The Southampton Historical Museum has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Gardiner Foundation that will be used towards the restoration of the Museum's Red Creek Schoolhouse located at the Rogers Mansion Museum Complex in Southampton Village. Katherine Curran, Executive Director of the Gardiner Foundation, recently gifted the donation to Tom Edmonds, Executive Director of Southampton Historical Museums and Research Center.
"The schoolhouse is at the center of our rapidly growing education programs and is rapidly deteriorating," Edmonds noted. "The restoration includes removing some 20th century additions to reveal an authentic looking schoolhouse built in 1830."
This historic schoolhouse was constructed in the 1830s for 40 schoolchildren. The schoolhouse was originally located in the historic village of Red Creek - near the border of Hampton Bays and Flanders. Locally, shipbuilding was a major industry during the 19th century, creating an industrious and self-sustaining community of laborers, but the Red Creek community disappeared when the whaling industry died out. The historic schoolhouse was the sole survivor of the Red Creek area, so its preservation has been of huge importance. The Southampton Historical Museum purchased the schoolhouse in 1953 and moved it to the Rogers Mansion Museum Complex in Southampton Village.
The schoolhouse has transitioned over the years from its original purpose in the Red Creek Community on the Peconic Bay. It was purchased from the original owner in 1926 by William Hubbard for only $100 and was sold 30 years later for $400.
Stephen Funsch, Tom Edmonds, Katherine Curran and Bob Beck. (Courtesy Photo)
Currently, the schoolhouse serves as a popular destination for Southampton students, who visit to learn about the lives of Southampton children from nearly 200 years ago. The $50,000 grant from the Gardiner Foundation will be used alongside the proceeds from the sale of the White House, a 2012 bequest that resulted in $50,500. The restoration endeavors will strive to preserve this historic building and ensure it will maintain appreciation by all over the years.
The Rogers Mansion Museum Complex is located at 217 Meeting House Lane in Southampton. For more information, call 631-283-2494 or visit www.southamptonhistoricalmuseum.org.