Until we purchased the farm in 2006, the farm remained in the same family since it was built circa 1837. Although passed along from generation to generation, it has seen many changes. It was originally part of the Hayden estate and built by Nathaniel L. Hayden. Nathaniel and his wife, Mary Ann Ellsworth, raised two children here, Mary and Elizabeth. At that time, the land was used as a dairy farm. Elizabeth married into the Clapp family (Theodore Clapp) and from then on, it’s known as The Clapp House. Elizabeth and Theodore go on to have five children. One being Gracie Clapp, an amazing woman.
Gracie never married. Her only love died of typhoid fever. Along with the help of her handyman, Frank Antonacci, she cared for and lived in this home until she died in 1965. As a Botanist, the grounds of the farm continue to bloom with her beautiful plantings. Gracie’s presence is still evident all around the farm.
After Gracie’s death, for the next ten years (the lost years) the farm was inactive and the house was left vacant until it was passed on to a relative. We believe at this time, the main barn was taken down and sold and the goat shelter deteriorated and collapsed leaving one small outbuilding and an outhouse. Although there appears to be attempts to revive the home, it was never restored to its original farming intent.
Farming is in our blood. Our sister farm (really our cousin) is Rothe Homestead Farm , in Ellington, Connecticut. Since we purchased the farm, our goal has been to turn it back into a working farm. Over the past several years we’ve worked on clearing the land for crops and a new barn, as well as restoring the house for our family. Currently we have our honey bees, fresh vegetables, pumpkins, and plans for expansion!
We know many in the area are familiar with our home and someone always seems to have a story to tell. We’d love to hear them and share them on the site! If you have any stories or information you’d like to share about our property, please feel free to contact us via email, phone (860) 573-6321, or stop by the farm when you see us out working!