Montauk is a village at the most eastern tip of Long Island known for its beaches, the Montauk
Point Lighthouse, and its close proximity to the Hamptons. What many people don’t know
about Montauk is its rich history. When settlers first came to Long Island in the 1600s, Native
Americans of the Algonquian tribe inhabited the island. Montauk village gets its name from
the leadership of Montauk Sachem, who was considered the ruler from the tip of Montauk to
the western end of Long Island.
While inhabiting Montauk, the Native Americans relied on getting their food from deer, birds,
and fish while also growing corn, squash, beans, and berries. It is said that the Native Americans
hunted whales on their man-made canoes and that they were actually the ones to teach the
Europeans to go whaling. Up until around 1659, the Native Americans lived peacefully, only facing a few issues
from their enemies, the Narragansetts. Unfortunately, the Montauks began facing their first
major controversy when a deadly disease devastated their tribe. With the Narragansetts still
causing destruction, the Montauks began to rely on the “English” to save them from their
In 1648, European settlers purchased the land from the Montauk Indians. They came from
Massachusetts and bought the land from the end of Southampton to Napeague beach.
Although they had the land, they didn’t have the right to pasture the livestock of the Montauk
tribe. Finally, in 1686 the Indians sold Montauk to a group of East Hampton settlers. They
owned the land in joint trust for almost 200 years.
In 1797, George Washington appointed the building of the Montauk Lighthouse. At the time,
the lighthouse served as a coastguard station and warned ships to stay clear of the area and its
rocky bank. Now, the lighthouse is open as a museum to their millions of visitors.
Montauk is a major tourist destination. The charming village is widely visited by people not only
from Long Island, but around the country. Montauk is particularly famous for its fishing, the
Ditch Plains, the Montauk Lighthouse, the hiking trails, and the wine tasting. The busy tourist
location is the home to several restaurants, bed and breakfasts, hotels, and campgrounds. If
you plan on visiting Montauk in the warmer months, you will for sure be busy.
Even though Montauk is at the eastern tip of Long Island and is often called “The End”, public
transportation makes the village easy to get to. The Long Island Rail Road provides train service
all the way from Montauk to New York City. The Hampton Jitney also provides their bus services
into Manhattan. If you prefer flying, the town also has an airport that small planes can fly into.
If you plan on visiting Long Island, put Montauk on your list of “Must See”. We know you won’t