On Thursday, April 29th at 11am author and historian Anne Halsey will be giving a lecture live on Zoom detailing the interesting history of Southampton's Main Street through the stories left behind by those who lived there. Including some of Anne's own relatives. To RSVP for her talk please click here!
The blog entry below comes directly from Anne as an early look at some of the info she will talk about in her virtual talk in April.
Also if you're interested, you can buy your very own copy of "In Old Southampton" from our online store if you click here!
by Anne Halsey
“In the earliest days of the village the triangle of land bounded by Main Street, Bowden Square, and North Sea Road was common land, for some time after that on every side had been occupied,” wrote Town historian Lizbeth Halsey White in a paper given during a meeting of the Southampton Colony Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, by Lizbeth Halsey White, in 1929, and later published in the Southampton Press.
Early in 1700, the triangle was bought by Abner Howell, who built a tannery on the west half and divided the rest between his two sons, David and Phineas. The Main Street part of the lot was purchased in 1788 by Annanias Halsey, whose son Urah lived across the street in the Wilman Halsey house. In 1831, Annanias sold the property that would become 49 North Main to my great-great-great grandfather, Captain Harry Halsey.
Interestingly, Harry Halsey was named for his great-uncle Henry Halsey, who was captain of a privateer during the Revolutionary War and who lost his life in the Battle of Groton Heights. After the news of the Battle of Lexington had reached Long Island, Henry Halsey and his brother Jesse, both signers of the Articles of Association, rowed across Long Island Sound, walked from New London to Boston, enlisted in the Continental Army, and fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill. Henry became the captain of a privateer in the harbor of New London, and was killed in the Battle of Groton Heights on September 6, 1781, when Benedict Arnold made his raid on New London.
Jesse Halsey served throughout the war and won the rank of Captain. He was present at Cambridge when Washington took command of the Continental Army and served on Washington’s staff. He fought in the Battle of Monmouth and heard the famous reprimand given by Washington to General Charles Lee when the later had ordered retreat of the regiment he was leading. Captain Jesse was said to have General Washington’s rebuke of Lee was “righteous and well timed.”
Around 1750, David Howell, a silversmith, built the Herrick house on the southern half of the triangle. Howell is believed to be one of the many Long Islanders who sought refuge in Connecticut during the Revolution. In 1772, the house was purchased by Colonel Josiah Smith of Moriches, for his daughter, Hannah, who was married to Elias Pelletreau. Pelletreu was a merchant and the store which he built remained for many years attached to the house on the south. During the Revolution, Colonel Smith was imprisoned by the British at Provost Prison in New York City, and it was said Hannah had