Sagtikos Manor in West Bay Shore is hosting “George Washington...

Sagtikos Manor in West Bay Shore is hosting “George Washington and the Manor” on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Credit: Tom Lambui

George Washington slept there.

And for a time during the American Revolutionary War, the British, whose forces Washington and his Continental Army defeated to gain America's independence, were encamped there.

Now, Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine has announced a special Presidents Day weekend event there — there, being the historic Sagtikos Manor in West Bay Shore.

Called “George Washington and the Manor,” the event is co-hosted by the Sagtikos Manor Historical Society and Suffolk County Parks and will take place Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tours are given every hour at the manor, located at 677 W. Montauk Hwy. 

The tours will not include the entire manor house, but will focus on the 13 rooms related to Washington and the Colonial Era.

“Sagtikos Manor stands as a testament to the rich tapestry of Long Island's history, embodying both its natural beauty and enduring cultural heritage,” Romaine said in a statement announcing the event. “From the vital role Sagtikos Manor played during the Revolutionary War to hosting George Washington during his tour of Long Island, its history serves as a significant historical landmark that should be celebrated and studied for generations to come.”

Tours of Sagtikos Manor this weekend willl focus on the...

Tours of Sagtikos Manor this weekend willl focus on the 13 rooms related to George Washington and the Colonial Era. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

The history of the manor dates to the 1692 purchase of the land from the Secatogue tribe by Stephanus Van Cortlandt, the first native-born mayor of New York City.

A number of families owned the site until 1758, when the 700-acre estate was purchased by Jonathan Thompson for 1,200 British pounds [roughly $420,000 today], and it remained in the Thompson-Gardiner family — think Gardiner's Island — until it was bought by Suffolk in 2002. Son Isaac Thompson was a judge and prominent member of the Islip Town government before — and, after — the American Revolution and later was a member of the State Assembly.

Washington, on his postwar victory tour of Long Island, stayed at the Manor the night of April 21, 1790 — an event recorded in his diary.

That entry began:

“The Morning being clear & pleasant we left Jamaica at about Eight O'clock & pursued the Road to South Hempstead passing along the South edge of the plain of that name — a plain said to be 14 miles in length by 3 or 4 in breadth with. a Tree or a Shrub growing on it except fruit trees (which do not thrive well) at the few settlements. thereon.”

Later, following a day of travel by horse-drawn coach, citing observations of dung fields of corn and rye, of views of “the Sea” and of South Shore “Marshes and guts” and a road rendered “impassible” at the height of tides in the small bays driven by “Easterly winds,” Washington wrote: “We dined at one Ketchums wch. had also been a public House but now a private one receivg. pay for what it furnished. This House was about 14 Miles from South Hemstead & a very neat & decent one. After dinner we proceed to a Squire Thompsons such a House as the last, that is, one that is not public but will receive pay for every thing it furnishes in the same manner as if it was.” 

After a night's sleep at what now is Sagtikos Manor, Washington headed north to Huntington — “Huntingdon” in his diary — en route back to New York City.

Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for kids age 8-17. Cash or checks will be accepted at the door. Credit cards will not be accepted.

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