Weir Farm National Historic Site - Kathy Ryan Photography

November 16, 2016

Last Christmas, my children gave me the gift of travel in the form of a National Parks pass. This was especially fabulous because 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service (thank you, President Theodore Roosevelt). What do you think of when you consider National Parks? Yellowstone? Grand Canyon? Have you ever considered that there might be a National Park in your own back yard?

When you visit the National Park website, they provide a link:

Find Your Park

This led us to Weir Farm - just a few minutes' drive away. Incredible. I had heard the name, but never knew anything more. Off I went with my camera, my new pass, and passport to collect my first National Park stamp (for those who visit, it is on the porch of the visitors' center). Not only is Weir Farm the only National Park in Connecticut, but it is also the only one devoted to painting. The original owner was an artist, Julian Alden Weir (1852-1919), who bought the ten acre site in the late 18th century. Julian was born in America, trained in Paris, returned to the US and became one of the founders of the American Impressionists movement. The property grew along with the family and many buildings were added.

In season, you can tour the interiors and even take classes with resident artists. In the off season, the grounds are open for hiking and creating art - whether sketching, painting, or shooting photographs. Please enjoy my Weir Farm gallery and consider visiting this gem hiding in plain sight the next time you are in New England.

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