Ridgefield in Fairfield County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
Branchville – A Center of Italian–American Life
— The Museum in the Streets —
A Small Village began to emerge in the area in 1852 with the opening of the Danbury-and-Norwalk Railroad line. Stores, a hotel, a post office, a school and small industries in the area were establishes. The building that housed the Branchville General Store, owned by the DeBenigno family, still stands just east of the train station. It was the center of the Italian community in the area. Newly arrived immigrants were frequently housed there until they found work and homes of their own. The building is on the National Historic Register.
The Ancona Family arrived in Ridgefield from Italy in the early part of the 20th century. Joseph and Frank Ancona both served in the U.S. Army in WW I, and returned to open businesses in Branchville; Joseph opened a grocery store, which still operates today as Ancona's Market, and Frank ran a popular restaurant for more than 20 years next door to the market.
Erected by The Museum in the Streets®. (Marker Number 29.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & CommerceThe Museum in the Streets®: Ridgefield, Connecticut series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1852.
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. Quarries, Abrasives and the "Fresh Air" Kids (here, next to this marker); Ridgefield, Connecticut (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 Branchville train station in winter, Ancona's Market and the Branchville General Store.
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 669 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 17, 2010, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.