Ridgefield in Fairfield County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
Quarries, Abrasives and the "Fresh Air" Kids
— The Museum in the Streets —
The Bridgeport Wood Refinishing Company and Silex Mills had a plant on the eastern side of Route 7, north of the Branchville train station, and a much larger one at the intersection of Branchville Road and Route 7 along the newly built branch line into Ridgefield. The company ground quartz into powder to be used in paints and stains, as well as producing abrasives for polishing and other products. Stone came from quarries in the Branchville area, but some came in by train to the company's railroad sidings.
"Life's Farm" was founded by John Ames Mitchell in the latter part of the 19th century. For many years thousands of New York City youngsters were brought to Ridgefield for several weeks in the summer to be given a taste of country life. The camp was located on the site of the current Branchville Elementary School.
Erected by The Museum in the Streets®. (Marker Number 30.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. In addition, it is included in the The Museum in the Streets®: Ridgefield, Connecticut
Location. 41° 16.041′ N, 73° 26.464′ W. Marker is in Ridgefield, Connecticut, in Fairfield County. Marker is at the intersection of Ethan Allen Highway (U.S. 7) and Branchville Road (Connecticut Route 102), on the right when traveling north on Ethan Allen Highway. Located at the entrance to the Metro-North railroad parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ridgefield CT 06877, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Ridgefield, Connecticut (here, next to this marker); Branchville – A Center of Italian–American Life (here, next to this marker); Old Hundred (approx. 0.7 miles away); Weir Farm National Historic Site (approx. 1.1 miles away); Ensign James Benedict House (approx. 2.7 miles away); Ye Burying Yard (approx. 2.7 miles away); State Police and the Benjamin Franklin School (approx. 2.9 miles away); Keeler Tavern (approx. 2.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ridgefield.
More about this marker. The photos on the marker show the Bridgeport Wood Refinishing Company, Silex Mills factory building and children playing baseball, with many spectating, at summer camp.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Take the Museum in the Streets Walking Tour in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 17, 2010, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 766 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 17, 2010, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.