Front of the Baker/Weir House, 1880

Front of the Baker/Weir House, c. 1880
Photo courtesy National Park Service, Weir Farm National Historic Site
Wilton, CT

Anna and Ella Baker’s paternal grandmother, Eliza Taintor, was born in Windham where her father was a successful merchant. Their paternal grandfather, Colonel Rufus Lathrop Baker, was born in Brooklyn, Connecticut, then part of Windham County, in 1790. After their marriage in 1818, Eliza Taintor and Colonel Rufus Lathrop Baker settled in the home that would later become central to J. Alden Weir’s life and art. The Taintor family house was built around 1750. It was originally located near the road, but in 1840, using teams of oxen and local human effort to assist, Colonel Rufus Lathrop Baker moved the house up the hill to its present location. This spot not only gave the architecture a new visual grandeur and importance, but also provided a stage for numerous pleasing views of the surrounding area. 

Portrait of Anna Bartlett Dwight (Baker)

Chester Harding, Portrait of Anna Bartlett Dwight (Baker), c. 1850
Private Collection

Portrait of Charles Taintor Baker

Robert Walter Weir, Portrait of Charles Taintor Baker, c. 1851
Private Collection

In 1855 the house was made even grander when Colonel Baker added a Victorian wing and porch. The addition included a large room for parties that was well suited for Windham's then active social scene. In 1899, when Ella’s mother died, Ella (and her sister Cora) inherited their mother’s estate, which included the Windham house and property. The property in 1899 was extensive, including well over 200 acres and several houses and out buildings.
Front of the Baker/Weir House, 2011

Front of the Baker/Weir House, October 2011