Just across the Pawcatuck River in Stonington lies the Davis Farm, the oldest working farm in Connecticut. Larry Davis, the 12th generation to farm this land, is milling lumber to help restore and repurpose the landmark Stanton-Davis Homestead.
The Stanton-Davis Homestead, one-hundred years older than the White House and the oldest house in Stonington, is now the Stanton-Davis Homestead Museum. The homestead was a meeting place for three different American cultures: Native Americans, colonists, and African slaves.
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The oldest sections of the house date back to 1670 when Thomas Stanton established a trading post on the Pawcatuck River. He built a two story house as a wedding present for his son. The homestead was the scene of many important stories including the famous story of the African slave Venture Smith.
John Whit Davis, Larry’s father, farmed the land until his death in 2016, and then Larry took over. Whit was determined to preserve and protect his historic home and in 2004 donated the homestead to a newly formed nonprofit corporation that is now working to turn the homestead into a living museum and educational center.
The homestead, after over three-hundred years of use by multiple generations needs extensive repairs if it is to be saved. Gil Bliss, president of the Stanton-Davis Homestead Museum Corporation and an expert in historic preservation, has been leading a team of contractors and dedicated volunteers in the work.
The old milk room at the back of the house will become the museum’s new office and entrance. Most of the lumber being milled today is going to be used for that project.
To find out more about the Stanton-Davis Homestead Museum and the ongoing effort to save this important historic landmark you can visit their website at stanton-davishomestead.org
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