Sips & S'mores - AND SNOW!
Saturday, February 6, 2, 3:30 and 5 pm

Over 30 families headed to the Homestead for s'mores over a campfire.  


Many thanks to Darien Boy Scouts Troop 53 who ensured fires were safe and stoked with wood.  And thanks to Darien Scout dads who showed our eager young attendees how to chop wood safely!  

Pictures right! 

Mixologist Derek Brown Comes (Virtually) to the Homestead
Saturday, January 30, 7 pm


We welcome Derek Brown, writer, mixologist and expert on the history and culture of spirits and drinks, for a virtual cocktail hour discussion.  His book, Spirits Sugar Water Bitters: How the Cocktail Conquered the World, tells the story of the cocktail, "the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet," according to H.L. Mencken.  

Derek is known to be not only a great mixologist, but also a great speaker. And Playboy Magazine named him as one of "the ten entertainers, thought leaders and heroes who'll save us in 2017." Maybe he'll save us in 2021?! 

Derek will regale us with stories of what the Founding Fathers drank (spoiler alert ... it wasn't water).  He will also show us how to mix up some fabulous cocktails (fire involved, do not try this at home).  

$100 for two -- includes book, food (hearty hors d'oeuvre box) + cocktails (one of Derek's concoctions), and evening of fun! Pickup of book+food+drink at Mather Homestead on Sat., Jan 30 between 4 and 5 pm. TICKETS

A Visit from St. Nicholas


Santa visited the Homestead on Saturday, December 19th and enjoyed a socially-distanced visit with over 100 children.  Each child received a stocking filled with traditional colonial toys and treats from Santa -- nothing electronic!  

Visitors ... if you don't see a photo of your family please email us and we will find one!  PHOTO GALLERY

Music at Mather:  Con Fuoco String Quartet

Sunday, December 13, 4 pm


Back by popular demand, the Con Fuoco String Quartet returned to the Mather Homestead Barn for a holiday concert.  These accomplished young musicians, Ari Matsushita, Kay McIlhenny, Josh Bustamente and Ami Matsushita, performed an hour long program including:  

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), String Quartet in F Major, Op. 35

  1. Allegro moderato

  2. Assez vif

  3. Très lent

  4. Vif en agité  


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), The Nutcracker Suite

  1. Overture

  2. Dance of the Reed Flutes

  3. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

  4. March


Christmas Carols

  1. Angels We Have Heard on High

  2. Silent Night

  3. God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen

  4. We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Click to view video

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Happy Hour at the Homestead

Happy Hour at the Barn!

Friday, November 6, 5:30-7 pm 

Our Halloween Happy Hour was postponed with a terrible forecast for the Friday before Halloween.  Just under 50 guests (in accordance with phase 2 CT guidelines) enjoyed a beautiful night under the stars - plus our special witch's brew and tours of the Homestead!


Book Club:  History Take 2

Thursday, October 29, 7 pm


Our first book in the “History, Take Two” series was Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas which was billed by The Guardian as a “fearless, brilliant history of racist thinking spanning 500 years.” We had a very interesting discussion about race and social justice led by Page Berger of Barrett Bookstore

Music at Mather:  Con Fuoco String Quartet

Sunday, October 4, 4 pm


We introduced our "Music at Mather" series with the classical sounds of the Con Fuoco String Quartet.  These accomplished young musicians, Ari Matsushita, Kay McIlhenny, Josh Bustamente and Ami Matsushita, performed an hour long program:  

- String Quartet in G Major KV 156, Mozart;

- String Quartet no. 11 in F Major Op. 96 "American," Dvorak;

- Eine Kleine Nacht Musik in G Major KV 525, Mozart.  


If you missed this concert, don't worry as we will have them back, by popular demand, for a holiday concert in December

How to Sketch Plein Air

Thursday, September 24, 4:30 - 6:00 pm


Learn the art of landscape painting! A special lesson on how to sketch plein air with Lisa Thoren. Creating outdoors, while working at a social distance, we will discover techniques to learn perspective, composition and values. Includes wine to help your creative inspiration :-).  

Limited to five people.   $50 per person.  Sign up.

BARNRAISER!  A fun and safe night on Sept. 19

Many thanks to all who came to celebrate the completion of our new "barn," the Elizabeth W. Chilton Education Center, at our September 19th "Barnraiser."  This event was fun and safe - "picnic style."  We enjoyed fun live music from Sweet Colleen and the Poor Excuses (bluegrass!),  gourmet boxed dinners from TOASTs, specialty cocktails from SoNo1420, and wine from DB Wines in New Canaan all under the beautiful starry night.  


The new barn will house lectures, school groups, art exhibits and more, enabling the Mather Homestead to reach its vision of becoming a preeminent center for historical education in Fairfield County.  Thank you to the Richard L. Chilton, Jr. Family, The Darien Foundation, the McPherson Family and our many other generous donors for making it possible.  


