The Muster Field Farm Museum was established for educational purposes to promote and encourage the history of New Hampshire agriculture and early architecture. The Museum has four major attractions:
- The Matthew Harvey Homestead, a handsome 18th century farmhouse listed on the National Register of Historic Places
- A varied collection of historic farm buildings, ranging from huge barns to small corn cribs saved from destruction and moved to the property
- A working farm, producing vegetables, flowers, hay, and cord wood
- A superb, scenic location between Mount Kearsarge and King Ridge, covering 250 acres of fields and woods
Visitors come to Muster Field Farm for many reasons...
In fair weather, families can bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Children can visit the farm animals, play on the rope swings, ring the old school bell, and roam to their heart's content.
Our special events, with hands-on activities for kids and historical demonstrations are great fun for old and young alike.
The gardens are ever-changing and a favorite spot for local artists who wish to capture the breathtaking beautiy & old-fashioned aura of a time gone-by.
The Farm stand is open for fresh vegetables, hand-picked berries, farm eggs, fresh fall apples, locally made honey, jams and jellies, and beautiful cut flowers.
In winter, we have marked cross-country ski and snowshoeing trails that criss-cross our beautiful woods and fields.
The Museum sponsors several seasonal events during the year, including Farm Days in August, Harvest Day in October, and Ice Day in January, as well as other special events throughout the year. Check our Calendar of Events
for a complete listing of this year's activities.
The museum grounds are open to the public every day. Visitors can take a self-guided walking tour of the farm buildings and gardens.
The The Matthew Harvey Homestead is open Sundays in July through Harvest Day for guided tours starting at 1 pm. After your tour, enjoy refreshments on the porch and feel free to peruse the grounds for the remainder of the afternoon.
THE MATTHEW HARVEY HOMESTEAD
The Homestead, erected in 1787 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992, is an elegant example of rural Georgian architecture, little altered except for certain remodeling in the Federal style around 1800. Built with heavy timbers of oak and white pine, the building is one of the most massively framed structures of its size in the region.
Superbly sited on an elevated plateau 200 feet above Kezar Lake, surrounded by 250 acres of fields and woods, the Homestead boasts a commanding view of Mt. Kearsarge to the east, and King Hill off to the west.
The main house, facing south, is a two-and-a-half story, gable-roofed building measuring 36 by 32 feet, with a one-story wing and shed to the north. It is in excellent physical condition and possesses integrity of design and workmanship. Its huge central chimney rests on split granite slabs. Its exterior walls retain a high percentage of original hand-shaved clapboards. Window sashes are mainly in the six-over-nine style on the ground floor and six-over-six on the second, all with handmade, poured glass with all its imperfections.
The front facade features an unusually large main doorway with distinctive architectural detailing. A secondary facade with another doorway faces east toward Harvey Road. Both doors were part of the Federal-style remodeling, influenced by popular turn-of-the-century architectural pattern books.
The singular feature of the Homestead, illustrating its role as a tavern and town social center, is a 30-foot long, wood-paneled ballroom running the entire length of the second floor on the western side. Lined with built-in benches and handsome in detail, the room was characteristic of New Hampshire taverns as a place for all types of social gatherings. It was particularly useful on military muster days when banquets and dances were held in the evening for the officers and their families.Historic marker
The Matthew Harvey Homestead is under a society easement with Historic New England which gives legal protection in perpetuity against any alterations or activities which would adversely affect the appearance or worksmanship of the building.
Overall, the Matthew Harvey Homestead's period of historical significance extends from its construction in the 1780's to the death of Jonathan Harvey, Matthew's eldest son in 1859. After that date, the Homestead no longer functioned as a social center in Sutton and it returned to its basic use as a farmhouse. Its architectural excellence remained untouched by future Harvey descendants.
The Homestead is open to the public for guided tours in Sundays in the summer months. There are several original Harvey family pieces on display, as well as two front parlors with flamboyant reproduction 1830's era wallpaper (which often elicits comments from our visitors). See our Visitor Information page
for more details on visiting the Homestead.