Last October, the last family-owned house lot of the original settlers of East Hampton in 1648 came on the market. The Gardiner Home Lot, 3.7 acres right in the center of the village, with two historic houses, was offered by Mr. Olney Mairs (Bill) Gardiner for $12.95 million. Now the village of East Hampton has asked the town to purchase the property using Community Preservation Fund monies. This way, the acreage would be preserved as open space and the c. 1750 cottage be restored.
There are two houses on the site, as well as the Gardiner Windmill, which belongs to the village. The main house, with five bedrooms and three baths, dates back to the mid-1750s, but has been greatly expanded and renovated since then. The other house, originally garaging and servants' quarters, overlooks four acres of field.
We think this is a great idea, although it's going to cost a lot more than the 24 hatchets and knives originally paid to the Montauketts.
Wait, so what is a "home lot," anyway? The founders of East Hampton purchased the land for the village from the Montauketts (who were paid twenty coats; twenty-four of each of the following: hatchets, hoes, knives, and mirrors; and one hundred small metal drills, which they could use to drill wampum). Each founding family received a home lot of several acres of land right in the village. There were also common fields farther away: pasturing, arable land, and woodlots for fuel. This house lot was owned by Lion Gardiner, who also claimed Gardiner's Island as a manor. And it has been owned by Gardiners ever since.
· East Hampton Pedigree [Elliman via HREO]
· Gardiner Home Lot on the Market for the First Time Since 1648 [CH]