As early as 1712, meadows in Speonk were leased to cattle owners from Southampton. Most of the early residents came west from Southampton and Bridgehampton in the 1740s, building farms and clearing the forests of wood. In the 1880s, duck farms thrived in Speonk, but few survived past the turn of the century. The name Speonk was inspired by a Native American word meaning high place. An 1897 Long Island Rail Road catalog listed Speonk, noting that that name “certainly sounds like the call of a frog.” Some residents pressed to change the name to Remsenburg, after prominent resident Charles Remsen donated a new Presbyterian Church. Supposedly inspired by Indian words meaning “a high place,” the name Speonk enchanted some residents and disgusted others. A Long Island Rail Road catalog in 1897 listed Speonk, noting that it’s a “place that certainly sounds like the call of a frog.” So it follows that a faction of the community in 1895 jumped at the chance to change the name to Remsenburg, in recognition of Charles Remsen, a prominent resident who donated a new brick Presbyterian church. The dispute got nasty when Remsenburgers removed the Speonk sign at the railroad station and replaced it with Remsenburg. The Speonk sign was restored and the hard feelings eased with time, but Speonk remained split.