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Northington Farm, 1940s-1950s; 1970s-1990; 2012

Former owner:
Enders, Ostrom
Enders, Alice
Kershner, Bernard
Kershner, Bonnie
Architects:
Talcott & Talcott
Provenance:
Garden Club of Hartford
Physical description:
1 folder+ 48 digital images; 4 photographic prints
Type:
Mixed archival materials
Place:
United States of America, Connecticut, Hartford, Avon
Connecticut
Avon
Northington Farm (Avon, Connecticut)
Date:
1940
1940-2012
1940s-1950s 1970s-1990 2012
Notes:
Alice and Ostrom Enders called their 57-acre farm 'Northington' in recognition of an historic name of its Connecticut location. The couple commissioned Alice's brothers, Charles Hooker Talcott and Seth Talcott of Talcott and Talcott, to build their house in the latest International Style that had emerged from Europe. Cheviot sheep were raised on the farm and hay was grown in the surrounding fields, and near the barn there was a large vegetable garden with a cutting garden of flowers. In the 1950s a sunken 120-square-foot greenhouse was built onto the shed in which Mrs. Enders raised rare geraniums and other flowers. Three ponds were dug to attract wildfowl which were pinioned and protected by electric fences. Waterfowl were a particular interest of Mr. Enders who raised breeding pairs and incubated eggs in the basement starting in the mid-1950s. Several species were given to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. and the Bronx Zoo in New York. Along with Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley, Mr. Enders bred Nene geese and after several years' efforts sent the hatchlings to Hawaii. In the 1970's a Duck House was built so the waterfowl could winter on the Connecticut property.
The original house was demolished circa 1998 and another house was built in its place. The greenhouse and a mature white oak tree still survive. The current owner has some of the garden and farm tools used by the Enders on display in her home and is interested in restoring the gardens. Ornamental trees have been planted recently.
Ostrom Enders added a three-room library to the original structure to house his collection of 6,000 ornithological and natural history books. The collection was donated to the Watkinson Library at Trinity College in 1982.
Persons associated with the garden include: Ostrom Enders and Alice Dudley Talcott Enders (former owners, 1931-1994); Bernard and Bonnie Kershner (former owners from 1996); Charles Hooker Talcott and Seth Talcott (architects, 1932-1933); William Spivey (caretaker); John Binders (caretaker); Mr. Pang (caretaker); Ray Shookus (caretaker).
Summary:
The folder includes worksheets, extensive personal recollections and a photocopy of an article.
Publications:
Garden has been featured in "A Long, Low House for the Country" published in Art Decoration Magazine, 1934-1935
Garden has been featured in "House of Ostrom Enders" published in Architectural Record 77, March 1935
Garden has been featured in Connecticut Historical Commission Architectural survey, 1997
Topic:
Gardens
Local number:
CT705000
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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