Thursday, July 8, 2010

146 & 140 North Main Street

Driving around the Village of Southampton, being constantly overwhelmed with how much there is to research and document, especially when I see “For Sale” signs, aaaarrrrgggghhhh! Any research hounds out there want to help?

So here again I’ve always been curious about the little yellow house next to the Catholic school on the east side of North Main Street (#146), just south of the railroad tracks. I’ll tell you, North Main is one of the most historic streets in the Village, that’s for sure. Anyway, after a bit of research I discovered that #146 was previously owned, and potentially built, by the same owner as the house to its south, #140, just north of Eel Pot Alley, and so I’m writing about both.

On the 1873 map of the area there is a building shown that is very likely one of these two houses, and it’s said to be owned by S. Jackson. This was probably Septer Jackson, a wealthy farmer born in East Hampton. In 1840, Septer married Mehetable Bellows of Hampton Bays and they had four children: Eliza, George, Mary, and Sarah. Septer died between 1873 and 1880, and his son George took over the farm.

The owner of #146 in 1894 was Chauncey Warren Norton (1837-1925). Interestingly, he also owned other sizeable properties further north on North Main Street at the time, but on the west side of the street. Chauncey was born in Brookhaven – like his mother and father - and died in Bridgehampton. He was a house carpenter, which makes me wonder if built one or both of these houses. He married Harriet Scott, who was from a wealthy Bridgehampton farming family, and they had three children who were all born in Bridgehampton. In 1870 and 1880 he and Harriet and their children lived on her family’s farm in Bridgehampton. Harriet had died by 1898 and Chauncey married again, this time to Arabella Fournier in 1899. She was four years older than Chauncey, from Bridgehampton, and the daughter of Peter Fournier, the northern property owner on North Main Street.

In 1894 Chauncey bought #140 from Henry Terry who was the owner of the infamous Irving Hotel on Hill Street (on the southwest corner, where the condominiums are now). According to census information, in 1880 Henry was a farmer, but in 1896 he was known as a hotel keeper/proprietor. He grew up in Riverhead; his father, Daniel, was a wealthy farmer; Terry was an early Riverhead family name.

To summarize, it is likely both houses were built in the late 1880s or early 1890s in the Queen Anne Style which was prevalent from 1880 to 1910. The “Little Yellow House” – or #146 - is clearly more ornate than #140, with its sunburst pattern woodwork above its entry, decorative shingles in the front gable end, and gable end window with Queen Anne style a muntin pattern, but I also love #140s stained glass gable end (attic) window and its ‘missing’ left 2nd story window.

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