Fairfield History Society
Fairfield History Society
The museum collection contains approximately 15,000 objects, and includes significant collections of clothing and textiles; fine arts, including one of three “key” portraits by Reuben Moulthrop (1763-1814), and the etchings of John Taylor Arms (1887-1952); household furnishings; silver, brass, pewter, tin and ironware, ceramics and glass; clocks by most of Fairfield’s 18th-century clockmakers; toys, dolls, and other recreational items; archaeological artifacts; shipbuilding, woodworking and agricultural implements; and nautical instruments used by local seamen.
The Society's library boasts important holdings which include original manuscripts and records, drawings, photographs and genealogical materials.
The Society also owns and operates the mid-18th century saltbox, Ogden House, one of the few pre-Revolutionary era structures remaining in Fairfield. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the property is located in the Mill River Valley area of Fairfield. A portion of the museum collection has been used to furnish the house as it would have been by its original owners, David and Jane Ogden. The house is open to the public on Sunday afternoons from June to September, and by appointment.
Ogden House is an exceptional survivor of a typical mid-18th century farmhouse. The house, which escaped the burning of Fairfield by British forces during the American Revolution, provides a glimpse into the life of a family of the ''middling sort.'' Called "the new house" in a 1750 deed, this austere saltbox-style house was built for David Ogden at the time of his marriage to Jane Sturges. For the next 125 years it was home for the Ogden family in the farming and coastal shipping town of Fairfield.
Family documents and inventories have been carefully examined to furnish the house appropriately with objects ranging from a "silver hilted sword" and a "tin candle box" to textiles and fine pieces of furniture with Fairfield provenance. Although no longer surrounded by its original farmland or outbuildings, the Ogden House retains its beautiful situation overlooking Brown's Brook in the fertile Mill River Valley. An eighteenth-century style kitchen garden behind the house is laid out symmetrically with raised beds. The garden features vegetables and herbs typical of those used at the time. A bridge across the brook leads to a trail planted with native Connecticut wild flowers and shrubs.
Pictures and information were provided by The Fairfield History Society
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