Jones Road Historic District
The Jones Road Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document.  Adaptation copyright © 2010, The Gombach Group.
The Jones Road Historic District is located near the southwest corner of the village of East Hampton. It includes residential properties on both sides of Jones Road, as well as adjacent residential properties on Apaquogue Road and Lily Pond Lane. The Jones Road Historic District includes 19 contributing buildings, including ten contributing principal buildings and nine contributing dependencies. The Jones Road Historic District also includes three non-contributing buildings. No structures, objects or sites have been identified within the Jones Road Historic District.
The boundaries of the Jones Road Historic District have been constructed to include the significant historic resources related to the development of the district, while excluding the non-historic residential development which surrounds this enclave on all sides. In all instances, the Jones Road Historic District boundary follows existing property lines and curb lines.
The Jones Road Historic District is characterized by narrow roads, an uneven topography and informal landscaping, which together imbue this area with a distinctive rural character. Buildings within the Jones Road Historic District are situated on large lots and, in some instances, screened from roadside views by thick vegetation. All of the buildings in the Jones Road Historic District are built of frame construction and are typically one or two stories in height and sheathed with unpainted wood shingles. Although one building dates to the mid-eighteenth century and several others were originally built in the mid-to-late-nineteenth century, the majority of the buildings in the Jones Road Historic District were either built or extensively remodeled in the Colonial Revival mode during the first three decades of the twentieth century.
The earliest buildings in the Jones Road Historic District are the mid-eighteenth century Miller Farmhouse on Apaquogue Road and its associated barn, probably built in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. The Miller House exemplifies the Cape Cod house type and features a three-bay center entrance facade, large center chimney and a shingled exterior. Although alterations and an addition were constructed in 1908, the plan and original interior finishes of the farmhouse survive in some locations. Two nineteenth-century buildings are located across Apaquogue Road from the Miller House. The "Apaquogue," a three-story frame boarding house built in 1884, includes a six-bay facade with an elliptically arched entrance centered beneath the third and fourth bays. The building includes an L-shaped verandah at the first floor level and is sheathed with painted shingles. The T. Smith House, built in 1895, is located immediately west of the "Apaquogue" at the southwest corner of the district. The shingled two-story frame house is characterized by a steeply pitched gable roof with gabled dormers, a long first floor verandah and Colonial Revival style fenestration.
The seven remaining contributing houses in the Jones Road Historic District were all built or reworked in the early twentieth century and, with only two exceptions, were designed or remodelled in the Colonial Revival style. The earliest of this group of houses is "Century Cottage," built in the mid-nineteenth century on the Montauk Highway and used until the 1870's as the village poorhouse. The building was moved twice, arriving at its present location on Lily Pond Lane in 1901. Following its last move, it was enlarged and remodelled in the Colonial Revival style. It is currently characterized by an elongated one and one-half story saltbox shaped massing, shingled exterior and informal fenestration. Four houses in the Jones Road Historic District were designed by and built for Mary Talmage between 1910 and 1915 in the Colonial Revival style based largely on vernacular eighteenth and nineteenth century designs. These include the First, Second and Fourth Mary Talmage cottages on Jones Road, all built as summer rental houses, and the fifth Mary Talmage Cottage on Apaquogue Road, built for Mary Talmage's own use. All four houses are two stories in height, covered with unpainted wood shingles, and designed with distinctive Colonial Revival entrances, windows and cornices. Three of these houses include saltbox shaped roof forms characteristic of the local vernacular architecture.
The two remaining contributing features of the Jones Road Historic District include the "New Century Cottage" on Jones Road, a one and one-half story shingled residence with a hipped roof built in 1916, and "Spindrift," a one and one-half story stuccoed residence built on Jones Road in 1921 and designed by the noted New York City architect Lewis Colt Albro. "Spindrift" was created in part by linking two vernacular nineteenth-century cottages together. The house is set well back from the road and, in design, is reminiscent of English vernacular architecture. The three non-contributing properties in the Jones Road Historic District include an extensively altered salt-box shaped frame residence on Jones Road, built in 1914-1915 for Dr. T.W. Onderdonk, and two contemporary Colonial Revival houses built since 1960.
The Jones Road Historic District represents an enclave of ten historic residential properties significant in documenting historic land use patterns and architecture in East Hampton between c.1750 and 1921. The Jones Road Historic District includes resources associated with rural agricultural development of the hinterland surrounding the village during the eighteenth century, the development of isolated rural properties for the accommodation of summer boarders in the second half of the nineteenth century and, finally, the subdivision of former farmland for the construction of summer homes for the affluent in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Architecturally, the Jones Road Historic District includes significant examples of eighteenth and nineteenth century vernacular design, stylish examples of the Shingle style and especially fine examples of the Colonial Revival style. Buildings in the Jones Road Historic District are unified by the prevalent use of shingles as an exterior material and by their informal landscaping and generous setbacks. In contrast to the areas immediately adjacent to the historic district, the Jones Road Historic District continues to possess the historic rural qualities once widely characteristic of the village of East Hampton.
