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

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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.

Music at Mather - Caryn Lin, Electric Violinist

Saturday, March 6th

3 pm - kids $25 ($15 member)

5 & 7 pm - adults $35 ($25 member)

Limited to 22 people per session under COVID guidelines

Caryn plays her four, five and size string electric violins, using looping to create short, on-the-spot recordings of her violin, voice and percussion instruments.  As she plays the violin, the recorded snippets play back in a continue loop adding fascinating layers of sound over deceptively simple melodies.  The result is a live show that is spectacular and like no other - otherworldly, catchy and mesmerizing!

Chocolate through Time

Thursday, April 8

7 pm, Virtual

Chocolate + prosecco + flowers = a great night!


Learn about the history of chocolate from its ancient beginnings in Meso-America through the centuries to the modern day.  An interactive presentation will focus on how chocolate has changed through time both in terms of its cultural value and how mechanization has altered its production process over time. A timeline of how chocolate evolved as an ingredient in recipes will also be explored.  The presentation includes a chance to taste an assortment of historic chocolate recipes!   

$75 includes chocolate tasting box + prosecco + flower arrangement = treat yourself!

Scholars Lecture
Dr. Lindsay M. Chervinsky,  Thursday May 6, 7 pm
Dr. Lindsay M. Chervinsky is an expert on the presidency, the cabinet, and government institutions. She is currently Scholar in Residence at the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies at Iona College and Senior Fellow at the International Center for Jefferson Studies. Previously, she was a historian at the White House Historical Association and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. She received her B.A. in history and political science from the George Washington University, and completed her masters and Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. She is the author of the award-winning The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution, which was published by Harvard University Press on April 7, 2020. Her work has been published in the Washington Post, USA Today, The Hill, CNN, Governing Magazine, TIME, and more. When she’s not writing, researching, or speaking about history, she loves to hike with her husband and her dog, John Quincy Dog Adams.    
Tea in the Garden with Victoria Johnson
Wednesday, June 2, 12:00 p.m.

Join us for a hearty tea and lively lecture by historian Victoria Johnson.  Johnson's talk features her latest book, American Eden, which both the Wall Street Journal and Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton) have called “captivating.” American Eden was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award in Nonfiction, the 2018 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography, and the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in History. It was also a New York Times Notable Book of 2018.  


When Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr met on a dueling ground in July 1804, they chose the same attending physician: David Hosack. Family doctor and friend to both men, Hosack is today a shadowy figure at the edge of a famous duel, the great achievements of his life forgotten. But in 1801, on twenty acres of Manhattan farmland, Hosack founded the first public botanical garden in the new nation, amassing a spectacular collection of medicinal, agricultural, and ornamental plants that brought him worldwide praise from the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Sir Joseph Banks, and Alexander von Humboldt. In an age of rampant epidemics and dangerous treatments, Hosack used his pioneering institution to train the next generation of American doctors and naturalists and to conduct some of the first pharmacological research in the United States. In this talk, Victoria Johnson takes us back to old New York, when the nation’s founders strolled the city sidewalks and most of Manhattan was a green island.


More information about the book is at americaneden.org.

About the author


Victoria Johnson is Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at Hunter College of the City University of New York, where she teaches on philanthropy, nonprofits, and the history of New York City. She earned her undergraduate degree in philosophy from Yale in 1991 and her Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia in 2002. She taught for thirteen years at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor before moving back to New York. 

© 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

info@matherhomestead.org, 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)