Nuttinghame (1740)

August 12th, 2010 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Southbury

Wallace Nutting (1861 – 1941), a former minister, became a leading antiquarian, entrepreneur and a major figure of the Colonial Revival movement in the early twentieth century. He authored books, reproduced antique American furniture and opened colonial houses as museums, including the Webb House in Wethersfield. He is most well-known for his photographs of country landscapes and the interiors of colonial houses, which were hand colored by women who worked for him and sold through a catalog. In 1906, Nutting had moved to a farm in Southbury, where he soon established a studio in a new barn he built on the property. He restored the old farmhouse, built in the 1740s, and named it “Nuttinghame.” Quite a few Nutting pictures feature Nuttinghame and the landscape that surrounds it. One notable image is titled “Nuttinghame Blossoms.” A particular parlor in the house was featured in many Nutting pictures, including: “A Bit Of Sewing,” “A Sip Of Tea” and “An Afternoon Tea.”

As Nutting‘s business prospered, he decided to move his operation to Framingham, Massachusetts in 1912, where he bought an Italianate house he called “Nuttingholm.” The Framingham house was later demolished, but his earlier house in Southbury still exists. In 1953, the farm was purchased by the comedic pianist Victor Borge. In the mid-1960s, Borge sold the property to a development company, which built a retirement community called Heritage Village. The Nutting/Borge house is now called the Meeting House and has executive offices, meeting rooms and a kitchen for use by community residents.

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