The oldest contributing property in the Jones Road Historic District is the eighteenth-century Miller farmstead on Apaquogue Road. Consisting of an intact c.1750 Cape Cod type residence and a barn believed to have been built in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century, the Miller property represents a rare and important link to East Hampton's agrarian history. Architecturally, the house is one of only two intact examples of the Cape Cod house types surviving in the Village of East Hampton Multiple Resource Area (MRA) and is the only example of its type to remain on its original site.
Farming continued to be a principal occupation in the Jones Road area until the mid-nineteenth century, when Abraham Candy began accepting summer boarders at his farm on Apaquogue Road. Summer boarders were probably attracted to the rural setting of this area (more than one mile southwest of the village proper) and its proximity to both the shore and a series of small fresh water ponds and coves. Candy's property was acquired by E.A. LaForest in 1882, but the boarding house burned in the fall of that year. The LaForests rebuilt on the same site and a new three-story boarding house with 22 guest rooms (named the "Apaquogue") was completed in 1884. The "Apaquogue" is vernacular in design and retains all of its original exterior features, including two-over-two double-hung sash windows, an elliptically arched front entrance, a painted shingle exterior and a broad L-shaped verandah that reflects the recreational purpose of the building. The "Apaquogue" continued to operate as a boarding house until 1912 and was later adapted for use as a private summer residence. It is believed to be the only surviving building in the MRA built specifically as a boarding house.
The same qualities which attracted summer boarders in the middle of the nineteenth century also appealed to individuals who sought to build private summer homes in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The first of the large summer residences to appear in the Jones Road Historic District was built for T. Smith of New York City in 1895 by local builder Frank Grimshaw. Located on Apaquogue Road and designed in a modified version of the Shingle style, the two and one-half story house is distinguished by a steeply pitched gabled roof with flared eaves, Colonial Revival style dormer windows and Palladian gable end windows.
In 1901, Mrs. I.M.B. Vail established a summer residence at the opposite end of the Jones Road Historic District on Lily Pond Lane by acquiring the former mid-nineteenth century village poorhouse, moving it, and remodelling it in the Colonial Revival taste. The current vernacular "eighteenth-century" appearance of this elongated one and one-half story saltbox resulted in large measure from a succession of additions and alterations undertaken by local builders for Mrs. Vail between 1901 and 1916.
Mrs. Vail's apparent antiquarian interest in historic vernacular architecture appears to have had a decisive influence on the character of development activities undertaken by her daughter, Mary Talmage, on the adjacent land she held along Jones Road. Between 1910 and 1915, Talmage built four shingled houses for sale or rental and a fifth house for her own occupancy. Four of these houses are believed to have been designed by Talmage herself and significantly reflect the vernacular forms and details associated with East Hampton's domestic architecture in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The so-called First Mary Talmage Cottage, built on Jones Road in 1910-1911, is especially representative of her skill in reproducing local vernacular forms and details and adapting these elements to modern requirements. The house features five-bay center-entrance facade, a saltbox roof form and authentically designed eighteenth-century details, including a coved cornice at the facade, a quoined entrance surround, and panelled wooden shutters. In plan and construction, however, the house reflects contemporary practices. Her third cottage was designed with a gambrel roof reminiscent of eighteenth century Dutch architecture in her native state of New Jersey and her fourth and fifth cottages incorporate distinctive Federal style entrances with leaded-glass transoms and sidelights. The fifth Mary Talmage cottage is the largest of the five and was designed by Talmage for her own use. "New Century Cottage," built by Mary Talmage in 1912-1913, differs markedly in its design and could be described as reminiscent of the Shingle style.
The vernacular Colonial Revival character of Mary Talmage's houses was complemented by the design of the Dr. T.W. Onderdonk House on Jones Road, built in 1914-1915. The Onderdonk House was originally designed by J.C. Lawrence to imitate East Hampton's distinctive eighteenth century saltboxes, but later alterations have obscured its historic form and covered up much of its entrance facade. As a result of its diminished integrity, the house no longer contributes to the significance of the historic district.
The last major residence built within the Jones Road Historic District was that of artist Hamilton King on Apaquogue Road. Designed by the nationally prominent New York City architect Lewis Colt Albro and completed in 1921, "Spindrift" was created by linking two undistinguished fisherman's cottages with a large, glazed hyphen and unifying the whole composition through the use of a stucco exterior. The low horizontal profile of the house punctuated by chimneys with pots is reminiscent of English vernacular architecture, which became a popular form of stylistic expression in East Hampton during the first three decades of the twentieth century.
With the exception of two unobtrusive houses built since 1960 on small lots in the district, the Jones Road Historic District has experienced no additional subdivision or construction since 1921. Buildings in the Jones Road Historic District retain an unusually high degree of integrity and overall the Jones Road Historic District continues to possess the historic visual characteristics associated with it during the period of significance.