ABOUT SAGAPONACK

 
 

After 350 years there should be  few words on the settlement, village, community of Sagaponack, Sagg or "place where the large ground-nuts grow."

It is one of the very early divisions of Southampton, laid out before Bridgehampton, Sag Harbor and other parishes.  This 1653 area is unusual:  100 miles east of the mainland, bordering the broad Atlantic, and stretching northward for several miles over the most level and fertile land of this island.  With its ponds, its forest, its rich soil, it has remained nearly pristine.

Its farmers, fishermen, whalers, wood-cutters, men of the Bible, builders, lawyers, and men of state have over the years been second to none.  Not to be forgotten, and also second to none were the women of the home.  Mistresses of the house in cooking, gardening, and cloth-making with the spinning wheel in wool or flax.  Besides this, they did dress-making for both young and old.  Not to forget those priceless samplers and quilts, cherished today more than money.  All labored six days a week and rested on the seventh, as did its founder, Josiah Stanborough, and their first man of the Bible, Ebenezer White.  From this labor on the sea, on the fertile soil and in the rich woodland came food to eat, products to sell, and homes which they build, so much cherished today.  Not mansion or huts, these were beautiful country homes of their period, built for two and sometimes three generations to live in at once, and changed over time as the families needs changed.

Sagaponack has changed little until its last few years: always one school, one store, a port from which to export whale oil and farm produce (the earliest was North West Harbor, later came Sag Harbor, named after its founder, Sagaponack).  From this hamlet have come well-known men of the Bible, law cases that are still studied today, and advancements in agriculture by farmers.

Richard G. Hendrickson (2006)
from: Sagaponack - Then and Now (All rights reserved, Sally Peterson Scholarship Fund)

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