You can’t enter the Village of East Hampton without passing its founders. Dating back to the 17th century, you’ll find shipwreck victims, socialites, artists, soldiers, an accused witch and our most famous resident, Lion Gardiner.
Although it’s one of the oldest graves, his tombstone is relatively new. Erected in 1886 it was designed by James Renwick, Jr. the architect behind St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan and the Smithsonian Institution Building in Washington, D.C.
On October 2013, the most famous lot in the East Hampton Historic District, entered the market for the first time since Lion Gardiner took ownership of it. The 3.7 acre parcel was handed down generation to generation for almost 400 years. Of all the Gardiners who lived there, the most famous might be the little girl born on Gardiner’s Island on May 4th, 1820, Julia Gardiner. She married President Tyler in 1844 to become the First Lady of the United States with only 8 months left in office.
Home Sweet Home
Home Sweet Home is the most distinguished lean-to in East Hampton. The house is believed to have been built in the 1720’s while the parlor paneling is attributed to mid 1700’s. It is a simple, dignified house, unnpainted, after the fashion of the best houses of the ancient village, its exterior of rough shingles is bare of all ornamentation except that which the graceful hand of time has lent it.
The men who built this house and others like it in East Hampton were English settlers; with oak for framing, pine for paneling, and cedar for shingling, they used this wealth of woods for their New World homes in a way that was both a tribute to their English training and the birth of a real American tradition in house design.
The Mulford Farm, listed on the National Register of Historic Places is considered one of America’s most significant, intact English Colonial farmsteads. Originally the site of three successive blacksmith’s shops, by 1680, the Mulford Farm was a family farmstead of approximately fourteen acres and was the home of more than ten generations of families, most of them Mulfords, until 1949. The Mulford Farm is interpreted as the year 1790, a time when the resident Mulfords, David and Rachel, prospered. In 1790, the census states that there were eight people living in the house, David and Rachel (Gardiner) Mulford, three sons, one daughter, and two apprentices.
The Mulford House represents one of the most important and complex artifacts produced by our culture – the family home. The house, built in 1680, is a remarkable survival that has been left largely unchanged since 1750.
Clinton Academy was constructed in 1784 with funds contributed by local citizens at the request of the Reverend Samuel Buell, pastor of the East Hampton Presbyterian Church and soon to be first Head master of Clinton Academy. In addition to running the academy and the church, Buell is credited with the founding, or vision, of the Academy. The academy holds the distinction of being the first chartered academy in New York State, by the Board of Regents.
The Academy opened its doors for classes on January 1, 1785. The founders of Clinton Academy were greatly influenced by the intellectual enlightenment in France and designed a curriculum with three basic departments, the Common School Department, the English Academical Department and the Classical Department.
Unique among Long Island buildings, the Town House is the only existing town government meeting place to survive from the Colonial period. It is also one of the oldest schoolhouses on Long Island since this was a second function of the building.
Throughout the 18th-century the Town Trustees, who met at Town House, held considerable power in determining the affairs of the township. They established and collected taxes, passed local laws, administered public lands, maintained the church and schoolhouse, and hired the minister and teacher.