The location of our Village on the Great South Bay and it’s accessibility to the Atlantic Ocean has involved the lives of those who lived here from the beginning to the present. The area known as Village of Babylon was purchased from the Sumpwam Indians in 1670. It was known as Huntington South. The farmers came down from Huntington to the South Bay area to harvest “salt” hay for bedding and feed for their livestock. It was a journey so the farmers would stay a period of time before returning home. Travelers would stop in Babylon on their three-day trip to Southampton from New York City, creating the need for stores and services. Flounder, blue fish and shellfish were abundant in the bay, providing income and sustenance for the settlers. Fresh streams from the north provided power for mills that produced grain, lumber and paper. By 1800, Babylon had became a hub of activity.
Nathaniel Conklin foresaw Babylon as a thriving town. He built a home for his mother on the northeast corner of Main Street and Deer Park Avenue in 1803. Legend has it that Nat’s mother was unhappy with her home across from a tavern and compared the town with the biblical Babylon. The house now stands on the northwest side of Deer Park Avenue where it was moved in 1871, with a cornerstone that reads “New Babylon, This House Built by Nat Conklin, 1803”.
When the railroad arrived in the Village in 1867, it became a thriving resort area. A trolley ran from the depot to the steamship dock where ferries sailed to the beaches. At one time there were eleven hotels in Babylon Village.
The area called Huntington South became Town of Babylon with its own governing board in 1872. The Village of Babylon incorporated in 1893. Following World War II, the area burst with activity, providing homes for returning veterans. With convenient train service to New York City, commuters, then like now, found Babylon a great place to live and raise a family.
People of renown who have lived here include Guglielmo Marconi, Robert Moses, and Robert Keeshan.