewal of the source for tourism. There is something for anyone who has the desire to see what makes this country great.
Southampton, New York is just one of many of the early "Summer Colonies" that draw tourists and because of the endless historical aspects here, one of the most beautiful and fascinating!
**ALL INFORMATION AND CONTENT IN THIS BLOG IS ORIGINAL TO PAULA I. HATHAWAY. The views expressed herein are my personal views and do not reflect the views of Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Paula I. Hathaway, Senior Broker Associate, Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Southamtpon Village Real Estate Specialist since 1995; Also Specializes in North Sea, Noyac, Water Mill and Bridgehampton, New York
Diamond , Gold and Chairman's Circle Awards; Top Producer since 2005
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