Overnight Accommodations, Wedding Venue, Receptions, Family Reunions
Located in Clinton, New York next to Hamilton College and close to Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.
Mission and Purpose
Our mission is to maintain and preserve this historic property for the enjoyment of family, the community and visitors to Clinton.
We strive to make Harding Farm a place of inclusion and positive energy that strengthens bonds between family members and friends in the hopes of creating something special for today and future generations.
We make Harding Farm available to guests to share the joy we receive from the property. Our reward comes from the wonderful comments we hear from visitors. Brides live their wedding day dream, families reunite after decades apart and grandparents celebrate milestones surrounded by friends, children and grandchildren. That's what Harding Farm is all about.
Learn about the history of Harding Farm below.
Harding Farm is located at 3793 Harding Road in Clinton, New York. The property is adjacent to Hamilton College, less than a mile from the beautiful Village of Clinton, 20 miles from Colgate University and five miles from the New York State Thruway.
For reservations and information call: 315-525-8848
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Directions From the New York State Thruway:
Take Exit 32 (Westmoreland). Turn South on Rt. 233 for 5.3 miles. Drive through the town of Westmoreland, cross Rt. 5 and enter Clinton. Stay on Rt. 233 (called Bristol Road in Clinton) until you arrive at a blinking red light (College Hill Road). There is a large Hamilton College sign on the right at the base of the hill. Cross College Hill Road.
If you are staying at the Cottage or the Carriage House, enter Harding Farm's main compound on the right hand side of the road. There are three driveways (the fourth, fifth or sixth driveway from the blinking light at College Hill Road). The Cottage is located behind the Farm's main house. The Carriage House is located across the lawn above the old barns.
If you are staying at the Oriskany House, continue past the Farm's main compound for .25 miles to the first white house you will see on the left side of the road. The address of the Oriskany House is 3698 Harding Road.
History of Harding Farm
Samuel Kirkland's Arrival in the Oriskany Valley
The missionary SamuelKirkland arrived in the Oriskany Valley with a purpose to educate the Oneida Indians (part of the "Great Awakening" ) shortly after the signing of the Treaty of 1768. This treaty, which established the Western boundary of the American colonies just west of the Oriskany Creek laid the foundation for the Oneida support of the colonists during the Revolutionary War. Kirkland developed close ties with the Oneida and eventually served the challenging roles of missionary, interpreter and diplomat between the Oneida Indians and the Colonists (see S. Kirkland letter to General Schuyler).
The Hamilton-Oneida Academy and the "Kirkland Mansion"
In 1794, Kirkland established a school called the Hamilton-Oneida Academy with support and assistance from his good friend, the Oneida Chief Skenandoa. In 1812, the Academy was re-named and re-chartered as Hamilton College in honor of U.S. Treasury Secretary, Founding Father and New York resident, Alexander Hamilton.
With counsel from Skenandoa, Kirkland built his home (the "Kirkland Mansion") on the Western banks of the Oriskany Creek where the "grass is first green in Spring and the leaves stay on the trees longest in Fall." Kirkland lived in a small cottage (built in 1792) at the foot of the Hill while construction of his grand home was underway. The house was completed in 1794. Kirkland's cottage (now called the "Kirkland Cottage") was moved in 1876 to a location near the Hamilton College cemetery and moved again in 1925 to its present location at the center of campus. This modest structure, which is the oldest building on the Hamilton Collegecampus is used by the College's president every Fall to welcome new students to the Hill and preside over their matriculation.
The Oneida Indians were welcome at Kirkland's home. Oneidas frequently stopped at his house when passing through the Oriskany Valley and were welcomed to sleep on the floor before the central fireplaces.
Kirkland's relationship with the Oneida was recognized by the Continental Congress and the State of New York as critical to gaining the Oneida's support for the colonists during the revolutionary war. Skenandoah's commitment and heroic deeds were valued greatly by General George Washington and members of the Continental Congress. The Smithsonian Museum recently commissioned a sculpture of Washington, Oneida tribe member Polly Cooper and Chief Skenandoa (see links: OneidaNationand Smithsonian Statue of Skenandoa) to recognize the assistance the Oneidas gave to the Continental Army during the difficult winter at Valley Forge.
