The Mill House Inn

An East Hampton Bed and Breakfast on Long Island, New York

www.millhouseinn.com     631.324.9766     innkeeper@millhouseinn.com

The East End


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East Hampton New York

 The East End of New York’s Long Island, jutting 100 miles into the Atlantic Ocean, is home to some of the world’s most spectacular ocean beaches, pristine bays & estuaries, secluded freshwater ponds, pine forests with quiet nature trails, foggy mornings, lazy sunny days, blazing sunsets painted on the evening sky, and star-filled nights. The soil is fertile and the climate is kept mild by the Gulf Stream waters.  A fisherman’s playground, a vintner’s paradise and an artist’s inspiration, the historic “East End” has attracted visitors for thousands of years, from the earliest settlers - the Native Americans - to today’s world savvy travelers. 

 “The Hamptons" (the area between Westhampton and Montauk on the South Fork of Long Island) is increasingly becoming a year round destination as visitors from around the world discover the many pleasures the East End of Long Island has to offer.  The beaches continue to attract the summer crowd, from the motels in Montauk to the “Summer Cottages” of the rich and famous in East Hampton and Southampton, but the beautiful weather lingers even when the beautiful people have fled - replaced first by clouds of Monarch Butterflies migrating through, and then by swirls of autumn leaves, starry skies & snowflakes. 


HISTORIC EAST HAMPTON NEW YORK

Originally settled by Native Americans as early as 1290 B.C., the Village of East Hampton was founded in 1648 A.D. by a group of English farmers who felt that Southampton (which was founded by settlers from Massachusetts only 8 years prior) was getting too crowded and restrictive.  Thus began the rivalry between the two main villages of the Hamptons!  Over the years, East Hampton has managed to maintain its classic old New England village charm, its agrarian roots and its unspoiled green lands, even as it has blossomed into an internationally recognized resort destination and year-round home to an ever-growing population.

The village was laid out around a broad commons (which is now Main Street) running from the Town Pond on the west end to the sheep fold on the east end, across from where the post office now stands.  Many of the historic homes and sites have been preserved, due in a large part to the East Hampton Ladies Village Improvement Society (ELVIS rules in East Hampton!).  Founded in 1885, the ladies of LVIS “began raising funds to finance the costly, but necessary, watering down of dusty Main Street, sweeping of crosswalks, cleaning up the Station area and installation of oil lamps on Main Street, along with hiring a lamplighter.”  (courtesy of LVIS)  Thanks to the continuing efforts of the Ladies of East Hampton, New York, Main Street is lined with stately elms instead of gas stations, strong preservationist Zoning & Planning Boards are in effect and our Historic Districts (Main Street, Huntting Lane and Hook Mill) are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (The Mill House Inn is situated in the heart of the Hook Mill Historic District.) Many of the historic sites are open to the public.

The East Hampton Historical Society maintains five museums, national landmark historic sites of both local and national importance.  (The following content is courtesy of the East Hampton Historical Society.  Call them at 631-324-6850 or visit their web site at www.easthamptonhistory.org for hours of operation and additional information.)

Mulford Farm is considered one of America's most significant, intact English Colonial farmsteads.  The survival of this house, built in 1680, is remarkable since it has been left largely unchanged since 1750.  In addition, the home has remained in the Mulford family’s hands for the majority of its existence giving scholars the opportunity to trace the family, their use of the land and structures around them. The lives and spirit of this family echo throughout the house which was restored using period appropriate furnishings and authentic decorative arts. The Mulford Barn, constructed in 1721, is one of the most intact early eighteenth century English-plan barn forms in New York State and is recognized as an outstanding example of early eighteenth century construction methods and materials.

Clinton Academy was one of the first academies in New York State chartered by the Board of Regents. The Academy was constructed in 1784 with funds contributed by local citizens at the request of the Reverend Samuel Buell, pastor of the East Hampton Presbyterian Church.  This remarkable Academy was a coeducational institution preparing young men for college or for careers such as seafaring or surveying. Young women were schooled in spiritual reading and the finer points of being a lady. This late Georgian style building was restored in 1921 by Mr. and Mrs. Lorenzo E. Woodhouse. Visitors can enjoy the wild flower garden behind the property installed by the Garden Club of East Hampton.

