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The Mather Homestead teen board launches its second Essay Contest for middle school students on October 16!


The topic:  Why is it important to preserve and learn about places like the Mather Homestead?  


About the Mather Homestead:

The Mather Homestead, Darien's historic home on the four corners of Brookside and Stephen Mather Roads, was built in 1778 by Deacon Joseph Mather, son of Moses Mather, the first minister of the First Congregational Church of Darien and a fiery patriot. The house was famously raided by Tories during the Revolutionary War. It was later the home of Stephen Tyng Mather, an avid conservationist and the first Director of the National Park Service. Following Stephen's death in 1930, the house was lived in by his daughter, Bertha Mather McPherson, one of the first female architects in Connecticut and a founding member of the Darien Historical Society.  She filled the house with a collection of period antiques and tended the gardens while raising her three children (the sixth generation of Mathers to live in the home). The home became a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.  In 2017, the Mather Homestead was deemed a "Protected Town Landmark" by the town of Darien and donated by the McPherson siblings to a newly created foundation to be operated as a museum dedicated to community education. 

The Mather Homestead Foundation Mission Statement:

The Mather Homestead Foundation is dedicated to the preservation of the Mather Homestead, built in 1778 and enjoyed by seven generations of Mather descendants, as a treasured place for public education and enjoyment.  The Foundation is committed to raising awareness of the Homestead’s unique history, dating back to the Revolutionary War, and Stephen Tyng Mather’s legacy as an important conservationist and the founder of our modern National Parks System.  

House photo june 2023.jpg

Essay question:

  • Why is it important to preserve and learn about places like Mather Homestead?



  • Open to students in grades 6 through 8

  • No more than 500 words

  • 1 winner per grade to be chosen.


Essays will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Essay demonstrates an understanding of the topic and compelling answer.

  • Essay is well written with proper punctuation and grammar.

  • Essay shows a personal perspective and interest in the topic. 



  • Please let us know via the form right that you plan on submitting an essay

  • Submit by Friday, December 1st at 9 pm to with subject line:  ESSAY CONTEST

  • Winners will be announced on December 15th



  • Glory + TBD! :-)


Mather Homestead teen board:

Katie Barr, Consuelo Bowman, Todd Cannaliato, Caroline DiBiasio, James Dibiasio, Bella Fiordalis, Daley Keogh, Alex Kettell, Quincy Kettell, Sydney Kettell, Claire Maruszewski, Ali Meyer, Ava Mohr, Luke Richards, Luke Riley, Matthew Riley, Sofia Schimmeck, Luca Singh, Lily Stricker, Sarah Williams

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