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Old House, New Tricks

An 18th-century farmhouse gets a redo and a barn-raising



“By far, this was the best property we had seen, and the clients recognized it right away,” says Mac Patterson, recalling the day when he and the couple drove up to the hilltop parcel in Washington. The couple had enlisted Patterson’s firm, Austin Patterson Disston Architects, to help them find an old farm in Litchfield County as a second home. With a two-story frame house, a barn, and several outbuildings spread out on a generous amount of land, the property in Washington had everything they were looking for.

“The approach is a long driveway that passes through woods and emerges into farm fields—the view pops open to a fabulous cluster of barns and a main house,” Patterson says. “It is a wonderful sequential experience.” The five-bedroom house is built into the hill, and the front is almost a story above ground level. A long front porch provides a pastoral view of fields sloping down to a pond and a rising slope of woodland beyond. Based on his experience working on historic houses, Patterson estimates that part of the farmhouse dates from the 1700s, with a “major makeover” and expansion done in the 1860s. Some of the building’s most charming features, such as a double front door and a spacious front hall, resulted from the Victorian overhaul. With all their requirements met and then some, the clients pounced. Although the building was structurally sound, the new owners wanted to adapt the layout to their needs. “They have a specific way they use a house,” Patterson says. “She works at home and needed an office. He loved the outbuildings and was always poking around in the barn. They both cook and know what makes a good kitchen: you have to get from the stove to the sink to the fridge with no extra steps, and you need big pantries to see everything at eye level.”

They also asked Patterson to add a breakfast room and restore the intimate scale of the living room, which had been enlarged by a previous owner. Upstairs, they wanted to lose one of the bedrooms and re-use the space for a dressing room, a home office, and a master bathroom.

While the couple took refuge in a former shed that a previous owner had converted into a studio, the rehab got underway. One of the most striking results of the makeover is a dual passageway/pantry linking the sleek new kitchen and the adjacent breakfast room, which had been a sitting room. Re-using some honey-colored pine paneling in the old sitting room, Patterson built two deep portals, one on either side of the sitting-room/breakfast room fireplace. “You have the adjacency of the kitchen, but it’s not in your face if you’re in the next room,” Patterson explains. The wood glows with a patina of age. “The paneled walls of the sitting room had been butchered, so it felt good to use it in a way that brought out its character. After creating the walk-through pantries, we used the rest to line the breakfast room with a low wainscoting.”

In the kitchen, exposed ceiling timbers are painted white to match the rest of the ceiling, honoring the old structure while giving it a modern feeling. The ceiling coffers in the rest of the house are finished. Also downstairs, Patterson restored the front hall, with its curving staircase banister, and uncovered an upstairs window that allows light to illuminate the architectural details in the hall below.

To scale down the master bedroom and living room, while also creating space for the owners’ extensive library, he lined the rooms with deep bookshelves. An expansive armchair in front of a window in the master bedroom invites a comfortable read and at the same time fills the generous corner space. The new home office in a second-floor front room overlooks the pond. The owners chose light, creamy paint colors for the interiors, including the floor of the master bedroom. The warm tones pick up the natural light from the windows to give the spaces a contemporary ambience, in counterpoint to the building’s historical details.

Some of the most significant work took place outside. The house overlooks the long drive, which runs parallel to the front of the house—“We thought it was odd until we learned that the drive had been a public way,” Patterson says—before climbing the hill and ending in a parking area near the back door of the house. From here, no clear cues directed visitors how to enter the house. Patterson clarified the arrival sequence by redesigning the parking area, replacing the back door with a window, and creating a path through an existing stone wall to the front of the house.

Because the structurally shaky barns were important to the couple, they asked Patterson to shore them up. He strung them back together using cables and the existing timber. The result? “They still look like old barns,” he says.

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August 2018

Summer Concert Series Package includes 4 concerts that will be shown all at Hunt Hill Farm. All concerts start at 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on the dates below with artist information. For more...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Opening Reception: August 11, 4-6pm. This event is free and open to the public. MAQUETTE: The Art of the Model is an exhibition of maquettes or models by many of the sculptors currently...

Where:
Washington Art Association
Gallery 4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington Depot, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Join in the fun this summer as we challenge you to OWL Reads! Challenge yourself to read six to nine books this summer! How to participate? Beginning June 20th come to OWL to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Jennifer paints with vibrant hues in multiple layers, capturing her exuberance and fascination with color and texture. She has developed her own style through many years of experimentation,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Meet the CT Clay Artists at a wine and cheese reception, Saturday, August 11, 2018 from 5-8PM.  This unique gallery exhibition includes a display of diverse ceramic art, as well as other...

Cost: Admission Free

Where:
Gallery 25 at New Milford Art Depot
11 Railroad St.
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Gallery 25 at New Milford Art Depot
Telephone: 860-355-6009
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
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View map »


Website »

More information

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 Little Free Library at StoneHill, an official partner with the global sensation nonprofit that has registered more than 75,000 lending books boxes, is offering a week-long summer camp called...

