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'It's sad, very, very sad.' After 350 years, a Connecticut family is auctioning off its historic farmhouse

Kenneth R. Gosselin, The Hartford Courant on

Published in Home and Consumer News

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Before there was Miss Porter's School, Church of St. Patrick or even the American Revolution, there was the farmhouse set back atop a hill at 107 Main St. in Farmington.

The nearly 350-year-old house is notable for its longevity but even more so for its ownership: one family, the Wadsworths, has lived on the property for 11 generations.

But that remarkable pedigree could now come to an end: the house -- once part of an expansive dairy farm -- goes up for auction Nov. 6 after the Wadsworths could no longer find a way to keep it in the family.

"It is sad, very, very sad," Kathy Wadsworth Delano, said, during a recent tour of the house. "We didn't have anyone to take it all over. I've been very emotional about it, but there are are others who are like, 'What else are we going to do?' "

Local historians say they can't think of another house in town that has such a lineage tied to one family. While painful for Wadsworths, a change in ownership eventually comes to virtually all properties.

"The Wadsworths are one of the original proprietors of Farmington, and it's an amazing story," Jay Bombara, a board of member of the Farmington Historical Society, said. "There's something nice to think about this continuity in such a world of change. But these things do happen."


What is more worrisome is what will happen to the structure, a tangible piece of the town's history, tied to its earliest agrarian roots.

The Main Street house is situated in an historic district. But in the 1960s, when the district was being formed, the Wadsworths living in the house at the time chose not to join the district. The district places restrictions on some exterior alterations, particularly those visible from the street.

"That's why preservation is critical to helping us preserve memory and experience," Bombara said. "Look, the house is going sell eventually, one way or another. You just hope the buyer is going to keep the house. I would be surprised if they wouldn't. It seems to me there is a lot of value in the house."



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