In the pre-American Revolution colonial period only very few people lived in what is now the hamlet of Laurel. It was then a rural place known as the “Middle District”, which was meant to mean the middle ground between the Town of Riverhead in the West, and the Town of Southold in the East. Part of this “middle district” was in each of the two towns. As more people moved into the district to farm they gave it the name Franklinville, after Benjamin Franklin. Eventually, about 30 or 40 houses were built there. Eventually it was found that, like so many original east end town names, another upstate town already has the original name, in this case Franklinville. Only one Franklinville could have a post office so the residents changed its name – this time to Laurel.