Woodbury, CT Farmhouse Led to Full-Circle Healing
The 1770 Grounded Goodwife farmhouse in Woodbury, CT is a living museum. Wide-board floors, wrought-head nails, and original King’s wood paneling above the eight-foot wide kitchen fireplace evoke a taste of colonial America. From its “dawn of America” history, dairy farm families, and documented paranormal activity, the 1770 Grounded Goodwife Farmhouse is filled with the stories of the women, men, and children who have called it home.
The past seems closer in an old house. It’s almost possible to overhear debates about the Stamp Act, Boston Tea Party, and Daughters of Liberty. The home’s current owners are preserving the past by weaving it with the present. The herbalist daughter/historian mother duo, who regularly hold events beneath the kitchen ceiling’s 18th century hand-hewn log beams, share their combined knowledge in an inviting and unusual setting.
Ehris and Velya saw a need for unique gatherings for like-minded, open-minded individuals, and have created the kind of experiences that many seek. Their varied events have included Bone Broth workshops, Spirits & Spirits: Our Paranormal Reveal by CT Ghost Investigations, DIY Apple Brandy Cordial, a Sybil Ludington dramatization in honor of the 240th anniversary of her ride, Chicks & Quiche “Whangs,” a Past Lives afternoon, and Adios, Coco Chanel! DIY Herbal Perfume.
“There’s just something about that house,” explains Southbury resident, Bev Iorio, a regular attendee. “As soon as you cross the threshold, there’s a feeling of acceptance. Everyone has a story to tell, but you can’t share just anywhere. We share at the farmhouse because it’s safe and there’s no judgment.”
In 2011, the Urban family was betrayed and swindled – and no longer had any hopes, dreams, goals, or money. Needing a place to heal, they discovered a foreclosed farmhouse in Woodbury that had been vacant for five years. The family made a low-ball offer to the bank, never thinking it would be accepted. Not long after moving in, an ice dam resulted in soggy kitchen ceiling sheetrock. When the family pulled down the sheetrock, they were amazed to discover a hand-hewn log beam ceiling. Velya’s research at the town hall revealed that the house had been built in 1770. Months later, when the curious homeowners “just had a feeling” there was something hidden behind their 1940s kitchen woodstove, they removed over three tons of fieldstone, cement, brick, and paneling. Uncovering a colonial beehive oven and walk-in fireplace was the beginning of the family’s healing journey.
Today, the healing process has come full-circle for the family. During classes, workshops, and events, the old house extends its hospitality, and others experience its healing.
Velya and Ehris’ mother/daughter memoir, How to Survive a Brazilian Betrayal, will be released on Mother’s Day 2019 by Green Writers Press.