For Immediate Release: 

August 29, 2023

Media Contact:
Christine Freitas
p: 508-347-0328

Coggeshall Farm’s Harvest Gala Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Museum

Join us for the festivities and an elegant fall evening on October 7th

under the tent at Blithewold Mansion.

BRISTOL, RIOn October 7, 2023 Coggeshall Farm Museum will host its second annual Harvest Gala celebrating the museum’s 50th anniversary.

This year’s Harvest Gala will take place at Blithewold Mansion in Bristol, RI. The evening's event will start at 6:00 p.m. with an open bar cocktail hour and hors d’oeuvres, alongside a silent auction.

Sandra Polanik, Event Coordinator at Old Sturbridge Village and Coggeshall Farm Museum says she is, “Looking forward to paying tribute to Coggeshall Farm’s 50th anniversary during an extravagant night of celebrating with engaging experiences, exquisite food, and enticing cocktails. Guests can look forward to a lively auction, performances by TEN31, dancing the night away with the music of Honey Train, and more – all while experiencing the breathtaking views of Blithewold’s landscape.”


Celebrating 50 Years of Coggeshall Farm Museum

In 1965, the State of Rhode Island purchased the former Samuel P. Colt estate, including the 48-acre farm now known as Coggeshall Farm, for use as a state park. With the historic 18th-century tenant farmhouse facing possible demolition, several members of the Bristol Historical Society approached then-Governor John Chaffee for permission to convert Coggeshall Farm into a museum.

By 1973, the project had expanded beyond the scope of the Historical Society, and Coggeshall Farm Museum was incorporated as its own private, non-profit organization as “a quiet, authentic place for 20th-century Americans to observe the lifestyles of 1750 Rhode Island.” In the last decade, interpretation of the site has refocused primarily on the 1790s, the decade between the American Revolution and the Industrial Revolution, known as the Federalist Era.

In January 2020, Old Sturbridge Village and Coggeshall Farm Museum began an innovative new partnership. Old Sturbridge Village now manages the daily operations of Coggeshall Farm through a management contract.

“The future of our small history museums has been at risk for some time,” says Jim Donahue, President and CEO of Old Sturbridge Village. “Together with Old Sturbridge Village, Coggeshall Farm Museum will keep New England history alive for generations to come.”

Old Sturbridge Village provides structural and administrative management and support to its partner museum by means of oversight, accounting, human resources, marketing, and interpretation. The goal is to foster the love of the museum by bringing back regular programming in addition to providing excellent educational programs.

Donahue adds, “Living history can be costly. Proceeds from the Gala will ensure a talented staff at the museum, plenty of animals, safe and welcoming buildings, flourishing gardens, and the ability to provide educational programs for schools and families regardless of their ability to pay.”

Tickets to the Harvest Gala are on sale now, $175 per person or $1,400 per table of 8. The deadline to RSVP is September 20th. Purchase tickets by calling (508) 347-0207 or by visiting

Coggeshall Farm Museum is celebrating its 50th year as a living history museum in RI. For the 2023 season the museum is open on Fridays for self-guided exploration in addition to Saturday and Sundays from 10 am–4 pm for tours and special events. Standard daytime admission is $10 for adults, $5 for youth (ages 4-17) or with Coggeshall Farm Museum membership or Old Sturbridge Village membership. More details at


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About Coggeshall Farm Museum


Set on 48 acres of coastal farmland in Bristol, Rhode Island, Coggeshall Farm recreates the daily experience of tenant farmers on a salt marsh farm in the late 18th century. With an innovative partnership with Old Sturbridge Village, Coggeshall will expand and enhance the visitor experience through live interpretation, new programming, historic structures, heirloom plants and gardens, and heritage-breed animals.


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