Assemblymember Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) today announced the inclusion of two local businesses in the newly launched New York State Historic Business Preservation Registry coordinated by the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. Hildreth’s Home Goods and the South Ferry, nominated for this recognition by Assemblymember Thiele, have served customers for over 150 years and have influenced the culture and history of the East End over many decades. These two businesses are among the first 100 across New York State to be showcased by this registry.
"Historic businesses are the backbone of a thriving community's sense of heritage and identity," said Assemblymember Thiele. "It was an honor to nominate Hildreth's Home Goods and the South Ferry, two family-owned businesses born from our country's earliest days, for this esteemed recognition. With each generation, these two worthy establishments have continued to serve as emblems of life here on the East End, and I look forward to seeing their ongoing success for years to come.”
In 1842, Lewis Hildreth founded Hildreth’s General Store in Southampton to meet the day-to-day needs of a burgeoning population of immigrants in search of land and opportunity. With time, the store evolved and grew with these families as they made their homes and founded their own businesses on the East End. It was not until the 1940s that Hildreth’s became an outlet for home furnishings, and today, it serves as the Hamptons’ largest provider of interior and exterior home goods with a global selection of quality merchandise. Henry and Colleen Hildreth are currently at its helm, the thirteenth generation managing the business and carrying on their family’s tradition out of their original location on Main Street.
Every day, a member of the Clark Family shuttles people and their vehicles across the Peconic River channel that separates the Hamptons and Shelter Island. It is a service the family has provided since 1790, first by rowboat against the choppy waters of the sound and today by modernized ferries that run for nearly 20 hours a day, seven days a week. Although the half-mile route has remained the same for the last two centuries, the South Ferry has operated through the most pivotal moments in American history. Today, Cliff and Bill Clark represent the fifth generation managing the family business, which is known as nothing short of an institution on Shelter Island.
To learn more about the New York State Historic Business Preservation Registry and view an interactive map of the celebrated businesses, click here.