Colonial Craft Fair at the Hempsted Houses

Connecticut Landmarks’ Hempsted Houses present a day filled with historical arts and crafts at the Colonial Craft Fair on Saturday, August 25th0re pleased to  from 1 to 4 pm.

Experience colonial craft demonstrations, including: candle dipping, wool carding, spinning and weaving, dyeing, rope making, and straight-sided barrel making led by the staff of the Hempsted Houses and the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry. Participants may also try their hands at playing an Appalachian dulcimer, an early fretted, stringed instrument, or involve the family with several Colonial children’s games. Special guest Jay Vibert, known as “The Patriot Woodworker,” will be bringing a variety of period woodworking tools to demonstrate techniques used by homebuilders and furniture makers. Learn how vital materials were created in a time long before mass production, as well as their purpose at the homestead. $7 adults, $6 students, seniors and teachers, $4 children 6-18, free for children younger than 6, and members. The Hempsted Houses will be open for tours; crafts available for purchase.

The Hempsted Houses are located at 11 Hempstead Street in New London and will be open for regular tours from May to October. Hours are as follows: May and June, Saturday & Sunday, 1 – 4 pm; July and August, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 1 – 4 pm; September and October, Saturday & Sunday, 1 – 4 pm. Admission is $7 for adults; $6 for students, teachers, and seniors; $4 for children age 6-18; children under 6 and Connecticut Landmarks members are free. Families (2 adults with unlimited children) are $15, groups of 10 or more are $5 each. For school groups and special curriculum-based programming, please contact the education department at (860) 247-8996 x 14. For groups of 10 or more, please call the Hempsted Houses at (860) 443-7949.

About The Hempsted Houses

The 1678 Joshua Hempsted House in New London is one of New England’s oldest and most well documented dwellings. Adjacent to the Joshua Hempsted House is a rare stone house built in 1759 by Nathaniel Hempsted. Both structures survived the 1781 burning of New London and stand today as testaments of 17th and 18th-century daily life. The Hempsted Houses are open from May to October for drop-in visitation and offer youth-based and public programs.

Joshua Hempsted the second was born in 1678 in the house that bears his name. From 1711 until his death in 1758, Joshua kept a diary, which today is one of the best sources about life in colonial New London. Joshua’s diary provides hundreds of pages of valuable information, as well as his insight about early New London people and activities, including the life of enslaved African-American, Adam Jackson. Tours of the Joshua Hempsted House bring to life this diary, engaging visitors with Joshua’s struggle to provide for his family and juggle his many responsibilities.

The stone Nathaniel Hempsted House was constructed for Joshua’s grandson Nathaniel Hempsted. He was a merchant and one of three rope makers in maritime New London.

About Connecticut Landmarks

Founded in 1936 as the Antiquarian & Landmarks Society, Connecticut Landmarks is the largest state-wide heritage museum organization in Connecticut. The historic, landmark properties span four centuries of Connecticut history and include: the Amasa Day House, Moodus; the Amos Bull House, Hartford; the Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden, Bethlehem; the Butler-McCook House & Garden and Main Street History Center, Hartford; the Buttolph-Williams House, Wethersfield; the Hempsted Houses, New London; the Isham-Terry House, Hartford; the Nathan Hale Homestead, Coventry; the Phelps-Hatheway House & Garden, Suffield.


Connecticut Landmarks’ mission is to inspire interest and encourage learning about the American past by preserving selected historic properties, collections and stories and presenting programs that meaningfully engage the public and our communities. For more information, please visit

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