Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden Grounds Tour

Bethlehem, CT, United States
Est. 187m / 13 mins / Map

Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden Grounds Tour - Cya On The Road

Nestled in the heart of Bethlehem CT, the Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden offers a self-guided tour of the 10-acre landscape, with several attractions of note that add to the charm and beauty of this eighteenth century property. What follows is a brief history of the landscape and garden, from the eighteenth century to the present. In the 1730s, the Reverend Joseph Bellamy arrived to preach in the northern part of Woodbury, now Bethlehem. In 1740, Rev. Bellamy purchased 100 acres of land north of the town green; on it he built his first house and planted an orchard. In 1754, Rev. Bellamy constructed a larger house to accommodate the needs of his growing family. He added a front section in 1767. In addition to raising sheep and cows, growing crops, and maintaining pastures/meadows, Rev. Bellamy opened the first divinity school in America. He prepared dozens of young boys for the ministry, who maintained the farm along with Rev. Bellamy, his seven children, an indentured servant, and several enslaved people. Upon Bellamy's death in 1790, his son David inherited the farm. Through David and his son Joseph Hart Bellamy, the Bellamys retained ownership for 60 years. By Joseph Hart Bellamy's death in 1848, he was operating a fully functioning farm. The farm included several barns, a woodhouse, carriage house, and Joseph H. Bellamy's law office. After Joseph Hart Bellamy passed away, his daughter sold the property to an outside family. In 1912, New Yorkers Henry McKeen Ferriday and Eliza Mitchell Ferriday, purchased the house and farm, with the intention of maintaining the farm operations. They named the property "The Hay," after Henry's ancestral home in England. After extensive renovations, the Ferridays make the "Hay" their second summer home. Henry Ferriday passed away in 1914, leaving his wife Eliza and their only child Caroline Ferriday to manage the property. Eliza and Caroline continued to spend their summers at the Hay, together they transformed the working farm into a Colonial Revival-style landscape. They planted and cultivated an extensive garden space. Upon Eliza Ferriday's death in 1953, Caroline Ferriday assumed management of the property and she spent the next forty years building, updating, and maintaining the landscape. Caroline Ferriday became known for her philanthropy and conservation efforts. She died in 1990, at the age of 86. Ms. Ferriday bequeathed the Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden to Connecticut Landmarks, then the Antiquarian & Landmarks Society. 

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