The Mill House ....
East Hamptons Mill House Inn has been part of Long Island history for over 200
years. Originally built by the Parsons Family in 1790, the house was
purchased by Patrick Lynch in 1860 and remained in the Lynch family until 1973.
Since 1973 it has been a guest house/bed and breakfast, fully
renovated in 1994 and most recently purchased in 1999 by
Gary Muller who have continued to upgrade the facilities, purchasing
the adjoining property in 2002 and embarking on another major
renovation in 2005.
following is an account of the history of our home from Jeannette
Rattray's book, Up and Down Main Street (East Hampton Star, 1968,
"The house which is now 33 North Main Street (oops – they changed
the street number to 31 in 1999) and the home of Mrs. S.J. Lynch
would never be recognized as the W.L. Parsons house which looked
like 'Home, Sweet Home'. It was remodeled in 1898 by Patrick Lynch,
father of the late Stephen J. Lynch. The roof was lifted to build a
full second story, and a porch was added. The old barn remains as it
was (only a subsequent owner sold it in the ‘80’s and it now
serves as a pool house on Further Lane). Patrick Lynch was
shipwrecked in Amagansett on August 25, 1851. The ship Catherine of
Liverpool carried 300 Irish immigrants. The Catherine and most of
her cargo were lost, but all the passengers saved. Young Patrick
Lynch had been bound for the gold fields in California. Col. William
D. Parsons stepped up to him on the beach and offered him work on
his farm at Fireplace. So he settled in East Hampton and, shortly
after 1860, bought the place then owned by William Lewis Parsons.
Abraham Parsons (1772-1844) lived in that house; also his son
William (1800-1846). William's elder son, William Lewis
Parsons, went to Denver, Colorado in 1859 to engage in mining.
In the 1870's and 1880's
Roman Catholic services were held at the homes of Patrick Lynch,
James Gay and Richard Gilmartin. East Hampton had no Catholic Church
at the time. At the Lynch house, the congregation outgrew the room
and some of them knelt in the yard below the windows. Miss Fanny
Huntting, who kept a diary from 1855 to 1887, was an ardent
Presbyterian. Her diaries are full of religious reflections; she
also reported everyday life along Main Street. She was a
semi-invalid, with plenty of time to make observations from her
rocking chair. She lived in what is now the Main Street business
section, not two minutes' walk from Patrick Lynch's. Quoting: 'July
24-Sunday. This morning I counted 60 persons coming from Mass which
is held every other Sunday at the home of Patrick Lynch. I think the
Catholics feel pretty well set up, as Mrs. ex-President Tyler [Julia
Gardiner Tyler of the Gardiner's Island family] is of the
denomination and is a regular attendant at Mass'."
East Hamptons Mill House Inn remained in the Lynch
family until the mid 70’s and was, like many other houses in the
area during the late 18th and early 19th
century, used as a boarding house for the new wave of summer
visitors, artists and migrant workers. When the Lynch family sold
the house the subsequent owners continued the tradition of accepting
paying guests and serving them breakfast, making the Mill House Inn
one of the oldest continuing Hamptons' Long Island bed & breakfast establishments.
say that Patrick Lynch has remained with the inn all these years –
it must be hard leaving such a lovely home… Several years ago, on a
Friday the 13th with a full harvest moon, suddenly all the
electronics in the inn went haywire. The printer started spewing
out gibberish and the telephone system went berserk. The main lines
started ringing in the guest rooms; the voice mail was all
confused. It took us most of the weekend (with a full house of
course) to get it back under control. Our resident ghost (every old
inn must have at least one) – had discovered the joys of modern
But seriously, it is difficult
to leave such a comfortable home, so rich in history and so much a
part of this beautifully preserved historic community.