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Southold Historical Society Acquires Historic Beckwith-Hartranft-Gillispie Building

Originally Posted: February 28, 2012


The Beckwith-Hartranft-Gillispie Building. (Courtesy Photo: Southold Historical Society)

Southold - The historic Beckwith-Hartranft-Gillispie building located on Main Road near the intersection of Beckwith Avenue, joined the Society's holdings in 2011.

The actual construction date of the building is not known, however it was already owned and occupied by Captain Sherburne A. Beckwith by the time of the American Civil War (1861-1865). Beckwith operated his ship supply business out of the building and built his home next door (the building seen at left in the above image). He occupied the store until his death in November of 1896.

In the early 20th century the building served as the general store of Frank T. Wells. Later, local painter Joseph Beckwith Hartranft (grandson of the captain) utilized part of the building as his studio and store. During the last two decades it served as the headquarters of the North Fork real estate agency operated by Robert Gillispie III, one of the Society's life members.

The Society is currently raising funds to help with the restoration of the building and its accompanying 19th century barn. When completed, the new building will be used as an additional exhibition space to feature the Society's extensive holdings.


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