The Hill-Stead Museum’s farmers market is back for its fifth year. The farmers market opens this Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and Peggy Hall, the market’s manager, talks about what’s in store for opening day.
Hill-Stead Museum’s Farmers Market was established in 2009 with support from the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism. It was established to honor the agricultural history of Hill-Stead, as inspired by architect and founder Theodate Pope Riddle.
Hill-Stead’s Farm was the embodiment of Theodate Pope Riddle’s childhood dream. Theodate, one of this country’s first licensed female architects, transformed 10 existing farm properties, amounting in aggregate to about 250 acres, into a country estate for her parents. She designed the 33,000-square-foot, 1901 Colonial Revival-style house to showcase the Impressionist masterpieces and other collections amassed by her father, Cleveland iron industrialist Alfred A. Pope. Theodate incorporated an existing 18th-century barn and farmhouse with buildings of her own design including the gambrel- roofed hay barn, to complete the farm complex, which she ran as a fully operational dairy farm from 1901-1946. Hill-Stead’s Farm was a progressive research station experimenting with selective breeding and milk production. The dairy herd was comprised of 25 pedigreed Guernsey cows.