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The house dates from the first quarter of the eighteenth century, with panelling installed in the parlor at mid-century. Situated on the village green in the center of colonial East Hampton, the house has come to embody the spirit of all that is tender and sweet about home.

The gardens at Home Sweet Home reflect garden styles and include plant species that were in  gardens in the United States and Europe from medieval times to the nineteenth century. These include a parlor window fragrance garden, a nineteenth century pleasure garden, and an eighteenth century herb garden.

From 1907 to 1927, Mr. and Mrs. Gustav Buek owned and lived in the house and furnished every room with antique period and colonial revival pieces as well as John Howard Payne memorabilia as a shrine to one of America’s first great actors and playwrights.

Upon Mr. Buek’s death, the Village of East Hampton bought the house and the collections and opened Home Sweet Home as a museum on December 25, 1928.

John Howard Payne

John Howard Payne

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Home Sweet Home, July 14, 2011.

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Home Sweet Home, May 23, 2013.

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Parlor, Home Sweet Home, 1720, remodeled c. 1750.

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Home Sweet Home Gardens, July 18, 2013

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John Howard Payne, 1791 – 1852

John Howard Payne’s song, Home, Sweet Home! was first sung in Covent Garden, London, in 1823, as part of his operetta (w/composer Sir Henry Rowley Bishop), “Clari, the Maid of Milan.” Since John Howard Payne had visited East Hampton as a child, and also because he had numerous relatives in East Hampton, many have attributed the inspiration for the song to the eighteenth century salt-box situated on the village green in the village of East Hampton.

Bronze Sculpture: John Howard Payne by Henry Baerer. Given by the Faust Club to the City of Brooklyn, New York, and erected in Prospect Park, September, 1873. Loaned to the Village of East Hampton by the City of New York Parks & Recreation, November, 2001.


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Harvey Ginsberg Archival Postcard Collection. Courtesy of East Hampton Library’s Long Island Collection.

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Home Sweet Home

Open daily May through September, 10 am to 4 pm, Sundays 2 pm to 4 pm.

October and November weekends only. December through April by appointment only.



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Copy: Home Sweet Home Museum Brochure.


Photographs copyright Jeff Heatley.