December 11, 2018

Spring on the Homefront 1776 at Bushnell Farm, May 28

Plowing with a team of horses is one of the free events at Bushnell Farm on May 28. photo by Jody Dole

Plowing with a team of horses is one of the free events at Bushnell Farm on May 28. photo by Jody Dole

OLD SAYBROOK – Bushnell Farm will be open to the public on Saturday, May 28, for its annual free spring event.  This year the farm will be shearing sheep at noon and plowing the field with horses in the early afternoon. The private 22 acres are owned by Herb and Sherry Clark of Essex and is opened for seasonal events, for school programs and for summer camp for the Connecticut River Museum.  Located at 1445 Boston Post Road in Old Saybrook, the event is free with on-site parking.

The event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., looks back 240 years to 1776, the outbreak of the American Revolution and the role that families played in supplying the troops. The Bushnell family were weavers as well as farmers and timber suppliers. They would have woven blankets, cloth for coats and tow-cloth for army tents. In 1776 the town of Saybrook, which included the present towns of Chester, Deep River, Essex, Westbrook and Old Saybrook, was responsible for equipping and supplying militia soldiers from Saybrook throughout the nine long years of war.

Visitors on May 28 can help with washing, dyeing, carding and spinning wool that will be woven into blankets for soldiers. They can learn about processing flax, which was turned into linen for a variety of uses.  If you ever wanted to walk behind a plow, this is your chance. Foxglove Farm will be plowing for planting wheat to sell to the town to feed their soldiers. The blacksmith will be making cooking utensils to send to troop encampments and there will be a host of other “domestic industries” underway.

This 17th-century house and farmstead is used to interpret agriculture and industry in the pre-industrial age. The private 22 acres are owned by Herb and Sherry Clark of Essex and are opened for seasonal events, school programs and summer camp for the Connecticut River Museum.  Located at 1445 Boston Post Road in Old Saybrook, the event is free with on-site parking. For more information, call (860) 767-0674.

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