We are rooted in a 200 year history that supports local agriculture and community.
The Early Years
Dating back to 1765, Stone Acres Farm is an iconic property and former dairy farm located in coastal Stonington, Connecticut. The farm originally consisted of approximately 225 acres and has been in continual operation since before the Revolutionary War. During most of the 19th century, Stone Acres Farm provided produce to the landowners and the community during the thriving steamship and railroad trade in Stonington.
Over the many years Stone Acres has served as refuge for the residents of Stonington. During the Battle of Stonington in 1814 the house was converted to a makeshift hospital and used to house villagers from the British attack in Stonington harbor. And during the Hurricane of 1938 many stranded train passengers and members of the community relocated to the main house as shelter from the storm.
The Dairy Farm
In the 1930s, Dr. Frederic Paffard introduced pasteurization to the farm, and milk was bottled on site and distributed around town. During the Depression and World War II, the milk was delivered to the community of Stonington. In 1946, the old dairy barn that was once located just east of the still standing Farmhouse was struck by lightning and destroyed by fire.
In addition to its orchards, vegetable gardens, chicken coops, and the dairy farm, Stone Acres Farm has beautiful ornamental gardens dating back to the early 19th century. Many of the plants are still standing today, including the quarter mile of boxwood bushes that frame the formal garden. The gazebo, fish pond, and rose arbors located in the formal garden were first placed there in the late 1800s. The property is currently home to over forty varieties of daffodils and hundreds of varieties of plants, flowers and trees many of which were gifts from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York.
The Manor House
Dr. Charles Phelps built the original manor house in 1765 and it remains a remarkable example of late federal period Victorian architecture with many original decorative details still intact. Dr. Phelps was a prominent physician in the area, and held numerous public offices including that of Probate Judge. In 1774 he joined the revolutionary Committee of Correspondence and in 1788 voted to ratify the U.S. Constitution in the Assembly.
After Dr Phelps's death in 1808 at the age of 76, his son, Joseph D. Phelps continued to live on the property. The son of Joseph D. Phelps, Charles H. Phelps, acquired the property in 1830 and added the front stately portion of the manor house. Charles H. Phelps was a sea captain and merchant in New Orleans, and was involved in paving the streets in both New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama. In 1840, Charles H. Phelps was among those who died on the steamship Lexington, which traveled between New York and Stonington. After his death, the house and property passed from generation to generation eventually ending up in the ownership of Dr. Frederic C. and Helen Adams Paffard in the 1930s. It is currently owned and operated by a group of like-minded investors, some of whom are descendants of the original owners.
The two greenhouses on the property are some of the oldest in the state. The smaller one, which is still used at a seed propagation house, dates back to 1835 and was designed by the prominent firm Lord & Burnham. The larger greenhouse, called the Grapery, produced fresh citrus and grapes year-round for the Phelps and Edwards families and is currently used for perennial plant seedlings.