The 22 acre Bushnell Farm is privately owned by Herb & Sherry Clark of Essex and preserved as a rare example of Connecticut agriculture and enterprise in the pre-industrial age. Located in Old Saybrook on the Boston Post Road, the 17th century house and farm were occupied by the Bushnell family for two hundred years. The post and beam house was built in 1678 by The Elder Joshua Bushnell making it among the five oldest houses in Connecticut. Surrounded by impressive stone walls, the five other farm buildings sit on their original sites.
The 18th century barn is filled with horse drawn agricultural equipment and the attached carriage house with sleighs, carriages and equipage. The working blacksmith forge, listed in the probate inventory, was recently restored. In addition to farming, the Bushnell's were a family of weavers and the loom house is equipped with a period loom and spinning equipment for both wool and flax. Another building was filled with Herb's collection of 19th century wares to create a charming country store. The old caretaker's cottage serves as the equcation headquarters when the Farm is opened for schools, for historical societies, for the Connecticut River Museum Summer Camp, and for other kindred groups.
As part of the on-going restoration of the site, the original pasture and the cow path to the Farm pond have been cleared of trees. Current plans including and Indian wigwam in the nearby grove to help interpret the contact between the native inhabitants and the English settlers. Representative period gardens are planted with corn, vegetables, herbs and flax that was processed into linen. An orchard has been replanted to assist in interpreting the important of cider to early Americans and to the Bushnell family. The Bushnell Farm is an extraordinary site where families can learn together about the agricultural heritage that all of us share.