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‘Talk, Tea, and Tour’ at Sarah Whitman Hooker Homestead in West Hartford

Sarah Whitman Hooker House. Submitted photo

A ‘Talk, Tea, and Tour’ will be held at the Sarah Whitman Hooker Homestead in West Hartford on Saturday, April 6, 2019.

Submitted

The story of the Sarah Whitman Hooker Homestead begins around 1715 when Ensign Timothy Seymour purchased the land on the top of a hill four miles from the Old Statehouse in Hartford, CT.

Over the next four years he developed the plans for “my mansion house on Four Mile Hill” which was to be his residence, and he began construction of the first phase: a first floor living room with chamber above. The house was later expanded to include a tavern room and another bedroom above it.

Then came a saltbox-style ell across the back. This was how the house looked at the time of the American Revolution.

During the Revolution, Sarah Whitman Hooker, widow of Thomas Hart Hooker, kept the property viable by continuing to farm the fields, providing tavern services to the townsfolk and travelers along the busy route, and in the fall of 1775, she took in as paying guests two British officers who had been arrested on the authority of Governor Trumbull.

In February 1776 the townspeople came to tar and feather Colonel Skene and his son Captain Andrew Skene. Mrs. Hooker persuaded them to disperse., and in so doing she may have saved the Revolution single handed. We’ll explain during the tour of the house.

After the fighting moved to the southern colonies, Mrs. Hooker remarried. She and her new husband continued to live in her house and raise Abigail and Tom Jr., her two children by Tom Hooker. In 1793 she became a widow again and a year later she sold the house to her children for “love and affection and a $1 each.” On the same day, Tom Jr. and Abigail sold the house to their cousin Sarah Seymour Mills.

She and her husband moved in and began to remodel the house, which we explain on the tour. The changes were completed by 1810. The house has been returned to its roots in the 18th and early 19th centuries. All furnishings and decorations today on view are authentic to that period.

On Saturday April 6, 2019, there will be a talk about the founding of the first women’s college in Connecticut. Two re-enactors in Colonial uniforms with their wives will discuss what life was like in the military and on the home front during the Revolution, and 18th century tea accompanied by sandwiches and sweets will be served.

Tours of the Homestead will be provided. During the tour, Thomas Hooker’s service in the Revolutionary War and how Bristow (the slave) achieved his freedom will be explained.

The Sarah Whitman Hooker House is located at 1237 New Britain Ave., West Hartford. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for children.

Call 860-521-2455 for reservations, and for more information, please call Martha Fransson at 860-841-6860.

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