antique, Articles of Association, David Conklin Farm House, Fort Franklin, Fort Golgotha, historic, history, huntington, Huntington Historical Society, new york, New York Avenue, Oakwood Road, The Conklin Family
My visit to the David Conklin Farm House was not only peaceful and beautiful, but a unique experience as well. Upon your arrival to this property, you can instantly feel the history. This home is a great example of how the early settlers lived and I loved how easy it was to explore. Located at 2 High Street in Huntington, this brilliant piece of architecture still exudes life, comfort and a wonderful style.
The Conklins were an important family when it came to the growth of Huntington as they were among its first settlers. The farm house was built in 1750 by Thomas Conklin and stood on 105 acres. It was surrounded by apple and peach orchards and took up the area from New York Avenue to Oakwood Road.
Member of the Conklin family were patriots and played in a big part in the town’s affairs. David and his father, Thomas, both signed the Articles of Association in 1774 and were affected by the British during the Battle of Long Island. David left for Connecticut but the rest of the family remained, leaving his wife, Sybil, alone to fend for herself. During that time, the British eventually ransacked the house.
A couple of years later, David returned only to become a prisoner of the British until 1778. While in their custody, wood was taken from the Conklin’s barn and David himself was forced to help construct Fort Franklin and Fort Golgotha. In addition, he cooked over 110 meals for the British soldiers during the time the occupied the area. I can’t imagine being in that situation. It was really tough on all of Huntington’s natives during this time. It is good to know that despite all the hardship the town was able to surpass all of it and succeed in the end.
Once David and his wife passed away in 1786, his nephew Abel stepped in to raise their nine children. That may seem crazy now but back then it was quite normal. Around 1827, Abel K. Conklin, Abel’s son, inherited the house after his father’s death and made a second story addition to raise his family. He later became the Town Supervisor, Justice of the Peace, Commissioner of Highways, Assessor and Commissioner of Common Schools. Abel was an important and busy member of Huntington society which eventually rubbed off on his son Moreland who served as Executive Chairman of the Committee.
By 1911, a lot of the Conklin property was sold and only 25 percent of the original land remained with the family. The Huntington Historical Society owns the deed to the house which was given to them by Ella Jayne Conklin Hurd.
Today, the home is still impressive in its ability to reflect colonial, federal and Victorian design, all of which were very popular during the period it was built. One unique piece of memorabilia that sits at the back of the house is an old mill stone which was used in one of the early mills of Huntington Harbor from 1752-1930. It was given the to Historical Society in 1951.
I suggest you visit the Conklin Farm House if you have a couple of hours to spare. Just the architecture and land itself are worth the trip, but if you take a tour that is an added bonus.
The house is open Thursday, Friday and Sunday from 1-4 p.m. and group tours can be set up as well. For more information, call (631) 427-7045, ext. 401.