The Deming-Young Farm
282 Church Street
Thomas Deming was born in Newington on October 27, 1755 on land that had been owned by his family since 1671. He was one of 11 children. His father, Janna, besides being a farmer, was a private in a muster of men drafted to go on an expedition to the West Indies. Janna later attained the rank of sergeant. He was a man of influence, especially in the church.
Thomas built the farmhouse at 282 Church Street in 1784. He was a shoemaker by trade and probably provided shoes for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. It is not certain that Thomas served in the Revolutionary War, but his older brother, Daniel, did. Also a shoemaker, he answered the Lexington alarm in 1775, enlisting with Capt. John Chester.
Thomas had three children, all by his first wife, Jerusha Selden. His children were Thomas, Selden and Jerusha. Thomas was also one of the founders and officers of Christ Church in Wethersfield. Thomas Deming’s legacy remains today in the farmhouse currently being restored by the Deming-Young Farm Foundation.
The Deming-Young Farm Foundation
The Deming-Young Farm Foundation, Inc. (DYFF) was founded in February 2001 in response to the Town of Newington’s request for proposal to save the 1784 Thomas Deming farmhouse from demolition. In April 2001, the foundation was incorporated and later that year received 501c3 status. The mission of the DYFF is the restoration and preservation of the 1784 farmhouse. The goals of the foundation are to open the farmhouse to the public within the next few years and to utilize the farmhouse as a museum of eighteenth century agrarian life. In the future, the most important goal of the foundation is to open the farmhouse as a living history center for young children where they will be able to discover, firsthand, how the early settlers of our country lived and worked.
Currently, programs are being presented in the community to local schoolchildren. One such program, “Newington Long Ago”, is presented to second grade students at Mill Pond Falls in Newington. This program relates the history of the earliest industries in Newington. Also, programs and games for children are presented at the annual Newington Waterfall Festival.
Since 2001, the foundation has accomplished the following: 1) demolition of all modern trappings, 2) installation of a new roof and clapboards, 3) installation of period reproduction windows throughout the farmhouse, 4) installation of electricity, 5) completion of the restoration of the first floor of the farmhouse to its 1784 appearance, 6) acquisition of a twenty year lease for the property from the Town of Newington, 7) construction of an addition to house future handicapped restrooms.
Investing in Newington’s History
The foundation receives no funding from the Town of Newington or The Newington Historical Society for this project. All money comes from private citizens, service organizations, local businesses and a recent small state grant. We still have a great deal of work to do before the farmhouse can be opened to the public. Our largest, and most expensive, project is the installation of plumbing and restroom fixtures in the addition to complete the state required handicapped accessible restrooms.
We are also seeking donations from the community of antique period furniture and accessories for the interior of the farmhouse. One special need is a pair of period raised panel doors for the front entrance of the house. Any items with a Newington heritage would be gladly accepted. Please call 860-666-1016 if you have an item to donate.
We continue to need your help and financial support. Donations are fully tax deductible. Please send your donation to: The Deming-Young Farm Foundation. 1741 Main St., Newington, CT 06111. Thank you for your generosity.