History Gets Its Due (and $$) in Southampton

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Photo by Emma Ballou

Congrats to the Southampton Historical Museum, which is the beneficiary of a big money grant, courtesy The Gardiner Foundation. The amount is $50,500 of matching grant dollars, to be used for the restoration of the Red Creek Schoolhouse located on the grounds of the Rogers Mansion Museum Complex in the Village of Southampton.

On Tuesday, the Historical Museum shared that Katherine Curran, executive director of the Gardiner Foundation, gave the check to Tom Edmonds, executive director of the Southampton Historical Museum. Witnesses included Bob Beck, president of the Southampton Historical Museum and Stephen Funsch, village administrator for the Village of Southampton.

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Stephen Funsch, Tom Edmonds, Katherine Curran and Bob Beck. Photo courtesy Bob Beck

Here’s a bit of history, and a timeline, in case you’re interested:

The schoolhouse was originally constructed in the 1830s to house 40 schoolchildren in the historic village of Red Creek located on the Peconic Bay near the border of Hampton Bays and Flanders. Shipbuilding was the main industry in Red Creek. Between the 1820s and 1870s, Red Creek was an industrious, self-sustaining community with a blacksmith, shoemaker, farmers, carpenters, boatmen, fishermen, baymen, sailors, a general store, a church, and an oil factory. As the whaling industry declined in late 19th century the community of Red Creek disappeared. The schoolhouse is all that remains of Red Creek. It was purchased by the Southampton Historical Museum in 1953 and moved to the Rogers Mansion Museum Complex on Meeting House Lane in the Village of Southampton.

1738 Red Creek laid out by Town proprietors as part of Canoe Place Division.

1795  Jesse & John Terry move to Red Creek and begin buying property

1825 Red Creek develops a city grid layout around existing homes

1830s Terry family develops a thriving shipbuilding business, Red Creek Schoolhouse built

1869 Railroad service begins in Hampton Bays and Red Creek begins its decline

1926 William Hubbard buys the schoolhouse for $100 to store boats

1953 William Hubbard sells the schoolhouse for $400 to the Southampton Historical Museum and the building is moved to its current location in the Village of Southampton.

Today, the schoolhouse is become a popular attraction for Southampton classroom visits to learn education and work activities of Southampton children from nearly 200 years ago.The restoration will preserve this historic building and ensure that it is appreciated by people of all ages. The Southampton Historical Museum was able to match the $50,500 through the sale of the White House on Main Street in Southampton, which was a 2012 bequest.  The Rogers Mansion Museum Complex is one of four properties of the Southampton Historical Museum. Located at 17 Meeting House Lane in the Village of Southampton, it is open March through December, Wednesdays through Saturdays, 11 am to 4 pm.

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