Birdsey Hall is one of the finest extant examples of a brick classic Federal Georgian in Litchfield County. Erected circa 1802 by leading mercantilist Birdsey Norton, it presides over a 74 acre Estate on ancestral Norton land.
Ebenezer Norton came to Goshen in 1740 at the original settlement. Birdsey, his 9th child, was active in agriculture, dairy, and extensive western land speculation (e.g. Norton, Ohio). His relation and associate, Lewis M. Norton, perfected a Dutch cheese as Pineapple Cheese and patented it in 1810. They distributed so widely that President Thomas Jefferson gave it as personal gifts to Governors of States. The Estate includes a restored chestnut barn that housed the cheese manufacture (now a horse barn).
Hard by is the Nelson garrison-style homestead (1773), now a restored (4 bedrooms/4 fireplaces) Guest House with arbored Terrace overlooking a stone walled vegetable garden, hundreds of acres of water company land and a Wildlife Preserve. A second converted barn Guest House (5 bedrooms/2 kitchens/view terrace and deck) sits on a hill.
Resplendent Birdsey Hall (6719 square feet/8 fireplaces/6 bedrooms/High Federal Styling inside and out) has been embellished by an attached walled Garden, Porticos, Terraces for viewing the Estate, nearby farms and distant ridges, Tennis Court, Pool, Observatory enclosure, numerous Pillared Entrance Gates, apple and pear trees, farm roads, stone walls, horse paddocks and trails, and numerous other dependencies. Original detail and High Fenestration of Grand Public Rooms and Bed Rooms are sensitively preserved and augmented by elegant Kitchen, Bathroom and Media Room articulations.
Birdsey Hall fronts on East Street North which leads to the original Goshen settlement farms en route through several miles of forest to Norfolk, home of Yale Chamber Music and Infinity Hall. It is 1/2 mile from golf and 6 miles from all the gracious and storied architecture of Litchfield.