Every time I drive by this quaint little house with pink shutters and picket fence, I am smitten with its charm and scale and curious about its history.
I am blessed to have friends born and raised in the greater Bridgehampton area who can recount the history of just about every property and, as someone who moved around seven times before the age of 10, I can’t imagine being so rooted to any particular locale. But the longer I live here, and the more research I do on these old buildings, the more I too feel connected to the community. That’s just one reason I do it.
I think this house was built for Frances M. [Brown] Howell (b.1836) circa 1850 and her brother Ledyard H. Brown (b. 1826) bought it from her in 1853 for $375. Frances & Ledyard were born in Bridgehampton to Henry and Nancy [L'Hommedieu Foster] Brown. Henry was a seaman, and Ledyard became one as well.
Subsequent owners were Lydia (b. 1870) and Edwin (b. 1860) Worthington who married in 1891. He was a gardner, she was a dress maker.
Probably the most historically prominent owner was Curt Kahle (b. 1898). He was one of the seven children of Marcello and Julia Kahle, who owned the adjacent estate “Gernda” to the east, on Ocean Road. “Marcel was a founder of the George Borgfeldt Company of New York City, … which imported dolls, furniture, house wares and china, among other items, but really made its mark in the world of toys.”* Curt’s mother Julia (1858-1931) was an accomplished miniature portrait artist, whose painting “The Girl in the White Fur” is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s permanent collection. Upon his father’s death in 1909, Curt went on to work for the family importing business.
Property Owners (present to past):
Debora A. Guthrie, 1987-present
Norman E. Kappler, 1983-1987
Douglas & Margaret Bushnell, 1969-1983
D. Edward & Margaret Nelson Meeker, 1946-1969
Elizabeth Fay, 1930-1946
Curt Kahle, 1919-1930
Lydia M. Worthington, 1894-1919
Ledyard H. Brown, 1853-1894
Frances M. Howell
*Source: Ocean Road Summers, 2010, The Bridgehampton Historical Society