The Town House, c. 1731 is the earliest surviving one-room schoolhouse on Long Island. Studies were very basic: reading, writing, and enough arithmetic to keep an account book. Teachers rarely had a very extensive education and there were virtually no textbooks or paper to use; learning was accomplished by copying on slate. School was dismissed from January through March during the whaling season where everyone, including children, had to help in carving the whales. After 1845, the building continued to be used as a meeting place for the Town Trustees. It is the only existing town government meeting place to survive from the Colonial period on Long Island. The Town Trustees who met there determined the affairs of the township by collecting taxes, passing local laws, administering public lands, maintaining the church and schoolhouse and hiring the minister and teacher. It was later used as a barbershop, an interior decorator's studio and the town welfare headquarters during the Depression. In 1958, the East Hampton Historical Society acquired and moved the Town House to a lot adjacent to the Clinton Academy.

Osborn-Jackson House was lived in by six generations of Osborns until the late 1960's. The original portion of the house, probably built in 1723, was the family home of "Deacon" Daniel Osborn. His son, Jonathan inherited the house and made additions in 1760. The house was owned successively by his sons Joseph and Sylvanus, his grandson Edward E. Gardiner and their descendents until the mid-20th century. This colonial house, one of the few still in its original position on Main Street, serves as the headquarters for the East Hampton Historical Society and a period house museum for the general public.

East Hampton Village maintains several more historic landmarks which are open to the public:

The Hook Mill, directly across the street from the Mill House Inn, was built in 1806 by Nathanial Dominy V, a noted local carpenter and clock maker.  The new mill incorporated the main post of the 1736 Hook mill and remained in active operation until 1908.  The Village acquired the Hook Mill in 1922 and restored it to working order.

Home Sweet Home, on the Village Green – the heart of the Colonial Village - was the childhood home of John Howard Payne, a noted actor and composer of the wildly successful (in 1823) song “Home Sweet Home.”  Built in 1660, the house has been preserved in its original form, a simple but elegant shingled salt box, and is furnished with authentic period pieces.  In 1917 the Panitgo Mill was moved to the property from Mill Hill.  The village undertook extensive repairs to the mill in 1978-1979.

The Gardiner “Home Lot” on James Lane is the only lot remaining of the 34 original East Hampton Home Lots with the home at the head, nearest the Commons, and farmland stretching out behind.  It features 9 acres of farm land (still farmed by a descendent of Lion Gardner, the original owner who is buried in the South End Burying Ground across the street) and serves as the setting for the 1804 Gardiner Windmill, also build by Nathanial Dominy V.


 MONTAUK – THE END

 Montauk, on the easternmost tip of the South Fork, is one of the sports fishing capitols of the world, as well as home to the oldest lighthouse in Long Island.  Take Montauk Highway East and go to the very end. You can't miss the lighthouse!  The United States Coast Guard operates the light, but the Montauk Historical Society maintains the lighthouse, keeper’s dwelling, outbuildings and grounds -- there’s an excellent museum in the keeper’s dwelling.  On display are reproductions of Coast Guard Vessels and a 3D map of East Coast Lighthouses.  Visitors are welcome to climb the 137 spiral steps to the top of the lighthouse and, on a clear day, look out at Block Island across the sound. 

In the winter months there are Seal Sighting walks along the beach on the point.  Check our Calendar of Events to find out when they are scheduled or set out on your own – about a half mile north of the Lighthouse on the rugged beach.  Even in the dead of winter you will see fishing boats off the point. 

A visit to Montauk Harbor is a must when you are out east.  Stroll through Gosman’s Dock and tackle a fresh steamed lobster while watching the fishing boats go in and out of the harbor.  Or sample very fresh sushi at the Westlake Marina’s Chowder House and Sushi Bar – the fishing boats pull up right off the deck of the restaurant and you might see the proprietor haggling for the pick of the catch! 

If you are lucky enough to be in Montauk in early June be sure to catch the Blessing of the Fleet, which kicks off the summer season and combines a festive atmosphere with a somber reminder of those lost at sea the previous season.  Then finish your day with a sunset horseback ride on the beach at Deep Hollow Ranch, the oldest cattle ranch in the United States.


BEACHES, BEACHES AND MORE BEACHES

 Face it; no matter what else The Hamptons have to offer, it’s the beaches that bring the crowds. 

