Next month, Southold and Southampton will cease the bickering associated with their shared anniversary year and gather together in Southampton to celebrate both towns together.
On Sat., March 7, beginning at 3 p.m. the two towns will gather for a convocation to celebrate their shared 375th anniversaries at Southampton’s First Presbyterian Church, located at 2 South Main Street.
At 4 p.m. the Rogers Mansion will hos a 375th reception and exhibit opening, across the street from the church at 17 Meeting House Lane.
In 1640, English pioneers arrived at different landings within a few months of each other on the Peconic Bay. The close proximity of each settlement’s founding has, in the past, created a mostly friendly rivalry between the two towns. This March 7th Convocation will bring representatives from both towns together to commemorate their mutual heritage.
Both Presbyterian chuches will also be celebrating their 375th anniversaries this year. During the 17th and 18th centuries, both houses of worship served as civic meeting houses where magistrates wrote town laws, collected taxes and dispensed social justice.
Speakers at the convocation will include Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski, representing Southold, and Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, representing Southampton; The Reverends Dr. Peter Kelly from the First Presbyterian Church of Southold and Dr. Richard Boyer from Southampton’s First Presbyterian Church.
Elizabeth Thunder Bird Haile will represent the Shinnecock Nation; Mayor Mark Epley will represent the Village of Southampton; John v.H. Halsey, president of Peconic Land Trust, will speak as will The Reverend Michael Smith, Shinnecock Presbyterian Church.
A poem has been commissioned every 25 years beginning in 1865, Southampton’s 225th anniversary. This year, Suffolk County Poet Laureate Emeritus Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan will read her composition “Poem for Southampton’s 375 Anniversary.”
Southampton’s First Presbyterian Church Choir will provide music, along with Showers of Blessings, King’s Chapel Church of God in Christ in Southampton and the Southampton High School Choir.
The exhibit opening at the Rogers Mansion is for “If These Walls Could Talk: Meet the Families Who Lived in the Rogers Mansion.” Refreshments will be served.
The Rogers family established a farm at the corner of Main Street and Meeting House Lane in 1648. It has been the proud residence of three influential Southampton families, including a whaling captain, a country doctor, and a retired lawyer turned philanthropist. This exhibit will highlight the families that lived in the mansion along with the role the mansion played in the Southampton community.
Both of the above events are free and open to the public. At 7 p.m., the Southampton Inn will host a Convocation Dinner, $37.50 per person + tax. RSVP for the dinner by February 15 by calling 631.283.6501.