Dedicated to Heritage

Esther Green, Frank Pharaoh, from Collective Identity

A painting by Cappy Amundsen from the collection of the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum

The Eastville Community Historical Society of Sag Harbor was founded in 1981 and chartered by New York State in 1986 to preserve the history of the working-class community of Eastville and to tell the story of St. David AME Zion Church. The church remains in its original location, built in 1839 by African Americans and Native Americans on Eastville Avenue. It is widely believed to have been a stop along the Underground Railroad. Its founding Pastor, Rev. P. Thompson, was a noted Abolitionist and friend of Frederick Douglas. The Society also owns, upkeeps, preserves and protects the adjacent century-old cemetery in which African and Native Americans of the earlier St. David's church membership are buried, many of whom were Sag Harbor Whalers.

From the early 1800's until the mid 1900's, the section of historic Sag Harbor known as Eastville was home to a multi-ethnic population of free Blacks, European immigrants and Native Americans. The area evolved through many economic changes, including two devastating village fires, the rise and fall of the whaling industry, the development and decline of factories, and a boom in the tourist and resort business. Today Eastville retains its ethnic mix, while preserving its modest character amidst the glamour and wealth of the Hamptons.

The Eastville Community Historical Society had its beginnings out of a concern for preservation of the St. David A.M.E. Zion Church as an historical site in Sag Harbor, and was instrumental in restoring the exterior of the building, the tin ceiling and also in restoring and preserving the stained glass windows of the church.  

We also held our meetings in the parish house and our Annual Fish Fry on its grounds for over 30 years, beginning in1985.  Both the church and the adjacent cemetery have been included in historical tours of Sag Harbor in general, and the Eastville community in particular.

The Eastville Community Historical Society moved its headquarters to 139 Hampton Street in 1996, now called the Heritage House, originally a 1925 Sears & Roebuck catalog house. and continues to raise funds for the maintenance of the church and cemetery. In addition, exhibitions are regularly hosted at the Heritage House. Please come visit!

Coming up at Eastville





Suggested donation: $25

1619: A Place-Based Observation

Eastville's  "Drop the Mic"



Eastville's “Drop the Mic”

Friday, October 25th 6pm-8pm

featuring Doe-Ann Powell, Saleem Abdal-Khaaliq, Brenda Simmons and Meghan Taylor, as well as an open mic for poets, writers, songwriters, comics and story tellers

@ THE ECHS Heritage House
139 HAMPTON STREET, SAG HARBOR  631.725.4711

Upcoming DateS TBA!


“The Age of Whaling, A Retrospective” continues at the Eastville Historical SocietyEastville Community Historical Society, 139 Hampton Street

Become a Legacy Supporter Today!

Your contributions to the Eastville Community Historical Society are TAX DEDUCTIBLE!

Our EIN #:11-2596518

We are an almost all-volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit organization.


The Heritage House is in need of some fundamental repairs: roofing, basement leaks, and a better HVAC setup which will protect the ECHS’s archival material, which we estimate at approximately $32,000, We also have operational expenses we must meet, including hiring someone to ensure that the Heritage House can be open on weekends in the summer. And a longstanding goal is to re-erect toppled gravestones in the St. David AME Zion Cemetery.


Won’t you please consider becoming a Legacy Supporter of our work by making a tax-deductible donation today? 


Our Legacy Supporter Categories are as follows:


JoAnne Williams Carter Executive Circle: $5,000 

Heritage Hero: $2,500 

Director’s Circle: $1,000 

Benefactor: $500

Friend of Eastville: $100

Yearly Family Supporter: $35

Yearly Individual Supporter: $25

Other: Your choice! All donations are appreciated.


Make a safe and secure

donation using PayPal,

or send a check to:

Eastville Historical Historical Society

PO Box 2036

Sag Harbor, NY  11963


A Commitment to SANS

We are proud to be in support of our neighbors, the SANS community, who include those in Sag Harbor Hills, Azures, Ninevah, and Subdivisions (including Chatfield Hills and Hillcrest Terrace). 

On October 12, consultant, Allison McGovern, PhD. and author of Anthropology of Race in the Northeast, spoke at the John Jermain Memorial Library in Sag Harbor on the SANS Historic Resource Survey she has completed for the SANS area of Sag Harbor. 

SANS became its own cultural powerhouse of community, history, and networking. Famous people from the Harlem Renaissance, notable African American politicians, businesspeople, and entertainers were regular visitors and/or residents, such as Harry Belafonte, Lena Horne, Hubie Blake, Langston Hughes, first African American Ambassador Edward Dudley, and many more.

Led by Renee Simons with assistance from ECHS Executive Director Georgette Grier-Key, SANS is now poised to become part of the National Register of Historic Places, and thanks to the extraordinary generosity of 25 NOMA (National Organization of Minority Architects) volunteers, who came out and mapped the area, it is well on the way to receiving the designation it deserves, and an important part of the history of our area.

An excellent article can be found in the Sag Harbor Express on this talk. CLICK HERE FOR A VIDEO IF YOU MISSED THE TALK!

History in the making

We have added a new page to our website to specifically celebrate two under-acknowledged moments in history that deeply impacted the Eastville community: the Sag Harbor Initiative, and a concert performed by Pete Seeger at the old Whalers' Church in 1993 to raise funds.

Click here to go to the new page and browse recordings of the Sag Harbor Initiative, as well as enjoying the historical facts we shared with the community during the month of February, 2018




MEMBERSHIP DUES ARE A MODEST $25 per year for individuals, $35 per family,

$100 per Commemorative Shingle.  Please renew your membership now!


JOIN OR RENEW ONLINE here on our website,

or send a check to:

PO BOX 2036
with “Membership” in the memo line


Walking Tours of Eastville

Walking tours are offered by the ECHS, by contacting us at 631-725-4711 or at

YOU ARE INVITED TO TAKE A SELF-GUIDED TOUR using Eastville's walking tour through this guide, presented as a collaboration here thanks to Sag Harbor Partnership.

Another great way to experience the Eastville community is by using your phone or other mobile device to download the Sag Harbor Partnership's Walking Tours of Sag Harbor, available for both Apple and Google devices. You can also see Eastville's  tour on the Partnership's website.

Don't miss their other Sag Harbor tours as well!

Location and Hours

Eastville Community Historical Society

139 Hampton St, Sag Harbor, NY 11963



Open year-round Wednesdays from 11-5pm,

and by appointment for researchers, exhibits, tours and programs.

Call 631-725-4711

Our Mailing Address:

PO Box 2036, Sag Harbor, NY 11963

Long Island Historical Societies - formerly, Association of Suffolk County Historical Societies (ASCHS)

Eastville Community Historical Society is a member of ASCHS, which offers special tours and programs for all those interested in the history of the towns, villages, and communities of Suffolk County, Long Island, New York. Its president is Georgette Grier-Key, who is also the Executive Director of the ECHS.