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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Ridgefield in Fairfield County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Keeler Tavern and the “Big Shop”

Ridgefield, Connecticut

 

—The Museum in the Streets —

 
Keeler Tavern and the “Big Shop” Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 17, 2009
1. Keeler Tavern and the “Big Shop” Marker
Inscription. Built as a farmhouse in 1713 on Lot#2 by David Hoyt, it was sold to his grandson Timothy Keeler, who converted it into an inn/tavern in 1772. The Keeler Tavern, which also served as a post office, was inherited by Anna Keeler, Timothy’s daughter, who with her husband, Abijah Resseguie and their daughter Anna Marie operated it as a hotel. For many years the building was a stagecoach stop on the line from New York to Boston. Its reputation for hospitality and service made it a favorite stopping place for travelers. In 1907 Miss Resseguie sold her property to renowned architect Cass Gilbert who used it as his summer home. It was purchased by a group of preservationists in 1965 and in 1966 opened its doors as the Keeler Tavern Museum. The fountain at the intersection of Main Street and West Lane was designed by Cass Gilbert and presented as a gift to the town in 1915. It is much-loved symbol of the town.

“Big Shop,” now located off Bailey Avenue on Big Shop Lane (see Panel #2) was originally a carriage manufactory at the corner of Main Street and West Lane. Tradesmen of the day – blacksmiths, trimmers, upholsters, harnessmakers, painters and woodworkers and the like, all built carriages and wagons that were sold throughout the country. Jones Hall took up the second floor. It was a meeting place where
Marker on Main Street image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 17, 2009
2. Marker on Main Street
many local functions were held, and where in 1864 Hannibal Hamlin, Abraham Lincoln’s first Vice President spoke at a rally. The building was moved in 1888 to make way for construction of the new Congregational Church. (Marker Number 25.)
 
Location. 41° 16.386′ N, 73° 29.83′ W. Marker is in Ridgefield, Connecticut, in Fairfield County. Marker is on Main Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ridgefield CT 06877, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Keeler Tavern (a few steps from this marker); Ridgefield's Colonial Plans (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ridgefield Veterans Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Town Common and Hauley House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Rev. Thomas Hawley House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Benedict Arnold's Betrayal and Lieutenant Joshua King (approx. ¼ mile away); Ensign James Benedict House (approx. 0.3 miles away); Ye Burying Yard (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ridgefield.
 
More about this marker. Two old-time photos appear on the marker. They depict the Keeler Tavern Museum and the fountain designed by Cass Gilbert.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this
Keeler Tavern image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 17, 2009
3. Keeler Tavern
marker. Take the Museum in the Streets Walking Tour in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
 
Also see . . .  The Keeler Tavern Museum. (Submitted on October 17, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
Historic Places Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 17, 2009
4. Historic Places Marker
The Keeler Tavern is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Keeler Tavern image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 17, 2009
5. Keeler Tavern
The Keeler Tavern served as headquarters for the patriots during the Battle of Ridgefield, April 27, 1777. It is now owned by the Keeler Tavern Preservation Society and maintained as an historical building.
Keeler Tavern Battle Damage image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 17, 2009
6. Keeler Tavern Battle Damage
During their retreat after the April 27, 1777 Battle of Ridgefield, the British fired on patriot buildings. One of the cannonballs still remains lodged in the side of the Keeler Tavern.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 17, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,069 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 17, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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