Gideon Hollister, a leading early resident of Washington, built this house about 1765 for his son Preston. In addition to farming, the enterprising Gideon operated a sawmill, a trading post, and a potash works; he also held civic and military posts. Succeeding generations of Hollisters occupied the house until the middle of the 20th century and continued to be important in Washington. Open fields, barns and other outbuildings on the property bear witness to the homesteads ongoing use as a farm. In the latter part of the 20th century, the house became, like many other Litchfield County farmsteads, a weekend home.
Because Washington was still remote in the mid-18th century, the house’s architecture is simple. Its saltbox form is uncommon in the region (only three exist today in Washington), and the finishes are plain. Later additions maintained this overall simplicity. Although it is not old enough to contribute to the homestead’s historic significance, the garden is noteworthy. The gardens were begun in 1979 by George Schoellkopf and planned to compliment the old house and the surrounding landscape. The garden unfolds in a successive series of “rooms” bordered by walls and hedges which create an architectural framework for the romantic abundance of the plantings. The garden is open to the public late April to mid-October.
Hollister House Garden
300 Nettleton Hollow Rd