Dinner at the Homestead Celebrates Connecticut History and Agrarian Heritage

Connecticut Landmarks will celebrate the rich agricultural heritage of the Nathan Hale Homestead, and the freshness of Connecticut grown and raised food, with Dinner at the Homestead, prepared by Executive Chef Scott Miller, of Max’s Oyster Bar and Max Catering, on Saturday, September 8th beginning at 5 pm. The evening will commence with Open Homestead, highlighting Colonial demonstrations and museum tours. A special cocktail hour begins at 6 pm and dinner is served at 7 pm.


Dinner at the Homestead will include great friends, great food, and great wine for a magical night in this splendid historic setting. The Nathan Hale Homestead is located at 2299 South Street in Coventry, CT. Registration is required, please call (860) 247-8996 x 23 to register. Tickets are $150 each, which includes a $60 tax-deductible contribution to Connecticut Landmarks.


Dinner at the Homestead features an exceptional, multi-course farm-to-table menu, by Chef Scott Miller. “Freshness is ephemeral, and geography expresses itself in the taste of the food,

sometimes subtly and sometimes profoundly,” says Chef Miller.


“History and cuisine go hand and hand here,” says Sheryl Hack, Executive Director of Connecticut Landmarks. “Fresh, local, organic food graced the Hale family table and is a very sustainable way to eat. Hosting a farm dinner at the Homestead not only celebrates the rich agricultural and patriotic heritage of the site and of Nathan Hale’s family, but also reminds people of the importance of supporting local farms, historic sites and our community.”


Dinner at the Homestead will serve Handcrafted Connecticut-made wine from Sharpe Hill Vineyard in Pomfret, CT.  Receiving more than 250 medals in International tastings, Sharpe Hill Vineyard is Connecticut’s largest winery and is surrounded by more than 100 acres of historic Connecticut landscape. “We are thrilled to be partnering with one of Connecticut’s oldest and most respected preservation organizations,” says Catherine Vollweiler, owner of Sharpe Hill Vineyard.


Dinner at the Homestead will be serving an assortment of beer from Willimantic Brewing Company. Located in the heart of rural Northeast Connecticut, Willimantic Brewing Co. is the maker of over a dozen varieties of beer each month.


A special cocktail created by Connecticut-made Peel Liqueurs in New Britain will also be featured at the dinner.


To date, corporate sponsors of the Dinner include BNY Mellon Wealth Management, The Farmer’s Cow, Fuss & O’Neill, Nathan Hale Inn & Conference Center, PAC Group, People’s United Bank/RC Knox, Pirie Turlington Architects, LLC and Webster Bank. Floral arrangements created and donated by the Suffield Garden Club.


Dinner at the Homestead is Connecticut Landmarks’ signature fundraiser for the 2012 season. Proceeds will be directed to the preservation and promotion of the Nathan Hale Homestead, and the 11 other historic properties owned and operated by Connecticut Landmarks.


History of the Homestead

The agriculture heritage of the Nathan Hale Homestead is at the heart of its story. Richard Hale purchased 240 acres in Coventry in 1745 and moved his family into the Georgian house that still exists on the property in October of 1776. The family’s move occurred just as they learned that their son Nathan was hanged as a spy on September 22, 1776, and when most of the Hale sons were away serving in the American army during the Revolution.


Primarily livestock producers of pigs, sheep, cattle and geese, the Hale family farm also included an orchard, woodlot, vegetable garden, kitchen garden, several barns and pasture. The new house was strategically positioned to face the road to Norwich, which served as a major route for sending livestock to market. The Hales also produced items such as butter, cheese, tallow, soap, cider and raw wool for export. By 1798, the Hale farm was the largest and most valuable farm in Coventry with 450 acres.


The house was sold by the Hale family in 1838 and subsequently used as rental property. New Haven attorney George Dudley Seymour purchased the Hale farm in 1914. His original intention was to restore the farm to what existed during Nathan Hale’s boyhood, but soon realized that stopping the fields from reverting back to forest was a daunting task.  During the 1930s, his interests changed to managing the forest for timber products and wildlife. To carry on this goal, Seymour donated the land surrounding the Homestead to the state of Connecticut in 1945, and the property became the Nathan Hale State Forest which now encompasses 1500 acres. Also in 1945, Seymour bequeathed the house to Connecticut Landmarks following his death. Today, the Homestead is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is Connecticut Landmarks’ most visited museum property.


About Connecticut Landmarks

Founded in 1936, Connecticut Landmarks, formerly known as the Antiquarian & Landmarks Society, is the largest state-wide heritage museum organization in Connecticut. The historic landmark properties include: 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; and 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 present programs that meaningfully engage the public and our communities. For more information, please visit www.ctlandmarks.org.





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