Mr. Stillman and his youngest grandchild, Peter Budnik.

Stillman with youngest grandchild, Peter Budnik

Chauncey Devereux Stillman (1907–1989), whose grandfather founded what eventually became Citibank, was a director of the Freeport Minerals Company and served in the Navy during World War II.


Mr. Stillman was a passionate horseman and he first experienced the rural beauty of Dutchess County while riding with the Millbrook Hunt. During his many rides, he was struck by the beautiful rolling hills and dramatic views. In 1937, realizing the potential of the land, he purchased two abandoned farms comprising several hundred acres. Mr. Stillman named the property Wethersfield in a tribute to Wethersfield, Connecticut, where his family first settled in America in 1705. As land became available, the estate expanded to its current size.

The Wethersfield Estate was constructed and refined over 50 years by Chauncey Stillman's careful eye as a place of personal retreat, agricultural experimentation, cultural enrichment, and scholarly conviviality. An avid art collector, horseman, garden enthusiast, and conservationist, Mr. Stillman combined all these interests when designing and constructing his estate. 

In the short years preceding his death, Mr. Stillman, a convert to Catholicism, founded the Wethersfield Institute, one purpose of which is to promote a clear understanding of Catholic teaching and intellectual life, and to breathe life into Wethersfield House with seminars and visiting scholars. The Wethersfield Institute operates independently from the Wethersfield Foundation - with different boards and separate development streams. For more information about the Wethersfield Institute, or to make a donation to the Institute directly, please visit it at wethersfieldinstitute.org.

When Chauncey Stillman died in 1989, the Wethersfield Foundation (originally called the Homeland Foundation) was charged with carrying on his intentions. 

In 2017, a 501(c)3 organization known as Friends of Wethersfield was formed to raise funds to assist in beautification projects for the estate. 

In keeping with this mission and the wishes of our founder, we maintain the estate’s facilities and grounds for public visitors and community use.


The Mission of Wethersfield Foundation, Inc., is to preserve and promote the Wethersfield Estate, and share with the public Chauncey Stillman’s stewardship of land, art, and Christian culture, in his creation of Wethersfield Estate. His vision for Wethersfield Estate includes:

  • Beauty as embodied by the house and garden at Wethersfield, and by the arts

  • ​​Land stewardship and habitat protection

  • ​​Catholic intellectual activities, including through the Wethersfield Institute


Gallery | Explore the Estate

From the Formal Gardens to the Trails and Farm, and from the Main House to the Carriage House—Wethersfield is a place where true, good, and beautiful things are vibrantly conserved.



Joyce Cafaro

Chief Financial Officer


Marina Ferreri

Garden Educator

Joseph Parditka

Stable and Grounds Maintenance

Garret Yuhas



Robert Cheney

Grounds Maintenance


Michael Harvey


Kaitlyn Robitaille

Program Director


Chris Ferreri

Maintenance Manager


Kevin Malloy

Head Groundskeeper


Toshi Yano

Director of Horticulture

Board of Directors

T.Budnik1_12 2.jpg

Theodora Budnik

Board Chairman

Theodora S. Budnik is the youngest daughter of Chauncey Stillman. She is a retired surgeon, mother of two, grandmother of ten, and Dame of the Order of Malta.  She and her husband of almost 50 years reside in Dutchess County, NY.

Farnham Collins

Treasurer,  Wethersfield Foundation

Theodora (Tara) Shafer

Vice Chairman & Secretary, Wethersfield Foundation

Soohyoung Kim

Director, Wethersfield Foundation

Jacqueline Thorne

Director, Wethersfield Foundation

John Budnik

Director, Wethersfield Foundation

​Stanley Stillman

Director, Wethersfield Foundation

Nancy Hathaway

Director, Wethersfield Foundation

George T. Whalen IV

Director, Wethersfield Foundation

Erik Tozzi

Director, Wethersfield Foundation


Support Wethersfield


With a focus on restoration, Friends of Wethersfield funds conservation projects that maintain the estate, gardens, and grounds in accordance with their original aesthetic splendor.

Interested in employment and volunteer opportunities?