RECENT EVENTS

Easter Egg Roll

Saturday, April 3, 1:00 pm

The Easter Bunny came to the Mather Homestead for an old fashioned Easter Egg Roll.  Events inclueded of course, egg rolling (wooden egg and spoon provided), plus outdoor games, crafts Easter treats and live music!  Every child left with an easter basket

 

Did you know?

- The Easter Egg Roll has been a White House tradition since 1878.  

- The roll is perhaps symbolic of the rolling away of the rock from Jesus Christ's tomb before his resurrection.  

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Flowers & Fun

Thursday, April 1, 5:30 and 7:30 pm

Sipping & clipping at the Mather Homestead Barn!  Each attendee left with a beautiful flower arrangement.  

Caryn Lin, Electronic Violinist

Saturday, March 6, 3, 5 and 7 pm

 

Caryn performed not once, not twice, but thrice at the Mather Homestead on March 6th in order to provide a socially distanced experience to 60 enthusiastic listeners.  Caryn's performance was truly mesmerizing and very entertaining as promised!  Check out the video to see how old time fiddling has evolved into an electronic form of entertainment.  Caryn played her four, five and six string electric violin and used "looping" to create short, on-the-spot recordings of her violin, voice, and percussion instruments. (Think Ed Sheeran!).  Caryn will certainly be invited back for another performance post covid-19 so we hope to welcome all of you who missed her then!

Click for video on facebook live

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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! 

February Break Tours for Kids

Monday, February 15 and Tuesday, February 16, 10 and 11 am

Looking for something to do with the kids over February Break?  Bring them to the Homestead for a tour!  Please sign up for just your family or include others who may be in your "pod."  Maximum of 6 people per tour.  Masks required!  
Requested donation of $10 per person.
SIGN UP
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Mather Homestead Book Club
Wed., February 10, 7 pm, The Barn
First Principles:  What America's Founders Learned from the Greeks and Romans and How that Shaped Our Country, by Thomas E. Ricks


It's hot off the press (published November 10, 2020), a Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a NY Times Top Pick, and a much talked-about book.  First Principles offers a revelatory account of the founding fathers, examining their educations and, in particular, their devotion to the ancient Greek and Roman classics—and how that influence shaped their ideals and the new American nation.  Great winter reading for a lively February discussion!

NY Times Review

First Principles at Barrett Bookstore

Tell us you're coming!

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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

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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

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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!

 

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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

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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

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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.

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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.  

MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT

Check us out in the Darien Times

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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!

 

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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.

Diana Galik house barn and tree oil
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Diana Galik front of houes and barn oil.
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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.  

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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!

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"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

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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

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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

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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"!  

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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!

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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.   

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