Have a look at then and now at the Southampton History Museum this weekend, where a home on wheels will stand next to a 20-room mansion.
For comparative purposes, the company Tiny Hamptons will bring two 350-square-foot portable homes onto the grounds of the Rogers Mansion on Saturday, says Tom Edmonds, Southampton History Museum executive director. The museum invites the public, for a $5 entrance fee for adult nonmembers, to compare not only the size of each residence but the furnishings.
“It’s going to be a trippy experience to go into a big mansion and then go into a tiny house that probably two and a half people can get into at one time,” Edmonds said.
Tiny Hamptons, run by a husband and wife in what Edmonds calls the, “land of the giant house,” markets its product as “the perfect option for someone wanting to downsize and live a minimalist life,” or use as an Airbnb, vacation home, guesthouse, summer home, or even mobile business, its website details. The company builds custom houses and sells house “shells” starting at $13,000 for a 16-foot trailer.
For Edmonds, the homes seem a lesson in sustainability in an area known for its mansions. The miniature homes are the opposite of “these really big, big houses that sometimes have five and six ice makers going 24/7 all year round,” he added.
The Rogers Mansion sits on a complex of 12 buildings each with its own spot on the National Register of Historic Places, according to the Southampton town website. The Rogers family settled a seven-acre property in 1648 and built what was once a Colonial-era farmhouse in the late 1700s, the site says.
“The house has just grown like a mushroom,” Edmonds says. “It was a one-room cabin, it grew to sort of a four-room farmhouse, and then it became a whaling captain’s mansion and then it became a wealthy attorney’s mansion.”
When was it built? “Depends on which room you’re standing in,” Edmonds tells those who ask.
Ownership of the home changed throughout the years, and the residence changed with it. The New York Times reported in 2015 that eight generations of the Rogers family lived in the home before the whaling captain Jetur Rogers sold it to Dr. John Nugent in 1889. Later, Nugent would sell to Samuel Longstreth Parrish, who is known for founding what is now the Parrish Art Museum. Parrish would both expand the mansion and set it back from Main Street. Southampton Village purchased the house from Parrish’s widow in the 1930s, the Times reports.