Bellamy-Ferriday House (1754)

August 3rd, 2011 Posted in Bethlehem, Colonial, Federal Style, Houses

Joseph Bellamy was a prominent Congregationalist minister, theologian and leader during the Great Awakening. He was pastor of the First Church of Bethlehem from 1760 until his death in 1790. Rev. Bellamy was the author of twenty-two books, the best known being True Religion Delineated (1750). In 1760, Bellamy moved into a Bethlehem farmhouse built in 1754. In 1767, he expanded the house and his son David, a farmer and legislator, added Federal-style embellishments (the Palladian pavilion on the south front) in the 1790s. After the Bellamys, some additional changes were made as the house had various other owners. The property continued as a working farm. In 1912, it was acquired as a summer residence by Henry McKeen and Eliza Ferriday of New York. After Henry’s death, his widow and daughter, Caroline Ferriday, continued to make improvements to the house and established a formal garden. After her mother’s death, Caroline Ferriday sought to restore the house, removing later Victorian-era additions. Miss Ferriday was an actress, conservationist and philanthropist. She left her house and furnishings to the Antiquarian and Landmarks Society (now Connecticut Landmarks) upon her death in 1990. Much of her land is now owned by the Bethlehem Land Trust, which she had helped to establish.

Side of house, with older section on right and bay window addition.


  1. 4 Responses to “Bellamy-Ferriday House (1754)”

  2. By Mary G. Grosso on May 22, 2016

    This home is mentioned prominently in the book, “Lilac Girls” by Martha Hall Kelly. It is a novel but based on Caroline Ferriday, who helped many French and Polish people during the 2nd World War. Most particularly, she aided a group of Polish women who were operated on while prisoners at Ravensbruck Reeduccation Camp. So the novel details the lives of Kasia (one of the Lupins [Rabbits] so named because their operations caused them to hop about the camp), Herta (a German doctor who performed the operations) and Caroline Ferriday. It is a very well written, sobering tale. I hope to someday visit this home, called “The Hay” in the book. Mary Grosso, Stratford, CT

  3. By Sandy on Jun 5, 2016

    Beautiful person, just finished book. Wish I could make such a difference in this sad, needy world. Will plan to try to see this home.

  4. By Carrie Henderson on Oct 9, 2016

    The book, The Lilac Girls, would make a wonderful movie. The outstanding format of the three lives intertwined adds to the story that must be told.

  5. By Carolyn Stevens on Jun 18, 2017

    Just finished reading Martha Hall Kelly’s book the Lilac Girls. What an outstanding novel. How exciting to see her summer home where Polish women possibly stayed. Caroline’s efforts during and after war times were amazing. I’m so glad that her story has been told.

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