Check us out in the Darien Times

Book Club featuring My Dear Hamilton 

Thank you to Richard Cortright for leading a great discussion of My Dear Hamilton:  A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie on Wednesday, July 29th.  We all enjoyed a socially distanced glass of rose on the back porch while debating the merits of the book.  Survey says it's worth a read!   So far our book club has enjoyed this historical fiction novel plus The British Are Coming, Rick Atkinson's first book in a planned trilogy about the American Revolution; Founding Gardeners, which explores the American Revolution through our country's original gardens; Tory Hole, enjoyed by our youngest Mather readers; and our first book, Little Women.  What would you like to read next?  Click here if you have suggestions!


Plein Air Week June 2020-- thank you artists!

Thank you to the artists who came to the Mather Homestead in order to enjoy the grounds and paint, draw, photograph, etc!  We are excited to share some images from the week.  We look forward to featuring all of the artwork on display in our new barn this fall.

Rick Atkinson, The British Are Coming!

Virtual Book Club

Thursday, May 28th, 6 - 7 pm

While our Scholar's Lecture with Rick Atkinson (more information below) has been postponed to the fall, we look forward to a lively discussion of his book this Spring!  Kevin Peraino, Mather Homestead board member, historian/author, and director of the Jay Heritage Center in Rye, NY will lead the discussion.  Books available at Barrett for 10% discount - please buy local!  Please sign up for our free book discussion.  

Did you miss the "All Star" tour?  

On Sunday, March 1st, Docents Gordon Hastings AND Donn Smith gave ~20 guests an "all star" tour of the Homestead.

Please click here to hear the story of the Mather Homestead as told by Gordon Hastings and click here to see interesting Mather Homestead artifacts discovered by Donn Smith!

"Show & Tell" -- from the Attic of the Mather Homestead

Saturday, November 16th, 4pm

Mather Homestead docent and blog author, Donn Smith, has been spending time in the Mather Homestead attic!  He will share with us the many treasures he has discovered.  A bible from 1743.  A girl's dress from the 1860's.  Stephen Mather's camera.  AND MORE!  Enjoy tea, cookies and treasures abound!  Free. RSVP

Fall Book Club Event on Founding Gardeners

Wednesday, November 6th, 7pm

Explore the American Revolution through a new prism, our country's original gardens and horticulture. Writer and local historian Kevin Peraino will lead a discussion for all history lovers. Free. RSVP

3rd Annual Fall Harvest Festival

Saturday, November 2nd, 12-3pm

Our popular Harvest Festival is back! Save the date for pony rides, historical crafts and fall treats! Online ticket sales closed - please purchase at the homestead

Cocktails and Conversation
Sunday, October 20, 5-7pm

Over 40 guests joined us to celebrate the groundbreaking of our new Education Center and the second year of the foundation.

Fall Clean Up Day in the garden

Saturday October 12, 1-4pm

Community members and Darien scouts joined us to weed, paint, rake and wash the terrace and surrounding property. Thank you to all volunteers!

Kids Book Club on Tory Hole

Children 7-12 joined Darien children's librarian Elisabeth to discuss of Tory Hole on July 30th, 2019. Written in 1940, Tory Hole tells the story of British troops who took refuge in a cave in Tokeneke during the revolution.  It's an exciting tale about spies, smugglers and marauding Tories that became a hit with young history students everywhere!

Scholars Lecture on Friends Divided:  John Adams and Thomas Jefferson

Scholars Lecture:  Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 6:30 pm

On April 24, 2019, Gordon Wood, Professor Emeritus for the History Department of Brown University and Pulitzer Prize winner, discussed his most recent book Friends Divided:  John Adams and Thomas Jefferson to a sold out audience.  Little trivia fact ... Professor Gordon Wood was mentioned by Matt Damon in the film "Good Will Hunting"!  

Story time for Kids
Sunday, December 16, 2018, 4:00 pm

Kids 5 to 10 listened to the classic American Christmas poem "Twas the Night Before Christmas", made a popcorn and cranberry garland and had snacks and cocoa.  Join us next year for a repeat event!

Harvest Festival

November 3rd, 11-2

Our 2nd annual Fall Harvest Festival was once again a huge success with pony rides, historical crafts, scavenger hunt, fall treats and fun!  Join us next year!  

The Mather Homestead Scholars Lecture

The Mather Homestead welcomes esteemed academics of American History for lectures.  On Thursday, April 19 at 7 pm, the Homestead welcomed Harold Holzer, scholar of Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the American Civil War Era.  He won the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize and four other awards in 2015 for his book, Lincoln and the Power of the Press.  His topic:  "Lincoln and the Press:  Fake News 19th Century Style".  Stay tuned for information on our next event. 

Dinner at the Mather Homestead

The Mather Homestead welcomed guests for dinner in February, 2018. Limited dinners are available for up to 10 people.  Please contact our office to discuss further.   

© 2017 by The Mather Homestead Foundation. 

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19 Stephen Mather Road, Darien, CT  06820

Mailing address:  PO Box 1054, Darien, CT  06820, 203-202-7602

"He laid the foundation of the National Park Service, defining and establishing the policies under which its areas shall be

developed and conserved unimpaired for future generations. There will never come an end to the good that he has done."            

-Louis C. Cramton, referring to Stephen T. Mather (1867-1930)