Water Mill is a hamlet and Census Designated Place in the Town of Southampton and, much to the chagrin of its residents, it is often misspelled “Watermill.”
It is located to the east of Southampton Village and to the west of Bridgehampton. Residents include Jason Kidd, Katie Lee and Jennifer Lopez. Alicia Keys recently partied in the wrong kitchen there.
“Water Mill was established in 1644 when a water-powered grist mill was built at a fresh water pond,” the town website states. “This mill, three miles from the English colony of Southampton, served the colonists for over 150 years.”
Until the 2010 census, the U.S. Census was among those organizations that erroneously spell it “Watermill.” While the town government, the Water Mill Museum, the Water Mill Community Club and the Water Mill Cemetery all get the spelling correct, area police departments tend to use the incorrect spelling in arrest reports and press releases. Media outlets that are unfamiliar with the area sometimes copy the police’s misspelling, which perpetuates the common misconception of how to spell it.
Incorrect: I love Flying Point Beach in Watermill.
Correct: I love Flying Point Beach in Water Mill.
There is an exception. When referring to Robert Wilson’s avant garde arts laboratory, Watermill is one word.
Incorrect: Let’s go to the Water Mill Center in Watermill.
Correct: Let’s go to the Watermill Center in Water Mill.
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