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For 25 years, Waters Farrn in West Sutton has hosted a fall celebration. After being called Farm Days for the last 24 years, we have just renamed it the Waters Farm Fall Festival to reflect that there is much more than farming going on here. This occurs in late September - early October.
The traditional activities and offerings include the famous Waters Farm Apple Crisp, served hot with vanilla ice cream. This is baked on premises. On a Saturday in mid September, there will be scores of volunteers that descend on Waters Farm to peel and prepare up to 100 pans of apple crisp. In this dedicated group of apple peelers, you will find some that have been there every year. There are 4 generations of the Putnams, led by Ruth Shaw Putnam, 91+ years young. Ruth has served in a variety of capacities at the farm and still tends to the beautiful flower gardens at the house and at the Darling Barn. Ruth calls her Waters Farm devotion a "labor of love." Ruth's daughter, Pennie Putnam Linder, is very involved in the Farm, serving as a director, coordinates a major part of the Fall Festival, including all of the crafts and vendors. Pennie and her daughter, Joy Linder Nydam, will be heading up the apple crisp production. Joy's children are also regular participants in Waters Farm activities.
The Fall Festival is a family event. We are pleased to welcome the Southwick Zoo this year. They will be providing the petting zoo in the children's area. Pony rides and games, plus some interactive crafts, provide plenty to keep the kids busy. The local teamsters bring their draft horses to offer horse-drawn wagon rides. Again you find the familiar faces year after year: Wally Johnson, Bob Largess, Jim Graves, Wayne Tucker, Bruce Cheney, Ed Schellbeck, Scott Butler, Ron Forget, Karen Baldwin, and many more.
Deb Kovac will be at the farm with her mammoth donkey, Mud Creek Apollo.
She will demonstrate donkey riding and driving. This versatile animal has
won many blue ribbons in the Northeast. Deb produces the Waters Farm
Donkey & Mule Show and also managed the Sleigh Rally this year.
Bo and Luke, the famous Sutton 300th team of oxen featured in the book, will be at the farm both days. Owner, Martin Shaw, is also a director and active member at the Waters Farm. Bo and Luke were just seen at the Sutton 300th parade last weekend, pulling the Waters Farm ox cart.
The musical entertainment this year offers a great mix of instruments and styles. Local musicians will be playing throughout both days. On Saturday, Fiddlin' Ed will be on the main stage, playing mainly blue grass and country tunes, and will include a jam session in the afternoon. Ed will provide the music for the clog dancers.
On Sunday, Dick Chase will join us. Many other area musicians will be appearing on stage and on the lawn by the apple crisp area. We have a tremendous amount of talent represented this year.
Food is provided by the local nonprofit groups, including the Lions Club and the Boy Scouts, and some terrific area vendors that have been with us many years. The offerings include burgers, hot dogs, steak, chili and much more.
The antique engine and tractor show is always a big draw. The participants come from all over New England to display beautifully restored tractors and gasoline engines that are decades old. Butch Oosterman coordinates this part of the event and organized the tractor pull that is held in back of the Shingle Mill.
The farm buildings are all open. See demonstrations in the blacksmith shop, the shingle mill. Tour the house and see a hearth cooking and spinning demonstration. A small fee is charged for the house tour. Local artisans set up in the Darling Barn. Demonstrations include pottery, tin smithing, rug braiding, chair caning, beekeeping. We will also have a display of dollhouse miniatures this year, as well as Native American art.
Our maple sugar house is under construction. The Wentworths, who donated much of the equipment for the sugar house, will have a display on maple sugaring and will offer products for sale.
New this year will be an antique chain saw demonstration on Saturday, with the lumber jack show on Sunday. The Mini Whinnies 4-H group will be in the courtyard near the house, showing the many talents of miniature horses. The canines will be represented this year by some of the breed rescue groups. There are agricultural displays of old wagons and equipment, as well as some animals.
Local antique automobile clubs come to the farm every year to set up the car corral.
Do your Christmas shopping early at the Waters Farm. Local antique shops and craft vendors will be set up in the field. The Waters Farm Peddlers shop is also open for clothing and souvenirs.
These photos cannot begin to represent the Waters Farm beauty with it's magnificent landscapes and historic charm. Old stone walls, the useful and attractive Darling barn, the old Blacksmith Shop or the large, red main house listed on the National Register of Historic Places all provide an inspiring look into life of yesteryear. The breathtaking view of Lake Manchaug and the corralled fields of horses create an almost unparalleled panorama of New England at its best!
Six generations of the same family, spanning three centuries spent their lives at this home and farm. From the days of Colonial rule through the Industrial Revolution, the Civil War and on through the World Wars. The home, built by Stephen Waters in 1757, is filled with history in every corner, from the beehive oven to the wrought iron castings or whale oil lamps. Each room brings you back to times almost forgotten but kept intact through the generous donor Dorothea Waters Moran, last descendant of Stephen Waters.
Check out their website for many activities throughout the year and visit this historic and beautiful 100+ acre landscape. Also, check out the Sutton page for another lovely scene of the horses grazing in the fields of Waters Farm.