North Haven Manor is one of several private homeowners associations on the island of North Haven, New York. Contiguous to Sag Harbor, North Haven has been described as “the jewel of the South Fork”—a protected area of forest, wetlands, beaches and pastures, that is one of the least developed areas of the Hamptons.
The history of the North Haven goes back to 1665, when Hog Neck (as it was known), was purchased from the Manhanset Indians (one of Long Island’s 13 tribes) by Southampton Town. Rich in shellfish and wild game, the land was purchased for “sixe Indian Coates and the right to continue to hunt and fish on the land.” In 1680, the lands of Hog Neck, Hogonock (Bay Point), Brush Neck (Redwood) and the west meadows of Sag Harbor were allotted to citizens of Southampton. Forty-seven lots and meadows were assigned to Hog Neck and seven roads were laid out; the island supported farming, livestock, orchards, windmills and salt works.
Among the founding families of North Haven were the Sayres, the Howells, the Paynes, Fahys, Corwins, Cooks and Barclays, who built classic summer estates on the island. Eventually, homeowners association developments would be established on those farms and estates. In the early days, getting from North Haven to Sag Harbor wasn’t an easy task. People could either row the 400 feet that separate the two areas, or they could travel the long way around to town via Noyac Raod to the port. In 1834, the first wooden bridge was constructed. In 1937, the first modern bridge was constructed of concrete and steel.
The current acreage of North Haven Manor was sold to Charles M. Goodsell in 1877, where he and his wife lived for over 30 years. In 1889, Julian Hawthorne, a writer and the son of Nathanial Hawthorne, bought a section of the Goodsell property, moving into the house in 1893. In 1910, Mrs. Goodsell sold her property to a company, Sag Harbor Estates, which planned to develop a subdivision of houses for families of “moderate means.” The shore front of Shelter Island Sound was divided into 10 lots, and 80 additional lots were laid out in the uplands. At the highest point was the Manor House, formerly occupied by Julian Hawthorne, after whom they decided to name the new development, Hawthorne Manor, as well as the street in front of the house (which burned down in 1929). The company planned the development with no asphalt roads or sidewalks, but rather with curving macadam and gravel roads, stately trees and a tree-lined community Esplanade leading to the water. Just to the north was the Actor’s Colony development, where the elite of America’s theater community built houses. In 1954, William Eaton purchased the Bookstaver house that had stood in Sag Harbor and moved it to its present location, just inside the fieldstone entrance. Hawthorne Manor was renamed North Haven Manor in 1947.
This material was excerpted with permission from The Early History of North Haven by Dorothy Ingersoll Zaykowski, North Haven Historian Joseph Zaykowski, and contributions by Ronald L. Lowe. The book is available for purchase at the Sag Harbor Historical Society and at local bookstores.