East Hampton Historical Farm Museum
The East Hampton Historical Farm Museum has been in operation since 2014 and includes exhibits and experiences that share the history of farm life as it was in the 1880s through 1930s within this region. The museum includes an eighteenth-century farmhouse that was moved to the property from Amagansett by the new owners, the Lester family, in the winter of 1875-1876. The farmhouse is a saltbox-style building dating to 1725, built by Captain Jonathan Barnes. The farmhouse and its barn have been restored. The museum sits upon three acres of what used to be common ground for the Village of East Hampton, where eighteenth-century settlers grazed sheep and cattle. The museum re-opened for the season in late May 2021 with a yard sale event featuring art, antiques, and live music.
Lester Farmstead, logo of the museum, from their Facebook page
Backstory and Context
Selah Lester bought the land where the East Hampton Historical Farm Museum is located in the 1870s from Cybil Dominy. Lester moved an eighteenth-century farmhouse he had just purchased from Amagansett to the property. The Lester farmhouse now houses the museum, after housing four generations of the Lester family. The barn on the property was built by Selah Lester in the 1880s. Also on display is a farm wagon that Roy Lester used to use as a taxi, taking visitors from the railroad station (which opened in 1895) to the south shore beaches. The grounds of the park have a beautiful flower garden, the Matthew Lester Memorial Garden.
Restoration of the farmhouse and barn was funded by the East Hampton Town Community Preservation Fund. The museum is considered to be "an interactive learning center and park." None of the historical items displayed in the barn have been purchased - all were donated from local families. Thirty-minute guided tours are offered for a five-dollar donation.
A special event is planned for Saturday, July 10th 2021 at 1pm, according to the museum's Facebook page: Dell Cullum, iconic animal rescuer, author, photographer and film maker, will talk about his newest children's book about his squirrel! Joining him is illustrator Michelle Mott and Athena the owl. Donations are welcome and his children's books will be for sale. The museum sometimes screens movies outdoors onto the side of the barn.
Boyd, Aaron. Selah Lester House Finally Designated East Hampton Historic Landmark, Hamptons.com. December 26th 2008. Accessed July 2nd 2021. https://www.hamptons.com/Community/Main-Articles/5904/Selah-Lester-House-Finally-Designated-East.html#.YN8jKruSlPY.
East Hampton Historical Farm Museum. The Lester Property, History. January 1st 2016. Accessed July 2nd 2021. https://ehhistoricalfarmmu.wixsite.com/ehhfm/history.
Post, James Lane. East Hampton Historical Farm Museum Reopening, James Lane. May 24th 2021. Accessed July 2nd 2021. https://jameslanepost.com/east-hampton-historical-farm-museum-opening/05/24/2021/Hamptons-News-Happenings.
Visithistoriclongisland.com. East Hampton Farm Museum - Lester Homestead, Visithistoriclongisland.com. Accessed July 2nd 2021. http://www.visithistoriclongisland.com/EastHampton_Farm_Museum.html.