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Hildreth's General Store
17 Meeting House Lane, Southampton, NY 11968
A view of the exterior of the Hildreth's Store Exhibit
Hildreth’s Home Goods, as it is known today, has been in business here in Southampton since 1842. The building on our property is not the original store itself as they still in habit that same building today on Main Street. Rather, this building is an exhibit of what Hildreth’s may have looked like in years past. The structure itself was built in 1893 as an outbuilding for the Van Brunt property on Wickapogue Road and originally housed an exhibit about the old Corwith Drug Store. But since the early twenty-tens, the Hildreth’s Store exhibit has been in place.
Today Hildreth’s specializes in interior and exterior home furnishings and accessories. But the Hildreth’s of the 1800’s operated much like any general store of the time, selling everything and anything a person may need beyond just furniture. They would get their supplies via shipments coming into the port in Sag Harbor and later via the railroad once the LIRR came to town in the later part of the 19th century. At the turn of the century as Southampton became a go-to destination spot for summer vacationers, Hildreth’s developed a delivery service. They would visit customers at home in the morning to take orders and then return in the afternoon with their provisions.
The exhibit we see today shows what Hildreth’s may have looked like at the start of the 20th century. As you look around the space you will be able to find a number of different items one would have gone to Hildreth’s in search of. From ice skates to medicine to coffee to clothing, what is on display today are items that would have most likely been for sale in the early 1900s.
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