Cost: $200

Where:
Community Center
23 South Street
Just off the Litchfield Green
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Little Free Library at StoneHill
Telephone: 203-770-4156
Contact Name: Rose Buckens
Website »

More information

The United States is a melting pot of various cuisines from Around the World. We are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sample and enjoy foods from around the world by visiting area...

Cost: $250

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Summer Concert Series Package includes 4 concerts that will be shown all at Hunt Hill Farm. All concerts start at 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on the dates below with artist information. For more...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Opening Reception: August 11, 4-6pm. This event is free and open to the public. MAQUETTE: The Art of the Model is an exhibition of maquettes or models by many of the sculptors currently...

Where:
Washington Art Association
Gallery 4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington Depot, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Join in the fun this summer as we challenge you to OWL Reads! Challenge yourself to read six to nine books this summer! How to participate? Beginning June 20th come to OWL to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Jennifer paints with vibrant hues in multiple layers, capturing her exuberance and fascination with color and texture. She has developed her own style through many years of experimentation,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The United States is a melting pot of various cuisines from Around the World. We are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sample and enjoy foods from around the world by visiting area...

Cost: $250

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

In 1837, eighteen year old Victoria ascended the British throne, untrained and innocent. Those who would try to usurp her power underestimated this self-willed intelligent young woman whose...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06579
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Summer Concert Series Package includes 4 concerts that will be shown all at Hunt Hill Farm. All concerts start at 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on the dates below with artist information. For more...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Opening Reception: August 11, 4-6pm. This event is free and open to the public. MAQUETTE: The Art of the Model is an exhibition of maquettes or models by many of the sculptors currently...

Where:
Washington Art Association
Gallery 4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington Depot, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Join in the fun this summer as we challenge you to OWL Reads! Challenge yourself to read six to nine books this summer! How to participate? Beginning June 20th come to OWL to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Jennifer paints with vibrant hues in multiple layers, capturing her exuberance and fascination with color and texture. She has developed her own style through many years of experimentation,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is soaking up the last of summer with a week of FREE afternoon crafts and games for families at the Tapping Reeve Meadow. Starting...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Tapping Reeve Meadow
82 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Litchfield Historical Society
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The United States is a melting pot of various cuisines from Around the World. We are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sample and enjoy foods from around the world by visiting area...

Cost: $250

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Summer Concert Series Package includes 4 concerts that will be shown all at Hunt Hill Farm. All concerts start at 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on the dates below with artist information. For more...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Opening Reception: August 11, 4-6pm. This event is free and open to the public. MAQUETTE: The Art of the Model is an exhibition of maquettes or models by many of the sculptors currently...

Where:
Washington Art Association
Gallery 4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington Depot, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Join in the fun this summer as we challenge you to OWL Reads! Challenge yourself to read six to nine books this summer! How to participate? Beginning June 20th come to OWL to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Jennifer paints with vibrant hues in multiple layers, capturing her exuberance and fascination with color and texture. She has developed her own style through many years of experimentation,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is soaking up the last of summer with a week of FREE afternoon crafts and games for families at the Tapping Reeve Meadow. Starting...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Tapping Reeve Meadow
82 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Litchfield Historical Society
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

KentPresents 2018 ideas festival, August 16-18. Meet and mingle with diplomats, artists, scientists, authors...leaders in every field. Experience it all in the intimate and bucolic...

Cost: $2,500

Where:
Kent School
1 Macedonia Road
Kent, CT   06757
View map »


Website »

More information

The United States is a melting pot of various cuisines from Around the World. We are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sample and enjoy foods from around the world by visiting area...

Cost: $250

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Steep Rock’s Association’s Judea Garden presents, as part of a series of events celebrating the Garden’s 10th season of growing and giving, Summer Garden Abundance:  What to...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Telephone: 186-086-87586
Website »

More information

Summer Concert Series Package includes 4 concerts that will be shown all at Hunt Hill Farm. All concerts start at 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on the dates below with artist information. For more...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Opening Reception: August 11, 4-6pm. This event is free and open to the public. MAQUETTE: The Art of the Model is an exhibition of maquettes or models by many of the sculptors currently...

Where:
Washington Art Association
Gallery 4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington Depot, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Jennifer paints with vibrant hues in multiple layers, capturing her exuberance and fascination with color and texture. She has developed her own style through many years of experimentation,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Meet the CT Clay Artists at a wine and cheese reception, Saturday, August 11, 2018 from 5-8PM.  This unique gallery exhibition includes a display of diverse ceramic art, as well as other...

Cost: Admission Free

Where:
Gallery 25 at New Milford Art Depot
11 Railroad St.
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Gallery 25 at New Milford Art Depot
Telephone: 860-355-6009
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is soaking up the last of summer with a week of FREE afternoon crafts and games for families at the Tapping Reeve Meadow. Starting...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Tapping Reeve Meadow
82 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Litchfield Historical Society
Website »

More information

EVERY THURSDAY | 7:30 PM - 10:00 pm Music | Spoken Word | Comedy | More Hosted by Don Lowe Hunt Hill Farm is excited to announce OpenMic night every Thursday night.  Please stop by to...

