Lounging by the pool or tanning at the beach are obvious choices for summer activities. Dining out at the latest hip restaurants, taking in a show and catching a fireworks display are surely on your summer bucket list. There is plenty else to see and do, even at little to no cost (imagine that!) and it involves admiring some very original real estate.
Visiting the Halsey House & Garden in the heart of Southampton Village is a trip back in time, circa 1683.
The bones of the house were built by Thomas Halsey Jr., who inherited the property from his father, one of Southampton’s founders. Thomas Halsey Sr. built the original house on the site just a few years after he and his family arrived from England, by way of Massachusetts, in 1640.
The younger Halsey used wood frame timbers from his father’s house to build his own, according to the Southampton History Museum, the stewards of the property.
Thomas Junior’s son Captain Isaac Halsey, then inherited the house in 1689, remodeling it extensively. It also underwent another major remodel in the late 18th century, during which it was modernized with plaster ceilings and fielded paneling on the walls.
Inside, there are wide-planked floors and hand-hewn beams, as well as colonial period furnishings, textiles and objects.
The replica colonial herb garden blooms with culinary and medicinal plants that the Halsey household would have used. Benches make for a good place to sit and reflect on the people who toiled on the land we now enjoy as the Hamptons.
The Halsey House & Garden is located at 249 Main Street in Southampton. For tour dates and availability, visit southamptonhistory.org, but the garden is open anytime to enjoy.
This article appeared in the Memorial Day 2022 issue of Behind The Hedges. Read the full digital version of the magazine here. For more features from the In the Neighborhood columns, click here.