In 1788, to compensate Kirkland for his deeds, the The State of New York granted Kirkland 4,000 acres of land extending from the western bank of the Oriskany Creek to the top of today's College Hill at Skyline Drive. In 1793, Kirkland donated 300 of his acres for the creation of his Hamilton-Oneida Acadamey. That year, the New York State Board of Regents granted a charter for Kirkland's school. Kirkland died 15 years later in 1808 and was burried in the orchard behind his home (what is now Harding Farm).
The friendship between Kirkland and Skenandoah was legendary and best acknowledged by Skenandoa's request to be buried beside Kirkland prior to his death in 1816. Shortly after the Harding Family purchased the property in 1851, both bodies were exhumed and moved to their present location in the Hamilton College cemetery.
Harding Family History
After Kirkland's death, his home was sold to a Hamilton College professor named Lathrop who later sold it to his brother. In 1855, a young man named Lyman Shumway Harding from Madison County, New York purchased the Kirkland home with the goal of establishing a dairy farm that would be the pride of Oneida County. By all accounts, he fulfilled his dream. Harding Farm thrived under his watch. His impressive farm was well maintained and the dirt road below his home became known as Harding Road.
In the late 1800's, Lyman's son Henry W. Harding, the first of many Hamilton College graduates in the Harding family turned away from farming to pursue a career in the vibrant city of Detroit, Michigan. This decision led to the Lyman's sale of Harding Farm in 1903 to Clinton neighbor Elihu Root in 1903. The sale of "Clinton's finest manor house" to the town's most famous son was chronicled in the local paper, The Clinton Courier. The property sat dormant for much of the period until Henry bought it back in 1914 when he was nearly sixty years old.
Henry's goal was to return to his boyhood home and transform the property in to a country estate. Henry and his wife Agnes Clute Harding (a.k.a. "Lu-Lu") decided the old dairy farm needed to be made more livable and updated to the standards of the 20th Century. This led to a massive renovation of the main house, the removal a many farming structures, the movement of a horse barn away from the main house and the addition of a chauffeur's carriage house and maid's cottage. These changes created a beautiful compound with expansive lawns and a welcoming arboretum. The days of dairy farming were gone forever.
Upon Henry and Lulu's death, the farm passed down to their daughter Agnes Harding Barrows. Despite significant financial and personal challenges, Agnes (known as Nance), held on to the farm through the Depression and World War II. Nance's son Henry W. Harding and daughter Molly Harding Osborn spent a great deal of time and the farm as children. There they developed a close relationship with their grandparents (Henry and LuLu), the property and the Clinton community. This love grew as Henry enrolled in Hamilton College and later married Agnes Burke, the daughter of a Hamilton's Chairman of the Board of Trustees and sister of two Hamiltonians.
Henry and Agnes Burke Harding (known as Poppy by her grandchildren) spent summers, holidays and weekends in Clinton. Over time, they acquired additional land along the Oriskany Creek and two additional houses (Oriskany House and Proctor House) on Harding Road. For a brief period, Henry even organized a group of investors who purchased The Alexander Hamilton Inn to save it from destruction. While Henry and Agnes owned Harding Farm, many improvements were made to the property, including the installation of a Pool and a major renovation of the old horse barn, converting it in to today's Pool Barn. In the second half of the 20th Century, Henry raised Black Angus and White Faced Herfords with his sons and friend Joe Gigliotti.
Today Harding Farm is owned and managed by a number of Henry and Agnes' grandchildren and their spouses. A few of us are graduates of Hamilton College and all of us share a deep love for Harding Farm, Clinton, New York and the greater Mohawk Valley area.
Hamilton College Visiting Campus Harding Farm hotel at Hamilton College located in Clinton New York near Hamilton College and Colgate University in Hamilton New York.
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