The garden that exists today has evolved over time from its earliest inception as the Cushing family's garden. After the Cushings acquired the 1808 house in 1818, they gradually added sections of neighboring properties, increasing the garden to its current dimensions.
Cushing family members and their staff cared for the gardens for 150 years, filling it with fruit trees, perennials, and annuals. At one point, the Cushing family propagated “blood peach” trees, producing a fruit which, on the exterior was a mousy color, but whose inner flesh and juices ran blood red. The family sold harvested fruit to locals on the condition that the peach pits were returned to the Cushings so that no one else could corner the market on this rare and delicious fruit!
The Museum of Old Newbury acquired the garden and the Cushing House in 1955 after the death of Margaret Cushing, who lived in the house for 100 years. In 1998, the garden was restored to its mid-19th century layout. The design is based both on historic documents and a sketch done by Margaret Cushing showing the gardens as she remembered them from her childhood in the 1860s. Today, the garden is cared for by a group of dedicated volunteers who work hard to maintain both the garden’s historical integrity and its beauty.
The museum's historic garden and grounds are open free of charge from dawn to dusk year-round. Enjoy our free audio tour of the grounds by downloading the Uniguide app to your smartphone!