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Chateau du Mather…

We know that even in the very late 1800s, the Homestead was an active working farm. From receipts and letters we have found that the farm produced carrots, onions, pears, hay, flax…and yes, grapes…wine grapes.


In an October 1889 letter, David N. Mather writes to his uncle, Joseph

Wakeman Mather…


“…I forgot to say how to send the grapes. If they are put in a good tight flour barrel they will come alright…I picked some of your grapes yesterday. I do not think it will be only five or six gallons of juice.

All send love. Your nephew

David N. Mather…”


And among the bills kept by Joseph Wakeman Mather is one from Budde & Westerman 50 & 52 Vesey Street, New York on May 23, 1895. Their business was “Supplies for Bottlers and

the Wine and Liquor Trade.” The order, sent by train to Darien, was for bottles and corks.

Finally, we have a letter from later that same year, sent by Mary Smith, the wife of Frank Smith, the founder of Pacific Coast Borax and Joseph Wakeman Mather’s employer. The letter sent from R.M.S. Campania on an Atlantic crossing reads in part…


Dear Mr. Mather,

The first thing to do after getting nicely settled in your cabin is sample the “Mather Wine” We did it-it was fine-I think without exception the best-and most delicious wine I have ever

tasted and made by one of the kindest and most thoughtful of men…

…Mother sampled it today and pronounced it better than champagne… As ever Very gratefully

Mary R. Smith…”


So, to even more Mather Homestead discoveries, cheers!


Image 3: Mary Rebecca Thompson Smith


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