Freshly stripped and painstakingly repainted, the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum is a gleaming white tribute to the whaling era that put Sag Harbor on the map in the 19th century. A capital campaign boosted by the local community is underway to renovate the entirety of this Greek Revival manse designed by prominent 19th-century architect Minard LaFever. Its storied past reflects the rise of the whaling era in this harbor village. Built first as a whaling magnate's homestead, the handsome structure was later the summer retreat of Sag Harbor's celebrated philanthropist Mrs. Russell Sage. By 1920, the building had been purchased by the local chapter of the Masonic Lodge. The local historical society gained access to the exhibit space, turning the lower portion of the mansion into a museum in 1945.

The museum grounds have ample space to showcase the harpoons, whale oil cauldrons, and rowboats used by Sag Harbor whalers, bringing to life the adventure and harsh realities of their seafaring trade. The massive homestead showcases sweeping vistas of the harbor, exquisitely detailed plaster ceilings, hand-carved doorways and a temple-fronted portico with ornate Corinthian columns. As you enter, don't miss the whale jaw that frames the front door.