Before It Was the Huntting Inn

Sandwiched between David’s Lane and Huntting Lane is the Huntting Inn at 94 Main Street. A familiar sight in the village, it’s hard to imagine the Huntting as anything other than an inn, but the history of the building itself predates that use.

According to East Hampton Town records, a town meeting was held on Nov. 15, 1698, at which it was agreed that a two-acre plot of land would be given to the Rev. Nathaniel Huntting (1675-1753), who had come to East Hampton to replace the Rev. Thomas James (1621-1696) as the second minister of the Presbyterian church here.

This plot of land was taken out of a larger 10-acre piece of property that had belonged to Thomas Squire. Squire died intestate in 1686, meaning he died without a will or an heir to leave his property to. As such, Gov. Thomas Dongan appointed Capt. Josiah Hobart, high sheriff of Suffolk County, as administrator of Squire’s estate.

In 1699, a two-story saltbox house was built on the lot to accommodate the young Nathaniel Huntting and his growing family. He was also given use of other lands set apart by the town for use by the church, as well as firewood and a salary of £60 a year (about $13,846 in today’s money).

The house remained in the Huntting family for nine generations, and many modifications were made over time. An addition was built at the rear of the house in the 1700s, and further changes were made in 1875, when the Huntting became a boarding house, as well as in 1900 and 1912, when it became an inn and new wings were added. Although, according to Jeannette Edwards Rattray in her book “Up and Down Main Street,” it’s been an inn since before the Revolutionary era. 

In 1939, the last Huntting descendant sold the inn to Mr. and Mrs. Ralph C. Frood, who also managed the Maidstone Arms (now the Maidstone Hotel) and the Hedges Inn. The Palm Restaurant Group took over the inn in 1980 and continues to manage it to this day.

Gina Piastuck is the department head of the East Hampton Library’s Long Island Collection.