The mission of the Shelter Island Historical Society is to research, preserve and share our heritage and island history through education, exhibition, scholarship and community activities. We interpret Shelter Island's past and on-going life through preservation of historical material from the first inhabitants, settlers and town fathers, to those who have made it a caring and unique community through the years. We strive to preserve the island's heritage for future generations.
Shelter Island Historical Society Constitution and By-Laws, Article III, Mission.
Adopted by the Shelter Island Historical Society's Board of Trustees in August 2012.
Hours of Operation, April through October: Wednesdays through Fridays 11:00am to 3:00pm Saturdays 11:00am to 4:00pm Sunday 11:00am to 3:00pm
In 1761, William's son, Captain James Havens and his wife, Elizabeth, took over the homestead and named it "Heartsease." Here, they raised their 11 children. As the family grew and prospered, two rooms were added to the second floor. The home was also a store, a tavern, a school, the post office and the town meeting hall which served a community of 27 households. Captain Havens was a privateer during the war for independence and a Representative of Suffolk County in the New York Provincial Congress of 1776.
The rooms of the Havens House now contain furnishings, textiles and decorative objects reflective of the years in which the family occupied the house. A large barn was built on the property in 1988. It is a reproduction of a typical Long Island barn of the period and is used to display various collections, as well as serving as a location for various events.William Havens built his farmhouse in 1743 on 1,000 acres. It originally had four first-floor rooms with two rooms above, a central chimney and cooking hearth and two doors at either end of the hall that faced north and south. This allowed the summer breeze to blow through the home.