The Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry, Connecticut is a big part of  the town's 300th celebrations in 2012. Photo by Chris Brunson, used by permission.Photo by Chris Brunson for MDP, used with permission.Coventry marks a 300th anniversary in 2012. The Nathan Hale Homestead, a Connecticut Landmarks property, is at the center of events to celebrate the town’s deep roots and history.

The homestead hosts the popular Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market (CRFM); the market and town of Coventry have signed on for a 10-year agreement with Connecticut Landmarks over the winter.

New for this season is that CRFM won the Great Barn Giveaway, a nationwide competition, for a open air barn structure from W.H. Silverstein, Inc., the Farmers Market Coalition and the American Farmland Trust. The 24-foot by 36-foot Yankee Post & Beam barn is going up in the market field at the site.

Bev York is site administrator at the Hale Homestead in Connecticut. Note the new roof on the ell. Chris Brunson photo, used with permission.
The Hale Homestead, built in 1776, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the birthplace of the famous patriot. Beverly York is site administrator.

Nathan Hale is Connecticut’s state hero. A special ribbon-cutting ceremony on what would be his 236th birthday, Saturday, June 10, starts at 1:30 p.m. to mark the addition of new and improved visitor facilities in the homestead ell.

Invited guests include Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture Steven Reviczky, U.S. Congressman Joe Courtney, State Representative Tim Ackert, Coventry Town Manager John Elsesser, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith, former Congressman Rob Simmons, and members of the Coventry Town Council.

Improvements include a new roof for the ell, plus admission, greeting and gift shop space; a program kitchen to support the homestead’s school and hearth cooking programs; and public restrooms.

Connecticut Landmarks is in the final stage of the Nathan Hale Homestead Preservation, Restoration & Reinterpretation Project to preserve, renovate and re-interpret the homestead, conducting detailed research on the 17-acre site, historic barns and agricultural history; restoring interior features and finishes; and developing new family and youth-based programs.