Skip to main content

Avon -- Northington Farm

Object Details

Alice and Ostrom Enders called their 57-acre farm 'Northington' in recognition of an historic name of its Connecticut location. The couple commissioned Alice's brothers, Charles Hooker Talcott and Seth Talcott of Talcott and Talcott, to build their house in the latest International Style that had emerged from Europe. Cheviot sheep were raised on the farm and hay was grown in the surrounding fields, and near the barn there was a large vegetable garden with a cutting garden of flowers. In the 1950s a sunken 120-square-foot greenhouse was built onto the shed in which Mrs. Enders raised rare geraniums and other flowers. Three ponds were dug to attract wildfowl which were pinioned and protected by electric fences. Waterfowl were a particular interest of Mr. Enders who raised breeding pairs and incubated eggs in the basement starting in the mid-1950s. Several species were given to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. and the Bronx Zoo in New York. Along with Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley, Mr. Enders bred Nene geese and after several years' efforts sent the hatchlings to Hawaii. In the 1970's a Duck House was built so the waterfowl could winter on the Connecticut property.
The original house was demolished circa 1998 and another house was built in its place. The greenhouse and a mature white oak tree still survive. The current owner has some of the garden and farm tools used by the Enders on display in her home and is interested in restoring the gardens. Ornamental trees have been planted recently.
Ostrom Enders added a three-room library to the original structure to house his collection of 6,000 ornithological and natural history books. The collection was donated to the Watkinson Library at Trinity College in 1982.
Persons associated with the garden include: Ostrom Enders and Alice Dudley Talcott Enders (former owners, 1931-1994); Bernard and Bonnie Kershner (former owners from 1996); Charles Hooker Talcott and Seth Talcott (architects, 1932-1933); William Spivey (caretaker); John Binders (caretaker); Mr. Pang (caretaker); Ray Shookus (caretaker).
Former owner
Enders, Ostrom
Enders, Alice
Kershner, Bernard
Kershner, Bonnie
Talcott & Talcott
Garden Club of Hartford
Collection Creator
Garden Club of America
Northington Farm (Avon, Connecticut)
United States of America -- Connecticut -- Hartford -- Avon
Gardens -- Connecticut -- Avon
Former owner
Enders, Ostrom
Enders, Alice
Kershner, Bernard
Kershner, Bonnie
Talcott & Talcott
Garden Club of Hartford
See more items in
The Garden Club of America collection
The Garden Club of America collection / Series 1: United States Garden Images / Connecticut
A project to describe images in this finding aid received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care Initiative, administered by the National Collections Program.
Custodial History
The Garden Club of Hartford facilitated the submission of this garden's documentation.
Archival Repository
Archives of American Gardens
AAG.GCA, File CT705
Archival materials
Collection Citation
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, The Garden Club of America collection.
Collection Rights
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens:
Garden has been featured in "A Long, Low House for the Country" published in Art Decoration Magazine, 1934-1935. Garden has been featured in "House of Ostrom Enders" published in Architectural Record 77, March 1935. Garden has been featured in Connecticut Historical Commission Architectural survey, 1997.
Scope and Contents
The folder includes worksheets, extensive personal recollections and a photocopy of an article.
Collection Restrictions
Access to original archival materials by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens:
Related Materials
Northington Farm related holdings consist of 1 folder (48 digital images; 4 photographic prints)
Photographic images of this garden are located in the Garden Club of Hartford at the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, Connecticut.
Large EAD
Record ID
Avon -- Northington Farm
Back to Top