The Burgess Farm, Foster, RI
The Burgess Farm Home Page
The Historic Burgess House & Property
Our Horse Boarding Services
Custom Built Post and Beam Buildings
Have Your Own Solid Wood  Outdoor John
Contact The Burgess Farm

The Historic Burgess House
Owned and Operated by the Coutu Family

Gideon Burgess Farm (c. 1820)
Senator Nelson W. Aldrich Birthplace

Visit our Photo Gallery
to join the fun with
The Burgess Farm Crew.


This house has a rich history that can be gleaned from newspaper articles and Historical Society files. For the sake of keeping names straight, the writer of this short history has put [I] and [II] behind the names of Gideon so you know who was the father and son. Parts that are in parentheses have been taken from news clippings or other sources. Parts that are in [] have been added in to fill out the sections.

"Gideon Burgess [I] purchased the farm from his farther-in-law [Peleg Williams, Jr.] in about 1805 and build the present house sometime after 1810."

House prior to 1900 - there is no porch on the right.

After this he "passed [the house] to his sons, Gideon [II] and Olney. They divided the house in the middle, where the big chimney [is located in the center], Olney letting his half to Senator Aldrich’s father and mother......" This is where stories differ somewhat because other sources say they rented it from Gideon [II]

"Gideon's [I] daughter Abby and her husband Anan Aldrich rented the farm from Gideon [II] Burgess and it was here that Nelson W. Aldrich, influential U.S. Senator from 1881 to 1911, was born in 1841. The Aldriches moved soon after to the mill village of East Killingly, Connecticut, where Anan appears to have been more successful at store-keeping than he had been at farming."

"Nelson Aldrich's daughter, Abby, married John D. Rockefeller, Jr.; their children included Nelson W. Rockefeller (Vice President of the United States and Governor of New York State) as well as philanthropists Dave and Lawrence Rockefeller."

As for the Burgesses themselves, they owned quite a bit of land. The farm once stretched for over 250 to 300 acres and included Jerimoth Hill. The house was once the highest house in the state. According to one article, before the trees all grew up you could see for miles, "The house is strikingly situated on a ridge where the headwaters of several rivers rise and has one of the most beautiful views to be had in any part of the State. It is the highest house in Rhode Island for it stands more than 780 feet above the sea level, or 20 feet higher than Beacon Pole Hill in Scituate. The view from the house covers 20 miles."

Now that all the trees have grown in and Burgess road now paved, the house is no longer the highest house in the state with a great view. However, it is still full of history and there are many Burgess/Aldrich descendants out there who would be glad to know the history of the family farm and that it is still a Historic House.

House photo from Journal article 1955
Written by Debra Najecki 11/19/05

The Gideon Burgess Farm is located in Foster, Rhode Island.
The Burgess family cemetery, Foster Historical Cemetery #2, is behind the house.
Follow this link to the Cemetery page

Senator Nelson W. Aldrich


Copyright © 2007-2013 The Burgess Farm