On Saturday and Sunday, October 20th and 21st, from 10 am to 4 pm, Connecticut Landmarks’ Nathan Hale Homestead will host a military encampment presented by the Brigade of the American Revolution in celebration of the Town of Coventry’s 300th Anniversary. Witness firsthand what life might have been like for the common solider, camp follower and civilian during the American Revolution. Observe the challenges endured by both American Patriots and British Redcoat soldiers on military campaign and gain a sense of the struggles our forefathers endured to secure our freedom from British rule. Participants will take in the sights, sounds and smells of soldiers in authentic Revolutionary War uniforms as they demonstrate tactics used in 18th-century skirmishes and battles, the sounds of muskets boom and cannon roar in the heat of battle and the smell of food cooking over open fires.
This weekend’s encampment will provide an excellent opportunity to converse with the Brigades many historians about our Nation’s fight for freedom and liberty. Imagine what life was like and what life could have been like for those living in Connecticut if traitor Brigadier General Benedict Arnold had pushed further North into CT with his British Redcoat troops, after his attack on the ports of Groton and New London.
The encampment runs from 10 am to 4 pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Skirmishes and tactical demonstrations are scheduled to begin at 10:45 am and 2:30 pm on Saturday; and at 2:30 pm on Sunday. $5 suggested donation, children admitted for free.
The Brigade of the American Revolution is a non-profit living history association dedicated to recreating the life and times of the common soldier of the American War for Independence, 1775-1783. Members represent elements of all the armies then involved: Continental, Militia, British, Loyalist, German, French, Spanish and Native American forces plus civilian men, women and children. Since 1962, the Brigade has been recreating a broad spectrum of the 18th-century military life. Its activities include military encampments, tactical exercises, firelock shooting competitions, craft demonstrations and social activities. The Brigade also conducts annual schools and educational seminars featuring experts from several fields of 18th-century study.
The Nathan Hale Homestead is located at 2299 South Street in Coventry, CT 06238. The Homestead is open for regular tours from May through October. Hours are: May, Saturday & Sunday 12 – 4 pm; June – September: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 12 – 4 pm & Sunday 11 am – 4 pm; October: Saturday 12 – 4 pm & Sunday 11 am – 4 pm. Open on Monday Holidays –Memorial Day, Labor Day and Columbus Day, and the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Admission is $7 for adults; $6 for students, teachers and seniors; $4 for children age 6-18; children under 6 and CTL members are free. Families – 2 adults with children – are $15; groups of 10 or more are $5 per person. For school groups and special curriculum-based programming, please call Beverly York, Site Administrator, at (860) 742-6917 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, the Homestead hosts the Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market on Sundays, 11 am to 2 pm, June through October.
About the Nathan Hale Homestead
The Hale Homestead is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the birthplace of Connecticut’s State Hero, Nathan Hale. The house, built in 1776, belonged to Nathan Hale’s parents and family, and is located on the only site he ever called home. Nathan was one of twelve children born to Richard and Elizabeth Hale.
Nathan Hale was a Yale-educated school teacher and was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the Continental Army in 1775. A year later he volunteered to go behind British lines on Long Island to gather military intelligence desperately needed by General George Washington, but the British captured Hale and, when they discovered he was a spy, hanged him. He was only 21. He is famous for his alleged last words, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”
In 1776 Hale’s father, Deacon Richard Hale built the new home on the family homestead which has changed little since. It’s situated on 17 acres, adjoining the 1500-acre Nathan Hale State Forest. Its furnishings include several Hale family possessions and other collections amassed by pioneer Connecticut antiquarian George Dudley Seymour, who purchased the homestead in 1914 and began a program of restoration and furnishing that is largely preserved today.
About Connecticut Landmarks
Founded in 1936 as the Antiquarian & Landmarks Society, Connecticut Landmarks is the largest statewide heritage museum organization in Connecticut. The historic landmark properties span four centuries of Connecticut history and include: the Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden, Bethlehem; the Butler-McCook House & Garden and Main Street History Center, Hartford; the Buttolph-Williams House, Wethersfield; the Hempsted Houses, New London; the Isham-Terry House, Hartford; the Nathan Hale Homestead, Coventry; the Phelps-Hatheway House & Garden, Suffield.
Connecticut Landmarks’ mission is to inspire interest and encourage learning about the American past by preserving selected historic properties, collections and stories and presenting programs that meaningfully engage the public and our communities. For more information, please visit www.ctlandmarks.org.