The Mill House Inn offers you a beautiful waterfront property & Long Island beaches.  If you’re into crowds, Main Beach in East Hampton is the place to be.  Bring the umbrella and the beach chairs and settle in for a day of fun in the sun.  Got to have a hot dogs and a lobster roll…  But if the scene is not your scene, just walk a few hundred feet up the beach and there will be no one casting a shadow on your tan.  West of Main Beach, off Lily Pond Lane, is Georgica Beach (facilities but no food).  Walk west on the beach to the stretch where Georgica Pond almost meets the ocean.  You can see the very exclusive homes of folks like Martha Stuart and Steven Spielberg from the pond, but not from the land (private roads and big privet hedges).  Rent a kayak or canoe and paddle around the pond, but beware of the swans – one of them warrants a warning sign at the launching spot – just keep paddling if Fred starts circling your boat.  And of course there is the gay beach at Two Mile Hollow… 

But don’t spend all your time on the ocean – our bay and harbor beaches are spectacular, too.  The water is calmer (good for swimming and paddling) and warmer (especially nice in the early summer when the ocean is still icy). 

Maidstone Beach at the mouth of Three Mile Harbor gives you a good view of the boats coming & going and of Gardiner’s Island across the bay.  Louse Point juts out between Accabonac Harbor and Gardiners Bay.  The harbor is amazingly peaceful, dotted with small islands and Osprey nests on high platforms.  Continue south along the North Shore and detour to the little known Little Albert’s Landing on Napeague Bay. Take Cranberry Hole Road east to Lazy Point on Napeague Harbor, a favorite spot for windsurfing (just as much fun to watch as to try…).  Continue east, rejoining the highway for a short stretch and take a left at the tennis club on Napeague Harbor Road.  Park at the end and you have the choice of hiking along the beach (its worth the effort to make it all the way out to the point between Napeague Harbor and the bay – when the tide is going in or out you can jump in for a wild “water chute” ride!) or up to the Walking Dunes on your right.  Strong winds cause the dunes to move; as they “walk” they bury trees in their way.  You can see the tree trunks that are slowly being covered by sand.  It’s worth getting  sand in your shoes climbing to the top for 360º water views.  Imagine yourself as Rudolph Valentino in the silent film "The Sheik" which was shot here in 1922. 

For surfing, Ditch Plains in Montauk is the most popular beach.  Gin beach, on the east side of the mouth of Montauk Harbor, recalls the bootlegging past of the East End. Legend has it that crates of hooch used to wash up on the shore…  Oh, and about those crowds – if you really want to find that perfect secluded beach and you have four-wheel drive, you might want to spring for a beach access permit.


 LONG ISLAND WINE COUNTRY

 You don’t have to be an oenophile to be enthralled by Long Island’s wineries.  Only rivaled by California’s wine country, Long Island’s wine industry has grown from one small vineyard to nearly 3,000 acres of vines and over two dozen wineries producing world-class wines.  The praise and awards continue to accumulate, and Long Island wines just keep getting better.

There are three excellent wineries in the Hamptons (don’t miss Wölffer Estate in Sagaponak – take home their Pinot Noir and the Cuvee Sparkling Wine Brut), but for the full experience take a day trip to the North Fork.  From East Hampton take Route 114 North through Sag Harbor (a quaint old whaling village) to North Haven (look for herds of fearless deer strolling through front yards).  Take the car ferry (about 5 minutes) across to Shelter Island and (if you can make it past the Mashomack Preserve without stopping to wander through 2,100 acres of woodlands, fields, coastland and tidal creeks) follow 114 across the island to the North Ferry, which takes you into Greenport. 

Follow Route 25 West through pristine farmland, past farm stands piled high with local produce, and mile after mile of stunning vineyards.  There are now over 20 wineries to choose from on the North Fork but don’t miss Pindar (if the good Doctor is leading a Champagne tour you are in luck, but in any case, try out their Mythology – if you can get it - and the Cabernet Port) and Lenz (their Pinot Noir, Champagne and Chardonnays consistently win blind tastings over the top French wines costing easily 10 times as much).  We love the Road House Red and the Cupola at Bedell Cellars and the Reislings at Paumonok.  For lunch stop at the Seafood Barge in the Port of Egypt Marina to sample more local wines, fresh seafood and local produce.  Go back all the way east (do take the detour to the “business District” of Orient village – it has a post office, an ice cream parlor and a general store) to Orient Point and walk the nature trail out to the very tip.  Look across the channel at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center – off limits unless you are a mad cow!   


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The Mill House Inn

31 North Main StreetEast Hampton,  Long Island,  NY  11937

Phone: 631-324-9766          Fax: 631-324-9793

         innkeeper@millhouseinn.com

the mill house inn is a "corry he's a black dog production"  all rights reserved

Content By Sylvia Muller

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