The history of the East Hampton Town Trustees is unique and complex – with different challenges as time moves on- but always in mind, to maintain and respect our environment so that generations in the future may enjoy the beauty of our natural resources – our waterways, trustee roads, beaches, and traditions that have endured throughout hundreds of years.
The Trustees take great pride in our historic background as the original governing body of the Town of East Hampton since 1686 as established by King James 11 of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland.
On December 9, 1686, Governor Thomas Dongan of the Province of New York provided a grant that assigned the English settlers John Mulford, Justice of the Peace, Thomas Baker, Thomas Chatfield, Jeremiah Conklin, Stephen Hedges, Thomas Osborne, and Senior John Osborne to purchase land from the “Natives Indyan Proprietors”. The grant provided for the formation of the Trustees of the Freeholders and Commonalty of the Town of East Hampton whose responsibility it was to manage the common lands. The traditions of the Dongan Patent are still upheld by the Trustees today.
*Photographs of the original Dongan Patent are available to view at The East Hampton Library, Long Island Collection.
Today the Trustee members of the Education Committee visit our local schools to share the history of the Trustees and the various responsibilities we have as our stewardship has evolved over the years. The Trustees also offer presentations about our East Hampton Shellfish Hatchery, environmental news as it pertains to our harbors, waterways, and Trustee owned roads, and slideshows depicting the history of our fisheries and other pertinent Trustee events.
Captain William J. Rysam Scholarship Fund
The Trustee’s Captain William J. Rysam Scholarship Fund was established to help support higher education for a senior graduate student(s) of East Hampton High School through an award designated to assist with college tuition expenses. Senior high school students are invited to apply for a scholarship award from the Trustees by submitting an essay application expressing their understanding of the stewardship and responsibility the Trustees have in our community today. Each Trustee reads the anonymous submissions and casts their votes. The student who garners the most votes is presented with a monetary award from The Captain William J. Rysam Scholarship Fund.
The East Hampton Town Trustees accept applications annual through the East Hampton High School Scholarship Program. All East Hampton High School Students are encouraged to apply. Priority will be given to those with Financial need. Please contact the Trustees or the East Hampton High School Guidance Counselors office for further information and the application format. The Trustees will be offering a first prize of $1000 and second prize of $500 this year. We supplement our Scholarship fund with the sale of Balloon Fish and Trustee T-Shirts and other items and donations. You can view some of these items on the SHOP menu item. To purchase you must call or email the Trustee Office. Our store is not operational
For more information on the History of the Scholarship Fund, click on button below
East Hampton Schools – Support a Ban on Balloons
Students from the Avenues Studio Hamptons Co. Lab Project- Beach Clean Up – 2021
Teachers and mentors, Briar Rose DeTommaso and Brian Schopfer of Avenue Studio Hamptons in East Hampton worked with the students on their service based learning project that involved advocating with local officials, collaborating with the local Surfrider Chapter and utilizing the design thinking framework to support change making in the local environment. In addition, the students advocated for clean beaches/waters and during a beach clean-up where they videotaped their reason for participating and encouraged community members to sign their petition. Students created a petition that is on Change.org to ban the sale and distribution of helium and gas filled balloons in the Town of East Hampton.
East Hampton High School
Read the letters and signed petition of the students from East Hampton High School asking to ban the sale of helium and gas filled balloons in the Town of East Hampton. From the Environmental Awareness Club with school guidance counselor Aubrey Peterson.
East Hampton Middle School
With their teacher, David Cataletto, the sixth graders of the Middle School spoke to the Town Board during their Work Session meeting and supported a ban on the sale and distribution of helium or gas filled balloons in the Town of East Hampton. *David Cataletto is now serving his first two year term as an East Hampton Town Trustee having won election in November 2021.