Brief History: The Thomas Halsey Homestead is located at 249 South Main Street Southampton, New York. The Halsey House is currently owned and operated by the Southampton History Museum.
Pre 1640: This land and the surrounding area was used by the Shinnecock Native Americans. The land was settled in 1640 but current the home was built c. 1683. 1640 – c. 1683: Thomas Halsey, one of the founders of Southampton came down from Lynn, Massachusetts to help establish a new settlement on Long Island. The Dutch had already settled what is now New York City and expanded partially eastward onto Long Island but the English hadn’t yet gotten a good foothold on the area. Once arriving in Southampton the settlers met with the Shinnecock Tribe who agreed to allow the Europeans to establish a settlement as long as they helped protect the Shinnecock against some of their more aggressive neighboring tribes. Thomas Halsey soon built a small home for his family to live in on the land given to him.
c. 1683 – 1958: Thomas Halsey Jr. inherited the property from his father after his death and demolished his father’s home and built what stands there today. As the years went on many different families lived in the Halsey House and did some renovations, but structurally the home’s footprint never expanded beyond its original design.
1958-Present:The Southampton History Museum purchased the home in 1958 and began restoration work to restore the home to how it would have looked when it was first built. It was at this time that the back half of the home, known as the caretakers wing, was added as well as the garage in the rear of the property. Today the Halsey House is open July-September, Saturdays or by appointments, 11am-4pm for the residents of Southampton to enjoy and learn about the history of Southampton.
Haunted History: Staff has reported that it does feel a bit creepy and uneasy. Staff has also claimed to have heard footsteps on the 2ndfloor when no one is up there. There could easily be the spirits of past residents, slaves or Native Americans in the home or on the land.