Way Back When … 1935
Since 1935, the Fairfield Garden Club has worked tirelessly on the gardens at the historic Odgen House, a local saltbox home built in 1750 for Jane and David Ogden. The property off Bronson Road is now two acres, and is bisected by Browns Brook. The original house is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is owned by the Fairfield Museum & History Center.
Back in the 1930s, the owner of Ogden House was a member of the Fairfield Garden Club, Mary Allis, a renowned antique dealer who bought the property in 1931 from Annie Burr Jennings. Her interest in a slope-side herb garden near the house and wildflowers matched the club’s interest in establishing a period garden, and the group created plans for a garden there. After selling the property, Miss Allis remained as a tenant to 1974.
The Fairfield Museum (then known as the Fairfield Historical Society) took over ownership of the property in 1974, and over the years the role of the Fairfield Garden Club evolved and grew. It created wildflower gardens in the woods, added a pedestrian bridge over the watercourse, and created and maintained borders of plants close to the house for forty years. Renowned historic landscape designer Anne Leighton was later involved in creating a garden like one that Jane Ogden would have had.
For over eight decades, the Fairfield Garden Club has continued to monitor, design, plant, revise, enrich and transform this colonial homestead, and to this day, every member of the club volunteers time to work on this site.
The 1750 Ogden House & Colonial Garden is located at 1520 Bronson Road, Fairfield.. It is open on Sundays, 1-3:30 p.m. from June to September and by appointment.