Before they built their own ample cottages, summer visitors to the Hamptons could choose from a variety of East End hotels and clubs that were beyond ready to accommodate them.
On Thursday, August 18th, the Southampton Historical Museum will welcome Ann Surchin for Clubs and Hotels of the Hamptons - The Prelude to the Summer Colony,
which will cover how the hotels created "The Hamptons" and changed our life on the South Fork forever. The lecture will begin at 5:30 p.m., and Surchin will discuss this early period of Hamptons history and the leisure activities that drew the firsts vacationists to what would later become one of America's most desired getaway destinations.
Mort Howell's Hotel, Westhampton Long Island c 1900. (Courtesy Photo)
"The annual summer trek to the world famous Hamptons began in 1863 when Dr. Gilliard Thomas, a prosperous NYC gynecologist, went on a hiking trip to Long Island," explained Tom Edmonds, Executive Director of the Southampton Historical Museums and Research Center. "He took the Long Island Railroad from New York City to the end of the passenger line in Riverhead. A rented wagon took the doctor to the nearest beach in Quogue and he was hooked."
Dr. Thomas didn't want to keep his amazing find to himself. "He went back to the city and told his wealthy patients - the Vanderbuilts, Belmonts and others - of the health restoring seaside atmosphere he found among the charming farm villages located along the ocean shore," added Edmonds. "They came back in droves staying in boarding houses quickly established in the homes of farm families which eventually grew into hotels."
Surchin has maintained a residential architecture practice in the Hamptons for 30 years. She has served on multiple committees and boards, including Peconic Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, where she served as the president, and has also chaired its Preservation Committee. Surchin has worked on the Southampton Town Landmarks and Historic Districts Board and is the Vice Chairperson on the Southold Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Apaucuck Point House, Westhampton c 1910. (Courtesy Photo)
Additionally, she has written about architecture and the design arts for numerous publications, including The New York Observer, Progressive Architecture, Newsday, Vox, Country Magazine
and Distinction Magazine.
She is currently the syndicated architecture columnist for The Southampton Press, The East Hampton Press
and 27 East.
She is also the co-author, with architect Gary Lawrence, of Houses of the Hamptons, 1880-1930.
So, if you're curious about local architecture and Hamptons history, this is a lecture that you won't want to miss!
Tickets are $95 for members and $120 for non-members.
Rogers Mansion is located at 17 Meeting House Lane in Southampton. For more information, or to buy tickets, call 631-283-2494 or visit