The 1795 Dr. Daniel Kissam House Museum
The Kissam house property is central to many of the Huntington Historical Society’s Outreach and Education activities. In addition to having a room summarizing the Kissam family history, housing the costume collection in the attic and hosting many of the Society’s artifacts, the property and barn are used for the festivals, the Wine Tasting and the Society’s Annual meetings. The house will be open for tours by appointment. Please call the office for an appointment. It is not Open Holidays. See a Map for the location.
The house now standing on this historic site, one of the original home-lots that faced the old Town Green, was built in 1795 by Timothy Jarvis, a housewright. It was first occupied by Dr. Daniel Whitehead Kissam, a physician from Oyster Bay. Considered one of the most outstanding three-quarter plan houses on Long Island, it is noted for its fine architectural details.
In 1840, Dr. Charles Sturges, the son-in-law of Dr. Kissam,added a “modern” kitchen wing and converted the old kitchen to a formal dining room. As you visit this room, take special note of the Egyptian Revival woodwork that was inspired by America’s interest in archaeological expeditions in Egypt during that time.
This home was purchased from the estate of Hilda Taylor in 1967. Restoration and reinterpretation of the interior was begun by the Society in 1984. In 2006 the Kitchen wing, which had been upgraded to a working 20th Century kitchen, was restored to, its 1840 configuration. A working 20th century kitchen was built into a section of the Museum Shop which is attached to the barn. This restoration was accomplished with significant funding from the Kissam family, and donations from the Society membership.
The Kissam barn is home to many of our outreach events; the Sheep to Shawl Festival, the Annual Wine Tasting Event and the Apple Harvest Fair. In late spring. “A Child’s Work and Play” and “Passport to the Past”, both designed to introduce children to life on Long Island in the late eighteenth century.
Built in 1790 in the nearby farming community of Lloyd Harbor, the barn, currently known as the Kissam Barn, can be historically traced back to the Rogers family, who used the structure on their homestead for livestock housing. Legend has it, however, the barn also housed British troops who were quartered there during the Revolution.