Southampton History Museum

17 Meeting House Lane, Southampton, NY 11968 - United States

631-283-2494

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The Southampton History Museum was organized in 1898 and incorporated in 1910. In its early days, the Museum collected and exhibited historical objects and documents relating to the history and development of Southampton, organized pageants and gave lectures on antiques. By 1960 the Rogers Mansion property had expanded to include 12 historic structures including an 1830 one-room schoolhouse, an 1825 barn and a 19th century paint store, among others.

The Mansion is the main administrative center for the organization and is open year-round. Today the Museum's mission is to preserve and promote the history and culture of the Town of Southampton by engaging and inspiring diverse audiences. It does this through the management of 4 separate properties with 14 historic buildings that contain changing exhibits on historic topics, a research center and educational programs for schoolchildren and adults.

The Rogers Mansion contains an extensive research library and archives dedicated to the history of Southampton and its surrounding areas. The library currently contains over 8,000 volumes, photographs, maps and other archival materials including a wide range of subjects from account books to family memorabilia. Come explore our research center and with the help of a research assistant see what you can discover.

Exhibits

High Style in the Gilded Age: Southampton 1870-1930
With the arrival of the railroad in 1870, Southampton began its swift ascent to fashionable status. New Yorkers, spared a grueling journey by stagecoach or an overnight boat trip, could now make the trip in a few hours. While the early years of the Southampton summer colony were marked by a professed enthusiasm for the informal pleasures of country life, it was perhaps inevitable that the taste for Gilded Age excess, then sweeping over the city, would begin to assert itself among the colonists. Afternoon teas, picnics and intimate soirees lost favor to be replaced by the formal balls and extravagant entertainments earlier arrivals had disdained. All pretense of rural simplicity was dropped when women began arriving with trunkloads of gowns and accessories and organizing a social agenda every bit as demanding and elaborately choreographed as the one they knew in the city. Then, with the arrival and progression of the new century, a younger generation began moving away from the excesses and formality characteristic of the Gilded Age at its opulent height. As it did elsewhere, the decade of the 1920s brought good times to Southampton, and with them the advent of the flapper, who had no use for styles that had kept women confined and corseted for too long. After that, there was no going back. The women here, in “High Style in the Gilded Age,” were among Southampton’s fashionable trend-setters, admired and envied by other women, and lavishly covered in the local and New York City society columns.

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