Raymond-Ambler House

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 of sale stipulated that the Town restore the buildings and property so that they could be used by the community. “The original portion of the main Victorian house (exclusive of the attached rear areas), the white barn and the red barn as identified on said Parcel must be preserved in their current condition and brought up to satisfactory code for uses as aforedescribed [education or agriculture].” 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 as soon as funding is secured.

Current Status and Need for Town Support

As of March 2024, the Raymond Ambler House remains unfinished. The Friends of Ambler Farm (FoAF) was formed to help the Town fulfill its obligation, not assume the obligation. FoAF has raised over $500,000 to support the renovation. To complete the restoration, FoAF is asking on behalf of the Town of Wilton for the remaining funds needed to finish the renovation.

Use Plan

The final phase includes completing the interior work as well as site work, including a new patio and garden in the back yard. Once complete, the farmhouse will be used for a variety of educational programs, administrative office space, rentals, activities and events — for children and adults — that celebrate the past, present and future of our community.

We have done an extraordinary job creating immersive outdoor programs, cultivating our fields and maximizing use of the Carriage Barn. By hosting multiple programs, supporting rentals to community groups, and use as our only administrative office space, we have outgrown this one multi-use space.

The completion of the Raymond Ambler House will serve as a hub for community activities and propel us forward for our 20th-year celebration in 2025. It will accommodate more programs, events, exhibits, and meetings, flexible classroom space, a small apartment for a caretaker or seasonal farm hand, and much-needed administrative office space on the second floor. It will enhance our ability to hold historically educational programs. A patio and perennial garden will offer the perfect setting for outside gatherings and enhance our visitors’ experience. Incorporating rain gardens and other sustainable practices to offset our carbon footprint will demonstrate past, present, and future life on a Connecticut farm.

The farmhouse will be transformed into an active representation of our agrarian history, being celebrated today and in the years to come. Finishing the Raymond Ambler Farmhouse isn’t just about construction—it’s an investment in the educational, social, and recreational value Ambler Farm brings to Wilton and neighboring communities. It is indeed a place where good things grow.

Also See