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Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings

National Historic Landmark OLD HOUSE
New York

Location: Suffolk County, on N.Y. 25, Cutchogue, Long Island.

Ownership and Administration. Congregational Society of Cutchogue.

Significance. This house, which notably commemorates English settlement on Long Island, is undoubtedly one of the most distinguished but least known examples of English domestic architecture in the United States. It was erected in 1649 by John Budd at Southold, some 10 miles northeast of its present site. A decade later, Budd built a more imposing home and gave his original house as a wedding gift to his daughter, Anna, bride of Benjamin Horton, who moved it to its present location and re-erected it. It subsequently passed into the hands of Joseph Wickham, a master tanner, who lived in it until his death, in 1734. Later, in 1784, it was confiscated from Parker Wickham, who had been a Loyalist during the War for Independence, after which its owners in turn were Jared Landon and William Harrison Case. The Case heirs donated it to the Congregational Society of Cutchogue.

Present Appearance. The house has two floors and an attic. On the first floor are the kitchen and "hall," and on the second floor are two bedrooms. The great brick chimney, whose top is pilastered, lies to the left of the center of the house. A steep winding stair leads to the second story. The stair from the second floor branches to give access to the attic, which is split in two by the great chimney.

The kitchen, on the left of the entrance, features a huge fireplace. The fireplace in the "hall," on the right of the entrance, is the same size. Both fireplaces have been somewhat reduced by the construction of smaller fireplaces inside the originals. The smaller fireplaces were added around the middle of the 18th century, probably when paneling was placed over the original walls.

The original random-width wallboards were removed and used on the exterior to replace the original hand-rived oak boards. The exterior was then lathed and plastered. Construction details throughout the house are unusually fine and reflect the work of a master builder. The three-part casement window frames on the north wall of the second floor are especially notable. Traces have also been found of the casement windows that were originally on the first floor.

The house was restored in 1940 in connection with the Southampton Old Town Tercentenary Celebration, through the efforts of the Tercentenary Committee, the Case family, and the Independent Congregational Church of Cutchogue. The church purchased the land and the Case family donated the building. Church funds and private contributions made the restoration possible. When the house was restored, the plastered walls and a saltbox roof were removed. The gunstock posts on the second floor and all interior framework were left exposed. Furnishings are of the 17th and 18th century. Among the historic items displayed is the original confiscation deed of 1784. The structure is in very good condition and is open to visitors on a regular schedule. [54]

NHL Designation: 11/05/61

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Last Updated: 22-Mar-2005