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17 Meeting House Lane, Southampton, NY 11968
Watercolor of the Rogers Mansion by Kevin O'Malley
The Rogers Mansion, as we call it today, has been the home of the Southampton History Museum since 1952. For the last 70+ years the Museum has made additions to the property in an attempt to tell not only the story of those who lived on this piece of land, but the whole of Southampton. However, the singular story of this property connects directly with most major stories one could tell about Southampton.
Southampton was first settled by English colonizers in 1640 and their original settlement was around Old Town Pond. By 1648 a new settlement was established nearby on our present-day Main Street. This new settlement was divided into house lots usually between three to nine acres in size. The Rogers Mansion is built on the land allotted to William Rogers who was not part of the original founders of Southampton, but came soon after. Meeting House Lane which is just South of our property became the main throughfare from the first and second settlements.
William Rogers was born sometime around 1606 and was first in Connecticut in 1640 and soon relocated to Southampton by 1644, but possibly sooner. What the original look of William Rogers home is unknown, however there are some parts of today’s Rogers Mansion which predate the assumed 1843 construction meaning we can both get a general idea of the size and shape of the original home and that parts of this house could go back as far as the mid-1600s. William would soon relocate to help establish Huntington, New York and his son Obadiah would inherit the home in 1669.
Above: Conjectural layout of the original c.1650 William Rogers homestead.
Below: Conjectural layout of the c. 1780 Zephaniah Rogers house.
The house would pass through the Rogers family over the next several generations and in 1842 Captain Albert Rogers would inherit the home from his mother Phebe Rogers. Albert was a successful whaler who would commission the reconstruction of what we now know as the Rogers Mansion in 1843 to give it the Greek Revival look that was so popular at the time. Albert would retire from whaling at sea but would participate in whale hunts near the shore and in one such adventure in 1854 Albert would be injured when a whale capsized his small boat leading to an injury that would require amputation. Albert would later die from lock jaw most likely in the home.
Captain Albert Rogers
After Albert’s death his wife Cordelia would inherit the home and then their three children, Mary, Jetur and Edwin would sell the home two years after their mother’s death to Dr. John Nugent. Nugent was the son of Irish immigrants who was raised in Riverhead and would receive his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 1881. Upon returning to Long Island Nugent would partner with Lemuel R. Wick (1831-1892) as a druggist from 1882 until the summer of 1883. From 1884 to 1887 Nugent maintain an office in Captain Charles Howell’s building on Main Street and in 1887 he was appointed Southampton Town Health Officer.
Dr. John Nugent
Nugent would purchase the Rogers Mansion in 1889 for his young family to occupy and while living in the home he would make a few additions adding a bit more square footage. An important update Nugent made was the addition of the Nugent Carriage House which still stands today. Nugent would eventually sell the home to Samuel L. Parrish in the fall of 1899.
Above: Conjectural layout of the c.1843 Capt. Albert Rogers house.
Below: Conjectural layout of the c. 1895 Dr. John Nugent house.
Sam was born near Philadelphia in 1849 to a prominent Quaker family. He was well educated at the Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard University graduating with a law degree in 1870. He would establish a law practice in New York City in 1877 and began to summer in Southampton along with many other wealthy elites of the time. Sam fell in love with Southampton’s rustic charm and became very involved in the local community. Just prior to buying the Rogers Mansion, Sam would commission the construction of the then Southampton Art Museum (now known as the Parrish Art Museum) on Jobs Lane. The building still stands today and is home to the Southampton Arts Center.
Samuel L. Parrish
Sam’s main home and office was located in New York City, and he had an office in the Art Museum, however even with no children he still doubled the footprint of the Rogers Mansion and altered the interior of the home as he would have many extended family members visit and would often entertain guests when they were in town. Sam would also commission the construction of several store fronts along main street which would see the Rogers Mansion picked up and moved 100ft east to its present location in 1926.
The Rogers Mansion about 1900. Parrish and a young girl are pictured in the side yard.
After Sam Parrish’s death in 1932 the Home would be vacant for a time until the Southampton Village acquired it in 1943. The building would be home to the Red Cross and the YMCA for a time with the Southampton Colonial Society beginning to lease the property in 1952. Today there are several other buildings on the property, but the only original structures are the Rogers Mansion itself (having been moved from its original foundation in 1926), a small pergola to the South of the mansion (this was also moved in 1926) and the Nugent Carriage house which stands on its original footprint from the 1890’s.
The Rogers Mansion in 2018
For more indepth info on the building you can check out our
Historic Structure Report from 2017.
Rogers HSR - online
Download PDF • 25.69MB
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