Tuesday, January 19, 2010

3. Did you know.............

Today Southampton Village Hall is located at #23 Main Street, on the west side, inside the three-story brick building with the two-story columned porch. Before 1909 it was in a former church building on the east side of Main Street. The church was built in 1707, was two stories, and had a steeple on the front. It was originally located on the northeast corner of Meetinghouse Lane and Main Street and moved to its current location once the Presbyterians had built their new church (completed in 1843) still in use today. Later, the steeple was removed and it was occupied by village functions as well as stores. As of 1913 it was a commercial building filled with retail functions. Sometime circa 1902 Samuel L. Parrish put a gymnasium in it for public use. Today the building is a one-story retail store with white painted brick and no gabled roof. It has a real estate office in it now was a Rum Runner home furnishings store before they moved around the corner onto Hampton Road. If you walk down the alley next to the building which leads to the Historical Museum you can see various old building materials and where windows and doors were once located. There’s also a sign on the northwest corner of the building describing its history but as the writing is paint on wood, it is hard to read due to weathering.

In May of 1897 there was a fire in the basement of the building. “Investigation later showed that the flames had been confined entirely to the repair room [of Grundy & Co.’s bicycle business] but the dense volumes of smoke which poured from every opening even the triangular window in the peak of the gable had given evidence of more fire than there really was……..It is believed that the water company deserve credit for a great saving of property on this occasion. A bucket brigade would have been almost powerless and it is probable that without hydrants all the business places on that side of Main street would have been destroyed.”[1]

[1] The Seaside Times, May 27, 1897

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