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History

The History of Winvian

In 1775, Dr. Seth Bird, an eccentric but respected physician known for bringing a coffin along on his house calls, built a home for himself and his family in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut. It was a white clapboard beauty, aproned with meadows and woods, and a comfort and sustenance for the generations.

In 1948, the Smith family bought the historic Bird estate and named it Win-Vian, a combination of the first names of Winthrop Smith and his wife Vivian. They raised a beloved son, bounteous fruit and vegetables, and livestock on the property (today the luxury Spa stands where the pigpens once did but offers a rather nicer kind of mud treatment). When Win died, Vivian married Charles McVay, captain of the USS Indianapolis, whose riveting story is detailed in the book “In Harm’s Way.”

With the addition of eighteen individually designed luxury cottages and Hadley Suite, Winvian remains in the Smith family today, lovingly restored by Maggie Smith, her daughter Heather and son Win Smith III into a luxurious, unconventional and absolutely magnificent getaway.

 

History Gallery