Piece of Sag Harbor history put up for sale

Charles Edison’s former home listed for $19M

Thomas Edison Scion’s Sag Harbor Home Listed for $19 Million
186 Main Street in Sag Harbor LI and former NJ Gov. Charles Edison (Compass, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

While Thomas Edison had a passion for inventing, his son Charles was passionate about historic restorations. One is now for sale in the Hamptons.

The Hannibal French House at 186 Main Street in Sag Harbor, built in 1834, was listed last week for $18.9 million, Mansion Global reported. The undisclosed homeowners purchased the property 12 years ago. (Zillow does not list that sale, but does show a $6.85 million sale in 2006, and Realtor.com shows a $6 million sale in 2010.)

Thomas Edison Scion’s Sag Harbor Home Listed for $19 Million
186 Main Street in Sag Harbor (Compass)

Charles Edison, who was governor of New Jersey and Secretary of the Navy, bought and restored the mansion in 1948, according to Neil Baldwin’s biography, “Edison: Inventing the Century.” The restoration supposedly sparked other such efforts across Sag Harbor.

The historic estate takes up slightly more than half an acre. The home spans 6,400 square feet — which makes the asking price $2,953 per square foot — and includes two floors, seven bedrooms, four bathrooms and two half bathrooms. Other features include a formal dining room, 10 fireplaces and the only formal ballroom in Sag Harbor, according to the listing.

The sellers tasked interior designer Veere Grenney with updating the property to be more modern while retaining some historic elements. Contemporary amenities include a covered deck, a heated pool and landscaped grounds. It offers ready access to Sag Harbor’s marinas.

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The home was constructed in the 1830s by the Howell family, which was well known in the area for owning whaling ships. They sold the home to another whaling entrepreneur, Hannibal French — the mansion’s namesake.

Compass’ David Cox, who has the listing, called the property the “anchor of Main Street.”

For-sale inventory remains low on the East End, as it does nationwide. However, more Hamptons and North Fork homes hit the market in April than in the same month last year, according to Miller Samuel’s report for Douglas Elliman.

New Hamptons listings rose 41 percent year-over-year. Contract signings were flat.

Holden Walter-Warner

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