Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden
Backstory and Context
In 1738 young Joseph Bellamy was called to preach during "winter privileges". Separate "society privileges" were granted in October, 1739. Bellamy was requested to continue as pastor, and so remained until his death in 1790, as the settlers established their own Bethlem Church and school. Doctor Bellamy became a most distinguished author, preacher and teacher, conducting the first theological school in America. Young men lived in the Bellamy home while he grounded them in his brand of scriptural interpretation and preaching methods. Among future leaders who studied there were Aaron Burr, Jonathan Edwards II, and James Morris.
Rev. Bellamy's son and heir, David, a farmer and legislator more interested in temporal pursuits, embellished the stately though austere house by the addition of the Palladian pavilion on the south front, c. 1790.
The farmstead, with its numerous outbuildings, remained in the Bellamy family and substantially as Joseph had known it until 1860. In 1880 the Hull family of New York introduced the amenities of Victorian country life with the addition of bay windows, veranda and a porte cochere over the Palladian south facade. The Bellamy Place remained a working farm, while the outbuildings increased in number or were modified to accommodate the needs of the day.
Henry McKeen Ferriday purchased the property as a summer home for his family (his wife and then nine year old daughter, Caroline) in 1912. Following the advice of Edson Gage, a prominent proponent of Colonial Revival Architecture, interior plumbing was added. A service wing containing a "modern" kitchen pantry and servants' rooms replaced the wash house, buttery, and wood shed. The carriage shed to the north of the dwelling became a summer kitchen and laundry and the former schoolhouse was relocated to the orchard as a playhouse for Caroline.
After Mr. Ferriday's death in 1914, his widow and daughter continued to summer in Bethlehem and to make improvements to the house and grounds. The porte cochere was replaced by a porch and Caroline's room enlarged to include the bay window which overlooks the formal garden. This garden, begun by Eliza Mitchell Ferriday as the culmination of her planning for the property, was to hold a lifelong interest for both her and her daughter who would later donate the property.