Havens Homestead: Heartsease
William Havens built his farmhouse in 1743 on 1,000 acres. It originally had four first-floor rooms with two rooms above, a central chimney and cooking hearth and two doors at either end of the hall that faced north and south. This allowed the summer breeze to blow through the home. In 1761, William’s son, Captain James Havens and his wife, Elizabeth, took over the homestead and named it “Heartsease.”
Here, they raised their 11 children. As the family grew and prospered, two rooms were added to the second floor. The home was also a store, a tavern, a school, the post office and the town meeting hall which served a community of 27 households. Captain Havens was a privateer during the war for independence and a Representative of Suffolk County in the New York Provincial Congress of 1776.
Early kitchen: The rooms of the Havens House now contain furnishings, textiles and decorative objects reflective of the years in which the family occupied the house.
jArchival Photograph Courtesy of the New York Public Library (Digital Collection). Photo by C. Manley DeBevoise.
Shelter Island Historical Society