The Pleasants House - also known as the Jeremiah Baker House - has stood at 272 Main Street (Route 27) in Amagansett since about 1860. The wood frame residence was built by Jeremiah Baker from money he earned during the California Gold Rush. The "49-er" was a native of Amagansett and later operated a daily stage coach from Sag Harbor to East Hampton beginning in 1859 and lasting for 40 years. The Pleasants House was listed in the National Register in 1984 as one of the most intact examples in Amagansett of mid-nineteenth century middle class village residences. The renovated 5-bedroom, 3,800-square-foot house with an in-ground pool is listed for rental as of the summer of 2021 for a mere $65,000 per month!
2008 photo of Pleasants House front and west side (Americasroof)
Pleasants House in 1983 photo by Austin O'Brien for NRHP
East side of Pleasants House in 1983 photo; garage in background (O'Brien)
Backstory and Context
Jeremiah Baker (1834-1904) was the son of George L. and Caroline Baker of Amagansett and a descendant of Thomas Baker, an immigrant from England in 1639 and the first European settler of East Hampton. Jeremiah left for California in 1849 during the Gold Rush with two other locals, William Strong and David Barnes. Jeremiah returned to Amagansett and married Amanda D. (1838 - 1898), the daughter of Sylvanus Edwards. The couple had a son, George "Scott" (1861 - 1932) and a daughter, Marietta T. "Ettie" (1867 - 1934). In 1870, the 38-year-old U.S. mail carrier's home was valued at $3,000 and his personal property was worth $1,000. When Jeremiah's stagecoach from Sag Harbor entered East Hampton from Buell lane onto Main Street, he would blow a bugle to announce his arrival. Baker carried the mail on the line up to 1895 with the arrival of a local railroad stop on the Long Island Rail Road which took over the mail route.
By 1900, Jeremiah was a 66-year-old widower and was living alone on Bunker Hill Street in East Hampton; according to the 1900 census, Jeremiah lived on a farm that he owned and worked a stage route. Jeremiah was outbid for rights to the stagecoach line in 1901 and retired; he died three years later. The Main Street house may have been occupied by Jeremiah's son, George S., and his family in 1900, since census records place George on that street. George was a 38-year-old laborer and shared the rented house with his wife of 12 years, Nettie L. (38 years old), and daughter, Ruth (8); two other children did not survive.
The frame house has an L-shaped plan and a rear wing, both two stories tall; a one-story addition is attached to the rear of the south wing. The exterior is clapboard siding and the front (north) of the main block has an open porch with an east entrance, Italianate details, and a flat roof. A similar porch on the wing with a secondary entrance was glass-enclosed in 1930. A triangular window is centered under the front gable. The two-car garage in the back of the lot is not considered historic.
The property was owned by Richard Pleasants by the early 1980s. The house was sold by L. Pleasants and R.I.I.I. Trust in January 2008 to Thomas Burke and Rebekah Baker. Mr. Burke is a sculptor and restores furniture; Ms. Baker makes quilts. The couple applied to the East Hampton Town Board in 2011 to change the house's zoning from residential to a limited-business classification; they were hoping to open an arts and crafts shop and workshop in their home.
Anonymous. "Recorded Deeds." East Hampton Star (East Hampton, N.Y.) April 10th 2008, Business and Real Estate sec, B4-B4.
King, Hugh R. "Jeremiah Baker, Letter to the Editor." East Hampton Star (East Hampton, N.Y.) May 12th 2011. , B2-B2.
Long Island Genealogy. Baker Family, Genealogy of East Hampton Families. Accessed July 13th 2021. http://longislandgenealogy.com/geneh1.html.
O'Brien, Austin. NRHP Nomination of Pleasants House, Amagansett, N.Y.. National Register. Washington, DC. National Park Service, 1983.
Pilgrim, JoAnne. "Is is Rezoning or Spot Zoning?." East Hampton Star (East Hampton, N.Y.) March 24th 2011. , A1-A7.
Pilgrim, JoAnne. "Debate Amagansett Zone Change." East Hampton Star (East Hampton, N.Y.) May 12th 2011. A10-A10.
Rattray, Jeannette Edwards. East Hampton History. Bowie, Maryland, Heritage Books, 1953.
U.S. Census. Household of Jeremiah Baker in Town of East Hampton, Suffolk County, N.Y., dwelling 434, family 488. Washington, DC. U.S. Government, 1870.
U.S. Census. Household of George S. Baker on Main St., district 754, Town of East Hampton, Suffolk County, N.Y., dwelling 37, family 39. Washington, DC. U.S. Government, 1900.
U.S. Census. Household of Jeremiah Baker on Bunker Hill St., district 754, Town of East Hampton, Suffolk County, N.Y., dwelling 87, family 96. Washington, DC. U.S. Government, 1900.
New York State Cultural Resource Information System (NYS CRIS): https://cris.parks.ny.gov/
NYS CRIS: https://cris.parks.ny.gov/