Travel back in time for a weekend of Revolutionary fun at Connecticut Landmarks’ Nathan Hale Homestead with Hale at the Homestead and a Musical Muster on Saturday, July 28th & Sunday, July 29th, hosted by the Nathan Hale Ancient Fife and Drum Corps. During Hale at the Homestead, on Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm, participants will experience a Revolutionary War military encampment as the Nathan Hale Ancient Fifes & Drums reenact the typical daily lives of soldiers in the Colonial army. The afternoon will include tactical demonstrations of period weapons, such as drilling, musket and cannon firing, as well as camp cooking, craft demonstrations, and children’s activities. Suggested donation of $5, children free.
Come back to the Homestead for a traditional New England country barn dance beginning at 7 pm, which will be accompanied by callers Bob Livingston and Patricia Campbell, and live music by The Reel Thing. Come alone or with a partner. No experience is necessary; instruction will be given. Attendees are welcome to dress in period appropriate attire to fully immerse in the experience. Admission to dance is $10, no reservation required.
Then on Sunday at noon, join the Nathan Hale Fife Ancient Fife and Drum Corps and over a dozen Fife and Drum Corps from Southern New England for a Musical Muster and parade featuring an assortment of fifes (flutes) and wooden rope tension snare and bass drums. During Revolutionary War it became customary for each company of 100 or so men to be assigned two fifers and two drummers to sound signals, hours and alarms, as well as play popular music on the march. Musical Muster is free; donations welcome.
Organized in 1965, The Nathan Hale Ancient Fifes & Drums of Coventry, Connecticut have been officially recognized by the State of Connecticut as the reactivated 19th Connecticut Regiment of Foote – Continental Line. The Corps consists of four units: the Field Music; Knowlton’s Connecticut Rangers; Capt. Stephen Buckland’s Artillery; and the Company of Artificers. The musicians are attired in the regimental uniform of Col. Charles Webb’s 19th Connecticut Regiment of Foot in which unit Capt Nathan Hale served in 1776. Their commitment to authenticity has resulted in their having won the coveted recognition from the Company of Military Historians. Several of the muskets carried by the Rangers are actual Brown Bess Tower Muskets not reproductions!
An alumna of the Martha Graham dance school, Patricia Campbell began calling out traditional dance steps in 1987 at a Northeast Music Art and Dance Festival in her hometown, Newtown, CT. She formed the Reel Thing in 2001 with her husband, Bill, a full-time musician who specializes in guitar; Fran Hendrickson, a historian of 18th-century music who plays piano and accordion; Julie Sorcek, who plays flute, piccolo and saxophone; and Gwen Glasser, a local music teacher who plays violin, fiddle, guitar and piano. In addition to touring community halls and other public sites in Connecticut, the Reel Thing performs music and dance programs at historical re-enactments and dance workshops to schools, libraries, historical societies and private groups.
The Nathan Hale Homestead is located at 2299 South Street in Coventry, CT 06238. The Homestead is open for regular tours from May 19th through October 28th. 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.