Hidden down Edwards Lane in East Hampton Village is a reminder of a time when farming and fishing were the primary occupations in a Colonial town. The old Hedges Barn leans slightly, ancient shingles hanging on—a building in dire need of a steward.
Ralph Lauren, the fashion designer, businessman and philanthropist, has been a longtime supporter of the East Hampton Historical Society (E.H.H.S.) and is a partner in the restoration of the Mulford Farm, a significant English Colonial farmstead that includes the Hedges Barn. The restoration of that structure would save one of the new remaining 18th Century barns left in East Hampton, and provide Mulford Farm with a home for its education programming.
“We are thrilled at the opportunity to save this 18th-century barn and move it to the farm, where it will revitalize our Education Program,” says Richard Barons, director of the E.H.H.S.
In tandem with the restoration, Ralph Lauren will offer a dedicated East Hampton Historical collection for men, women, and children beginning Memorial Day. The collection includes iconic apparel and accessories such as waffle tees, hooded sweatshirts, branded E.H.H.S. tees, baseball caps, and canvas beach totes. The product will be available in the East Hampton Polo Ralph Lauren East Hampton store and at RalphLauren.com. A contribution of 50% of the purchase price of the East Hampton Historical collection will benefit the East Hampton Historical Society.
“Our education staff is already planning on adding new programs that will support the New York State Education Department’s curriculum requirements,” Mr. Barons said. “The ‘new’ barn will offer much-needed space for traditional craft projects, workshops, and programs that will explore the traditions of early farming on Long Island’s South Fork.”
The barn was recently examined by several antique barn consultants, who reported that its hand-hewn frame is in good condition. The proposed plan would involve disassembling the main barn board by board and beam by beam, and then transporting it to the Mulford property for re-assembly and restoration.
For updates and ongoing information about plans to save the Hedges Barn, please visit easthamptonhistory.org.