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Main Content

Origin of East End Names

By Judi Desiderio, Tuesday, October 26, 2010
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Sagaponack, Accabonac Harbor, Towd Point, Nappeague Stretch, Paumanok Trail – the list of unique and original names on the East End is endless. Think about it – the street you live on, the body of water you sail on, the school, market, beach. Where did these names originate from?

We set out to find out about one in particular when a friend of mind, who has lived here all his life, asked what “towd” meant? Easy enough, or so I thought. I asked my colleagues in the East Hampton office – no one knew, but that wasn’t too surprising being as every place with the name “towd” is located in Southampton. So I called our Southampton office – no one knew there either. Now that WAS surprising. I emailed a friend from Southampton who was born and raised there – third generation Southampton family – for sure he would know. Wrong! He too had no idea. Of course I had googled it before setting out contacting anyone but that returned just this little tidbit:

“Fulk Davis was one of the earliest settlers in Southampton and had land laid out for him in 1642. He afterwards moved to North Sea and lived near the locality known as “Towd.” – A History of Long Island

Still not really an explanation of where the name came from. Stumped – how could I find out where “towd” came from? What better place than our Southampton hometown paper – the Southampton Press. So I emailed my sales rep and voilå, within 2 minutes I had the answer:

According to Bill Mulvihill’s book “South Fork Place Names” it’s derived from an Algonquin meaning “wading place”.

Perfect, thank you Southampton Press for being such an information source. I spread the news to all those who were as puzzled as I was and, of course, my friend who originally started me on this mission. I could now call it a day!

If you have an East End name you would like more information on just let us know and we will go in pursuit of the the answer.