“The Shinnecock Canal, which bisects the Town of Southampton and connects the Shinnecock and Peconic Bays, was first opened in 1892. The need for digging a canal had been talked of as early as 1826, and reflects the Native American tradition that such a waterway actually existed in colonial times, giving rise to the name “Canoe Place” which still identifies the locality. While the original link was likely an overland portage and not a canal, the low and narrow landmass formed a natural location for the engineering project that finally began in 1884. The canal was the only saltwater canal in New York State, and the only one built for more than purposes of transportation, for it was also designed to reclaim the waning fish, clam and oyster industries in the Shinnecock Bay. When first completed, the Shinnecock Canal was about four thousand feet long, forty feet wide at the bottom and four and a half feet deep. A lock system was built in 1919 to alleviate the dramatic differences in water levels between the adjoining bays which can approach three feet. Three bridges now cross the canal: that of the Long Island Rail Road and two vehicular spans associated with the Montauk and Sunrise Highways. The lowest of these is the fixed railroad bridge with a height of 22 feet above high water, whereas the highway bridges have clearances of 23 and 25 feet, respectively. To many travelers and East End visitors, these spans appear to be the gateways to the “Hamptons” since all traffic is funneled across one of these bridges. “                                     Zach Studenroth,Town of Southampton Historian

“The Shinnecock Canal (also known as the Shinnecock and Peconic Canal) is a canal that cuts across the South Fork of Long Island at Hampton Bays, New York. At 4,700 feet (1,400 m) long, it connects Great Peconic Bay and the north fork of Long Island with Shinnecock Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The canal opened to traffic in 1892.[1] Although "the Hamptons" officially begins about 10 miles (16 km) west at Westhampton, New York, the Shinnecock Canal in popular imagination marks the beginning of the Hamptons since traffic is funneled across two highway bridges (Sunrise Highway and Montauk Highway) or the Long Island Rail Road bridge.”

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Shinnecock Canal Canoe Place 
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