Comstock, Ferre & Co., of Wethersfield, Connecticut celebrated its 200th Anniversary with a festival on June 5, 2011.
Employees of the company were clad in colonial period apparel in order to re-create an aura of the oldest seed company in Connecticut earlier days when the Connecticut River was of prime importance in providing garden seeds to the Town of Wethersfield and beyond. A section of the property was transformed into a settler’s camp from the 18th Century, featuring colonial reenactors on site that were there to educate and entertain. The day closed with a free screening of the movie “Queen of the Sun” about learning how to save the bees.
Comstock, Ferré & Co., located in Wethersfield, Connecticut, has a colorful agricultural history, and despite being in the cross-hairs for demolition, it has risen again as a vibrant seed house offering heirloom varieties to New England and to all of North America. It began as Wethersfield Seed Gardens with an advertisement for Joseph Belden’s seeds published in the Hartford Courant in 1811. This is the earliest known record of a seed business in Wethersfield.
While a live band played in the gazebo, we enjoyed a leisurely Sunday afternoon walking the grounds and learning from the various crafters – a blacksmith; basket weaving; wool spinning; embroidery; jewelry designer. There were plenty of activities for the children to enjoy. The kids were able to enjoy toys from the colonial era such as a Jacob’s Ladder. I know my own girls always enjoyed the Jacob’s Ladder when we visited Mystic Seaport.
There were local vendors and the debut of their new Sunday Farmer’s Market on site the site of the historic seed company where visitors could buy locally-made products and plants.
The historic seed company is somewhat of an institution on Main Street. Many of my friends had their first jobs as 16-year olds and throughout high school here by the company, which was family-owned at the time. Nothing really has changed, as the floorboards are still wide and slanted; the stairs between the levels are short and; the seed drawers and bins are the original, made out of real wood. The glass in windows are the original colonial rustic panes.
Having grown up in New England, to this day I often think that my body is living in the 21st Century, while my mind is living in the 19th Century!
Comstock Ferre offers a large selection of unusual vegetables and herbs and features an antique machinery museum and a general gift store with with old-fashioned drawers!
For More Information Visit: Comstock Ferre
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