18th and 19th Century Buildings
Quogue’s One-Room Schoolhouse
Built in 1822, Quogue’s first schoolhouse is said to be the oldest surviving in Suffolk County. It was built a few years after public school districts were formed in New York State, in 1813.
Moved three times in its 191 years, it has been located behind the Quogue Library since 1948.
Originally, the schoolhouse stood at the edge of Quogue Street, at the foot of Old Depot Road (then called Post’s Road). When that road was opened, in 1876 (leading to the new train station), the schoolhouse was moved about 400 yards north on Old Depot.
In 1893, when a new, and larger, two-room school was built on ]essup Avenue (the site of today’s Quogue Fire Department), the 1822 one-room schoolhouse was closed and abandoned. It was rescued in the early 1900s by Abram Post, who moved it to his property just east of the Quogue Library, on the north side of Quogue Street. He used it as a workshop.
In 1948, the Post family donated the schoolhouse to the Library to be operated as a museum by the Library’s newly formed Historical Committee, forerunner of the Quogue Historical Society. It was moved to its current location and, in 1949, opened as a museum.
Quogue’s schoolhouse appears to have been an exception to the rule for early one-room schoolhouses, which often seemed to be the shabbiest and most neglected building in a village. Quogue’s schoolhouse measures approx. 19’ by 32’, in the mid-range size, but has an entrance hall, which is unusual. Both rooms have barrel ceilings, also not typical.
The schoolhouse was in use from 1822 to 1893. During those years it was the only public building in Quogue and, when school was not in session, was used for Sunday school and mid-week prayer meetings.
The smokehouse was essential to the way of life of earlier generations in Quogue. If you wanted to have meat at your meals all year long, you needed a smokehouse for curing. Every farmstead had one.
The Society’s shingled smokehouse originally stood behind Miss Mary Post’s house on Quogue Street (just west of Post Lane), one of Quogue’s six remaining 18th century houses. The smokehouse was donated in 1976 by the Potts family.
Late 19th Century ‘4-holer’ Outhouse
Before indoor plumbing, every property had an outhouse, also called a privy — popularly said to be hot in the summer, cold in winter, and smelly all the time.
This outhouse was originally on Beach Lane, in Westhampton Beach, behind a boarding house. In its day, it sat four people and, appropriately, was called a ‘4-holer.’ It has one small seat, as many did, for children. Boards on the ceiling show where a partition once existed to separate one of the seats from the others, used usually by women.