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Hampton Bays is a hamlet and census-designated place (CDP) in Suffolk County, New York, United States. The population was 13,603 at the 2010 census.1

Hampton Bays is in the Town of Southampton.

Hampton Bays is located at 40°52′26″N 72°31′16″W (40.873940, -72.521167),2 about 81 miles (130 km) to the east of Manhattan (New York City).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 18.1 square miles (47.0 km2), of which 12.9 square miles (33.5 km2) is land and 5.2 square miles (13.4 km2), or 28.54%, is water.1 The hamlet is surrounded by three bays, the Great Peconic Bay to the north, and Shinnecock and Tiana bays to the south. The two southern bays are a part of a greater bay system, called the Great South Bay system, which stretches from approximately Southampton Village to Jamaica Bay in New York City. The Shinnecock Canal, a man-made canal located in the eastern part of the hamlet, connects the Great Peconic Bay with the Shinnecock Bay. Shinnecock Inlet, which leads from the Shinnecock Bay to the Atlantic Ocean, is the easternmost inlet, making it very popular for commercial fishing. The inlet itself, which separates the barrier beaches of Hampton Bays from those of neighboring Southampton, was created in the New England Hurricane of 1938 when the forces of the hurricane washed over that area of barrier beach, connecting the waters of the Atlantic with the bay.

The Hampton Bays CDP is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the south; by the Shinnecock Inlet and the eastern portion of Shinnecock Bay to the east, beyond which lie the village of (Southampton and the CDP of Shinnecock Hills; by Great Peconic Bay to the north, beyond which lie the towns of Southold and Riverhead; and by the CDPs of Flanders and East Quogue (still within the town of Southampton) to the west.

Hampton Bays is served by Sunrise Highway (NY 27), which is a major artery to the western parts of Long Island and New York City. The hamlet is also served by Montauk Highway (CR 80), a two-lane road which runs from New York City to Montauk. Montauk Highway serves as the “Main Street” of many towns and villages along the south shore of Long Island.

The Long Island Rail Road provides an infrequent rail service seven days per week via the Montauk Branch between Hampton Bays and New York City. Local Suffolk County buses also provide service to neighboring areas.

The waterways in the area, including the Shinnecock Canal, provide invaluable routes for boats.

Like most of the other communities in The Hamptons, tourism is a critical component of the local economy.

Commercial fishing remains a vital part of the Hampton Bays economy, centered around the fishing station at Shinnecock Inlet. After Montauk, Hampton Bays is the second-busiest commercial fishing port in the state of New York. According to 2006 statistics by the National Marine Fisheries Service, 6.1 million pounds of finfish and shellfish, worth $8.0 million, were landed in the Hampton Bays/Shinnecock port.3

Hampton Bays was used as the set of the 2007 movie Margot at the Wedding starring Nicole Kidman and Jack Black.

The hamlet was settled in 1740 as “Good Ground”, which became the main hamlet of eleven in the immediate area. The area where Main Street, also known as Montauk Highway, is located today, was the approximate area of the original hamlet.

There were ten other hamlets in the area. They were called Canoe Place, East Tiana, Newtown, Ponquogue, Rampasture, Red Creek, Squiretown, Southport, Springville, and West Tiana. Most of these hamlets were settled by one or two families and had their own school house. Many of the names from the former hamlets are still featured as local street names today.

In 1743, a smallpox outbreak was attributed to deliberate distribution of infected blankets being handed out by one K “Mole” Fallo, who then purchased land titles from widows and orphans.[citation needed]

As a result of the growth of the surrounding hamlets and villages in the Hamptons and increased tourism from New York City, the eleven hamlets, although generally called “Good Ground” collectively by the early part of the 20th century, amalgamated under the name “Hampton Bays” in 1922. The motive behind the name change was for the hamlet to benefit from the “Hamptons” trade that the community’s neighbors were experiencing.Read more

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