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.
Mr. Stillman converted to Catholicism in the early 1950's and played a key role in nurturing Catholic intellectual life and culture in the United States. He founded the Wethersfield Institute in order to promote a clear understanding of Catholic teaching and practice and to explore the cultural and intellectual dimensions of the Catholic faith.
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.
When Chauncey Stillman died in 1989, the Wethersfield Foundation (originally called the Homeland Foundation) was charged with carrying on his intentions.
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
Board of Directors
Wethersfield is privately maintained by the Wethersfield Foundation, and relies on your generosity and support to conserve the estate and make its gardens and grounds available for public use.