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The history of Mather barns goes back well over 100 years. The most recent iteration, the Elizabeth W. Chilton Education Center, was built in 2020.
Joseph Mather and William Mather, his brother, who were both grandson's of Deacon Joseph Mather, constructed a new barn 120 feet west of the house in 1891 to replace the prior structure which dated back to the late 1770s. In 1905 the barn was destroyed by a fire. The pond currently known as ‘Mathers Pond’ had recently been let down in order to repair a dam downstream. Without a supply of water, the barn burned to the ground. A cow was saved, but the fire killed two horses, destroyed the greenhouse as well as a Ford automobile. The first did not damage the other structures on the property. In 1927, Stephen Mather built a new barn which remained on the property until 2020 when it was replaced with the new Elizabeth W. Chilton Education Center. The new barn structure houses lectures, school groups, art exhibits and more, supporting the Mather Homestead’s vision of becoming a preeminent center for historical education in Fairfield County. The 1800 square foot structure resembles an 18th century dairy barn on the exterior with an open interior floor plan in order to maximize the opportunity for gatherings of up to 130 people.
Please proceed to the Site #8: The Root Cellar.