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East Hampton starts 100th birthday celebration by unveiling new village logo

Artist Scott Bluedorn holds a flag adorned with

Artist Scott Bluedorn holds a flag adorned with the new logo he designed for East Hampton Village before the flag is raised at Village Hall. Joining him are village trustee Arthur Graham, from left, Deputy Mayor Richard Lawler and trustees Barbara Borsack and Rose Grau Brown. Credit: John Roca

East Hampton Village’s new centennial logo evokes the East End community's essence with images far from trophy estates, Montauk Highway traffic or an overcrowded share house.

Village officials instead chose a design emphasizing East Hampton’s bucolic charm and nautical history — a seagull flying above the iconic Hook Mill windmill set behind a dune. The new seal was unveiled during a village board meeting Thursday and kicks off a yearlong celebration commemorating 100 years of incorporation.

“It’s very pretty and it’s very East Hampton,” village trustee Barbara Borsack, the centennial committee chair, said of the design. “East Hampton is very proud of its history. We have been here for a very long time. Since [English settlement in] 1648.”

The pen-and-ink image is also displayed on a flag that was raised Thursday above Village Hall. 

The design is the work of East Hampton-based mixed-media artist Scott Bluedorn, who describes his portfolio as being influenced by “maritime cosmology.”

“We came up with a couple of ideas, although we all agreed it should focus on Hook Mill,” said Bluedorn, a lifelong East Ender. “It’s an iconic landmark and it’s something I use a lot in my own personal work.”

Bluedorn said he also thought it was important to incorporate the ocean and local fauna with a touch of Surrealism, as the downtown windmill is depicted on the beach. He considered drawing an osprey or a swan, but ultimately settled on the familiar, and he said more emblematic, seagull.

The result is one of Long Island’s most comely municipal seals, unlike the confusing D emblazoned on that of Brookhaven Town or the E of Huntington.

Bluedorn, whose commercial work includes the whimsical and nautical inspired designs on the labels of Greenport Harbor Brewing Co.’s bottles, was paid $1,200 by the village for the work.

Other events being planned for the year could include historical lectures or incorporating the anniversary into the local school curriculum, Borsack said.

A village parade is set for Sept. 26, which is the anniversary week of the 1920 incorporation, Borsack said. The parade will feature a 1920s theme with music from the era, and restaurants will be asked to offer $19.20 deals, Borsack said. The day will include an old-time baseball game between the Maidstone Mugwumps and East Hampton Bonackers in Herrick Park.

East Hampton was the third eastern Long Island town founded following Southold and Southampton in 1640. It was settled by the English in 1648 when colonial Connecticut governors purchased 30,000 acres from the Montauk Indian tribe, according to the village website. Residents voted 166-57 in 1920 to break away from East Hampton Town and incorporate, largely to have greater local control, said village historian Hugh King. 

The current seal, featuring a lion and river, is identical to that of Maidstone, England, the home of some of the village's first English settlers. The new design honors what's best about East Hampton, King said.

“We should be known for the history, not as the fashionable, upscale, trendy and unaffordable Hamptons,” King said. “We are so much more than that.”

EAST HAMPTON'S ORIGINS

1648: Settled by the English when Colonial governors purchased 31,000 acres from the Montauk Indians

1920: East Hampton Village incorporated by a vote of 166-57

2020: Village celebrates its 100th birthday with a September parade and commemorative seal designed by local artist Scott Bluedorn

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