“The windmill, which originally sat on what is now Hill Street in Southampton Village, was moved to its current location in 1890 to become part of what was then known as the Claflin estate. During that time, it served as a playhouse for the Claflins’ daughter Beatrice, according to “The College Windmill: An Affectionate History,” a booklet authored by Edward Glanz, the founding provost of Southampton College.
The property remained in the Claflin family until it was sold following World War II and was then run as the Tucker Mill Inn, catering primarily to summer visitors. Tennessee Williams rented the windmill one summer in the 1950s and, according to rumor, wrote several of his famous plays while staying there.
Long Island University purchased the property in 1963 and opened it as Southampton College. During the college’s early years, the windmill served as a meeting place for students and its top floor offered overnight accommodations to the school’s more prominent guests. The 82-acre campus was acquired by Stony Brook University and reopened as Stony Brook Southampton in fall 2007.