Ketcham Inn around 1900 with bicycle rack in front. At the bottom of the picture is the edge of the dirt road known as the King’s Highway, now CR80
The Ketcham Inn Foundation is busy reestablishing an authentic look at 18th Century life on Long Island (New York). The Inn represents five building periods. The original building appears to have been a settlement cottage dating possibly to before the area was “officially” settled, in the 1600s. The Foundation has had an architectural drawing done of such a cottage dated to 1693.
The first addition appears to be circa 1700 doubling the buildings original size. In 1710 a separate structure was built to the front and west of the original building. In 1754 another addition was made to the east of the 1710 work and south of the original settlement cottage thus joining them together. The last addition was built around circa 1790. In the 1950’s a modern kitchen was added to the east of the 1790 section.
The inn saw a lot of activity during the last quarter of the 18th Century. Benjamin Havens was known to have run the Inn during the Revolution. He was too old for service but he did his part spying on the British Fort St. George at nearby Mastic. The whole area was known as the Manor of St. George as it was the Manorial estate of William Tangier Smith.
In 1775, Captain (later Colonel) Hulburt stayed at the Inn with his troops on their way back to Bridgehampton after finishing a campaign at Ft. Ticonderoga. Later, William Terry, and his wife Mary Carman, bought the Inn. One of his sons, Samuel and grandson Nelson, ran the farm and Inn. The Inn housed Thomas Jefferson and his friend James Madison and served as their quarters while they visited William Floyd in nearby Mastic around 1790. The seat of the Federal Government was New York City at that time.
The next owner was Andrew Ketcham from Huntington, who bought the Inn in 1852. During their time Civil War volunteers used to meet and drill at the site. The Inn was in continuous use until 1989. That year saw this historic site being prepared for sale and new uses that probably would not have required the old building. Before 1989 came to a close a small group of local citizens was granted permission from the then owner of the Havens-Terry-Ketcham Inn to clean up and check out the building. The history just related was not known at the time; no one really knew how old it was, just the stories surrounding it.
The group incorporated and took on the
task of raising the $175,000
price tag that was on the building and grounds. It took several
of fund raising events and the help of several experts to raise the
match for state funding. In 1993 the land was purchased and the
continues to obtain additional funding to restore the old building to
original condition. The 1955 kitchen has been remodeled to complement
building and it has been made into an office and keeper’s
Work on the foundations and chimneys continue as funds become
The Raynor pegged barn [circa 1850] disassembled in Eastport and reassembled on the Inn property to replace the barn that originally stood there. Rotten timbers and barn siding was milled from trees harvested in Massachusetts especially for this restoration.
A view of the east side of the Inn showing the office that is being constructed from a 1955 kitchen that had been added by one of the latter day owners. Protruding on the right side is the original settlement cottage, [circa 1693], the oldest part of the building, the latest being built around 1790.
A post and beam barn similar to the one
that was on the site was donated
by the Raynor family of Eastport, New York. It has been carefully
taken apart and restored on the site. The Foundation's mission
bringing the site into a living history format that can be enjoyed by
children and visitors alike.
At the present time the Foundation is working with Cornell University in a partnership that will enhance the visits of school children. Introducing them to an 18th century. farm complete with animals and sharing such skills with them as candling making and stenciling.
Special events are planned for each year; they not only share the rich history of the area but help support the work of the Foundation. Each Spring a Revolutionary War program is held at the site. Touring the Havens-Terry-Ketcham Inn can be arranged by appointment from April to October. Admission is not charged; donations, in lieu of an admission fee, are requested for their special events.
The Inn is located on the eastern end
of Center Moriches, on what used
to be called the Kings Highway. To seek out the Inn one needs to
take Sunrise Highway and take Exit 68 off from there. That puts
on Wading River Road and from there to County Road 80. Montauk
is the Main Street of Center Moriches and goes right by the Inn.
Both are similier to the original barns that were located at approximately the same spot.
For further information
on becoming a
member of the Inn,