Our History

The Samuel Smith Farmstead represents an outstanding example of a simple Connecticut colonial-era homestead located at, 82 Plants Dam Road, East Lyme, CT.  The house and barn currently sit on 17 acres of rural land which was part of the original homestead. The house is unique, since it is being restored and equally important maintained with accuracy to its beginning in c1685 with additional construction, additions to the house in c1735 and c1812.

The Samuel Smith Farmstead is a remarkably intact colonial house, barn and farm. The farmstead, previously known as the Hurlburt House, was identified and registered in 1979 with the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Commission and the National Register of Historic Places.

The Friends of Samuel Smith House and Property, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The mission of Friends of Samuel Smith House and Property, Inc. is to restore, maintain and preserve the house and property as a living museum of 17th and 18th century Connecticut farm life. The Farmstead is jointly owned by the Town of East Lyme and Niantic Sportsmen’s Club. The Farmstead is overseen by Friends of Samuel Smith House and Property, Inc. Its membership is open to anyone who wishes to support its mission.

Initial funding for the Samuel Smith Farmstead was provided by the Town of East Lyme, the State Historic Preservation Office of the Department of Economic and Community Development through Connecticut’s Historic Restoration Fund and the Community Investment Act of the State of Connecticut and the Niantic Sportsmen’s Club.

It takes money, volunteer labor and many talents to support the Farmstead through the Friends of Samuel Smith House and Property, Inc. and we invite you to join us in our mission as a volunteer. For membership information please visit our Volunteer page.

For information on becoming a member, visit our Become a Member page.

Colonial Garden History

The First Period Colonial Herb and Flower Gardens at the Samuel Smith Farmstead strive to depict a rural farm garden with its typical use of materials-on-hand[1]. The raised dirt beds are utilizing the rocks on the property for borders, and the property’s small stones for the visible drainage trench beneath the roof overhang.

Pathways, where necessary, within and bordering the garden would have been packed soil, boards, bark mulch, crushed sea shells, or tiny pebbles. We have chosen the bark mulch that is on hand for within the garden, and keeping the tiny pebbles that were already on the path to the front door.

Myrtle or Periwinkle (Vinca minor), introduced in the mid-1700s and cultivated as an ornamental, also already on the property, is incorporated in the bank along the street to the garden’s front rock border.

The garden’s flowers and herbs are a selection of those that were in use in the 1600-1700’s (coinciding with the Samuel Smith Farmstead’s existing plant list).  A full list of the plants used is provided.

With an eye to utilization of these gardens for the Samuel Smith Farmstead tours, informational photo pages from the CT Botanical Society website, have provided further information on each plant’s Colonial use, be it culinary, medicinal, and/or insect and odor elimination. These pages, along with existing Samuel Smith Farmstead plant information, make up a mini-interactive presentation for school children.

O’Sullivan, R. H. (n.d.). Dooryard Garden Colonial Herbs.

Support our mission and become a member today!