Built circa 1799 by Josiah Raymond
The project now underway represents the final phase of a master plan for Ambler Farm drawn up in 1999, following the purchase of the property by the Town of Wilton. It is key to accomplishing the mission set out by the deed of sale – to dedicate the entire property (land and buildings) to the “preservation of the agricultural heritage of the Town of Wilton.”
The farmhouse served as the home for the Raymond and Ambler families for nearly 200 years. The deed calls for it to be restored in a way that preserves its architectural character and makes it safe for use by the community. Over the last few decades, this historic structure had deteriorated significantly due to deferred maintenance. When exploratory demolition began in Fall 2008, interesting items turned up including several old shoes and pieces of clothing under the attic floorboards, as well as signatures of various carpenters who had worked on the house.
By December 2010, structural repairs and stabilization of the front section of the house had been completed. Interior pieces were catalogued and stored for future use. Due to funding constraints at the time, structural repairs to the rear section of the house were not completed. Renovation resumed in November 2012 after the Friends of Ambler Farm (FoAF) matched the first of two Town commitments of $125,000 apiece, as approved by Wilton voters.
A collection of images documenting the restoration work completed by 2013 can be downloaded here [PDF].
In May 2014, the Town of Wilton voters approved an additional $250,000 to continue the restoration. Additional funds raised from private individuals, including a generous gift from the Elizabeth Raymond Ambler Trust, allowed FoAF to match the Town’s commitment. Rehabilitation of the interior of the house, as well as site work, will begin soon.
To complete the restoration, FoAF will continue to raise additional funds from public and private sector grants and from donations made by the community.
Once complete, the farmhouse will be home to a variety of educational programs, activities and events — for children and adults — that celebrate the past, present and future of our community.