East Hampton Town is the easternmost town on Long Island (Suffolk County, New York State). It encompasses a land area of 70 square miles on Long Island's south fork and has almost 70 miles of waterfront on 3 sides. The Town is bordered by the Town of Southampton to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, and Gardiner's Bay to the north.
The original land, purchased from the Montauket Indians, covered about 30,000 acres. The first settlement within the present jurisdiction of the Town was made by Lion Gardiner on his privately-owned Gardiners Island in 1639, but organized settlement did not take place until 1648. The original name of the Town was Maidstone and fourteen years later became known as East Hampton. Whaling, fishing, farming and cattle-raising were the basis of the settlers' early economy.
Present day East Hampton provides many artistic, cultural and historic points of interest including the Montauk Indian Museum, Old Hook Mill (built in 1806 and later restored), Deep Hollow Ranch (the oldest cattle ranch in America), Guild Hall (home of the John Drew Theater), among many others. The Atlantic Ocean, the bays and the harbors remain the Town's prime attractions, providing swimming, boating and fishing for summer visitors and year-round residents alike.
The Town's year round population as measured in the 2000 census was 19,719 (visit the U.S. Census website for current information). Currently in 2011, the town has 334 full-time employees and a seasonal summer staff of approximately 150. The town's employees include 61 full time uniformed police officers covering the approximately 70 square miles within the Town's borders. In 2010 the Town's total assessed value in actual dollars was almost $28 billion or about $400,000,000 per square mile. Public utilities accounted for almost $150 million of assessed property value in the town, with the biggest private taxpayer owning property assessed at over $45 million. In fact, in the latest survey of highest assessments, there were eight private property owners with assessments of over $30 million in actual value.