Cost: donation

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: John C. Maxwell III
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

KentPresents 2018 ideas festival, August 16-18. Meet and mingle with diplomats, artists, scientists, authors...leaders in every field. Experience it all in the intimate and bucolic...

Cost: $2,500

Where:
Kent School
1 Macedonia Road
Kent, CT   06757
View map »


Website »

More information

The United States is a melting pot of various cuisines from Around the World. We are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sample and enjoy foods from around the world by visiting area...

Cost: $250

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Light hors d’oeuvres and a complimentary glass of wine will be served. Music will be provided by Western Lands Trio. Please mark your calendar to come enjoy a social evening and support land...

Cost: $45

Where:
Sunset Meadow Vineyards
599 Old Middle St
Goshen, CT
View map »


Telephone: (860) 201-4654
Website »

More information

Summer Concert Series Package includes 4 concerts that will be shown all at Hunt Hill Farm. All concerts start at 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on the dates below with artist information. For more...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

The internationally renowned Slam Allen is a messenger of love. This dynamic entertainer uses the genres of Blues, Soul, R&B, and a touch of Rock and Roll to deliver powerful soul stirring...

Cost: $30

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Opening Reception: August 11, 4-6pm. This event is free and open to the public. MAQUETTE: The Art of the Model is an exhibition of maquettes or models by many of the sculptors currently...

Where:
Washington Art Association
Gallery 4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington Depot, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Are you just dying to get some dirt under your fingernails this season? Come to Back 40 Farm for Friday Field Days and help us out with weeding, transplanting, hoeing, harvesting, and more! Who:...

Where:
Back 40 Farm
Washington Depot, CT


Website »

More information

Jennifer paints with vibrant hues in multiple layers, capturing her exuberance and fascination with color and texture. She has developed her own style through many years of experimentation,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Meet the CT Clay Artists at a wine and cheese reception, Saturday, August 11, 2018 from 5-8PM.  This unique gallery exhibition includes a display of diverse ceramic art, as well as other...

Cost: Admission Free

Where:
Gallery 25 at New Milford Art Depot
11 Railroad St.
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Gallery 25 at New Milford Art Depot
Telephone: 860-355-6009
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is soaking up the last of summer with a week of FREE afternoon crafts and games for families at the Tapping Reeve Meadow. Starting...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Tapping Reeve Meadow
82 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Litchfield Historical Society
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

KentPresents 2018 ideas festival, August 16-18. Meet and mingle with diplomats, artists, scientists, authors...leaders in every field. Experience it all in the intimate and bucolic...

Cost: $2,500

Where:
Kent School
1 Macedonia Road
Kent, CT   06757
View map »


Website »

More information

Join the Litchfield Historical Society for Saturday morning walking tours exploring new themes and areas of the town. Walking tours last about an hour, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring a...

Cost: Free for members; $5 for non-members

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Litchfield Historical Society
Website »

More information

Saturday, August 18 •  4:00PM •  Music Shed With a first-rate choir and ensemble, coupled with Simon Carrington’s remarkable programming, this concert has always...

Cost: Tickets: $60 – $20, $10 (Young Adults 18-25), and Kids under 18 Free!

Where:
Norfolk Chamber Music Festival
Ellen Battell Stoeckel Estate, 20 Litchfield Road
Norfolk, CT  06058
View map »


Telephone: 860-542-3000
Website »

More information

Summer Concert Series Package includes 4 concerts that will be shown all at Hunt Hill Farm. All concerts start at 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on the dates below with artist information. For more...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Opening Reception: August 11, 4-6pm. This event is free and open to the public. MAQUETTE: The Art of the Model is an exhibition of maquettes or models by many of the sculptors currently...

Where:
Washington Art Association
Gallery 4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington Depot, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Washington Photographer Philip Dutton’s dramatic photos document The Chief Bigfoot Memorial Ride of 1990, a momentous event that helped commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Massacre at...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 186-086-87586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey
Website »

More information

Jennifer paints with vibrant hues in multiple layers, capturing her exuberance and fascination with color and texture. She has developed her own style through many years of experimentation,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

The Farm-Fresh Market was created in 2007 with 15 local vendors, and has grown over the years to become a staple of the Litchfield Hills community throughout all seasons. We were so proud to be...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Center School Parking Lot
Woodruff Lane
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Telephone: 860-567-3871
Website »

More information

Meet the CT Clay Artists at a wine and cheese reception, Saturday, August 11, 2018 from 5-8PM.  This unique gallery exhibition includes a display of diverse ceramic art, as well as other...

Cost: Admission Free

Where:
Gallery 25 at New Milford Art Depot
11 Railroad St.
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Gallery 25 at New Milford Art Depot
Telephone: 860-355-6009
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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