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Take the Museum in the Streets Walking Tour in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
 
The Museum in the Streets Marker image, Touch for more information
By Michael Herrick, May 5, 2010
The Museum in the Streets Marker
SHOWN IN SOURCE-SPECIFIED ORDER
1Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — Map — Ridgefield, ConnecticutThe Museum in the Streets®
Welcome to Ridgefield's History Trail! Ridgefield, Connecticut – 1708 The Fundamental Orders adopted by Connecticut in 1639 directed would-be settlers, able to support a minister, to establish a settlement, build a Congregational Church . . . Map (db m31997) HM
2Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — Map — Ridgefield, ConnecticutThe Museum in the Streets
Welcome to Ridgefield's History Trail! Ridgefield, Connecticut – 1708 The Fundamental Orders adopted by Connecticut in 1639 directed would-be settlers, able to support a minister, to establish a settlement, build a Congregational Church . . . Map (db m32234) HM
3Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 1 — The Great Fire of 1895Ridgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
The East Side of Main Street as it appeared the day after the devastating fire of 1895. (See Panel #17 for a description of the fire.) Barhite & Valden General Store and the Western Union telegraph office next door were located just . . . Map (db m31585) HM
4Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 2 — Bailey Avenue: A Short-Cut to the Train StationRidgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
Louis Bailey (1819-1899), a prominent member of the community, created Bailey Avenue for the purpose of building stores and residences, and for access to the train depot on Prospect St. He was an incorporator of the Ridgefield Savings Bank, a . . . Map (db m31998) HM
5Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 3 — The Spotting Tower and Railroad WarehousingRidgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
The small, white octagonal building on the corner was originally built as a boathouse on the estate of F.E. Lewis. It was moved behind the high school on East Ridge during World War II, and used as a warming hut for volunteers looking for . . . Map (db m31590) HM
6Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 4 — The Ridgefield Train StationRidgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
In 1870, A Branch Line from the Branchville train station was built to offer service to the wealthy New Yorkers who began arriving to spend their summers in Ridgefield. Many of these "summer people" had their own private railroad cars. . . . Map (db m31591) HM
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7Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 6 — Smith Tavern – A Colonial Meeting PlaceRidgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
The Smith Tavern stood on the site of the present library. Ebenezer Smith arrived from Milford in 1709 and was assigned Lot # 26. He opened a small tavern in his home. By 1797 a new building was erected on the site by Amos Smith, who ran a . . . Map (db m24806) HM
8Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 7 — The Elms Inn and Stebbins HomesteadRidgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
In 1799, Thomas Rockwell opened a small carpentry shop which later became part of the Elms Inn. It was also a shoemaker’s shop and later, a tin shop operated by Francis Rockwell. Francis was also a vintner whose vineyard was across the street . . . Map (db m23435) HM
9Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 8 — The Battle of Ridgefield, April 27, 1777Ridgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
British General Tryon’s Raid on Danbury occurred on April 26, 1777. The beginning of the 1777 campaign was the first British invasion and the only pitched battle in Connecticut. Following the burning of Danbury the British troops marched . . . Map (db m23412) HM
10Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 9 — Ballard ParkRidgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
Philip Burr Bradley was one of the earliest owners of the property. Bradley, a cousin of Aaron Burr, was placed in command of the Fifth CT Regt. in the Revolutionary War, and commanded a battalion at the Battle of Ridgefield. He also served in . . . Map (db m24808) HM
11Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 10 — The Village in the 1900sRidgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
The International Order Of Odd Fellows, Pilgrim Lodge No. 45 was established in Ridgefield in 1847, meeting in the Masonic Hall until 1895 when the structure was destroyed in the Great Fire. The Odd Fellows built their own building in 1928 and . . . Map (db m31970) HM
12Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 11 — Main Street in the Late 1800sRidgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
Looking south from Prospect Street, where the shops and offices of Yankee Ridge are today, stood homes at the beginning of the 20th century. From the left are the Osborn house, owned by Richard Osborn, owner of the Ridgefield Lumber Company; . . . Map (db m24807) HM
13Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 12 — A Much-Loved Old Church and a Watering Trough for HorsesRidgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
The Methodist Episcopal Church had its beginnings in Ridgefield 1n 1787 when the first meeting was held – just 21 years after Methodism had been introduced into the U.S. from England. In 1789 Jesse Lee, a native of Virginia, was sent north as a . . . Map (db m31936) HM
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14Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 13 — Out of the Ashes …Ridgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
The Fire District in Ridgefield was organized in 1896 following the devastating fire of 1895. Ex-Governor Phineas Lounsbury was an early benefactor of the Department and the new engine company took his name. The firehouse is also the site of . . . Map (db m32050) HM
15Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 14 — The Livery Stable and the First Catholic ChurchRidgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
Whitlock's Livery, later the Sperry Livery stable, was across the street from the firehouse. Whitlock ran a stage to the Branchville station before the branch line was built in 1870. The livery stable also boarded horses, including those used . . . Map (db m32051) HM
16Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 15 — St. Mary Church and RectoryRidgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
A New Catholic Church was first planned in 1896. This Victorian Gothic building was completed and dedicated on July 5, 1897. This building is described by the Ridgefield Preservation Trust as "… one of Ridgefield's finest buildings…a complex . . . Map (db m32049) HM
17Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 16 — The Village Center in the Early 1900sRidgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
Henry Mead and His Wife are seen standing on the stoop of their grocery store in the early part of the 20th century. The building was moved when Ridgefield Hardware built their new store in 1948. Today Ridgefield Hardware is one of the oldest . . . Map (db m31937) HM
18Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 17 — More of the Great FireRidgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
On the Night of December 8, 1895 a fire broke out in the undertaking and furniture store of Bedient & Mead at the northeast corner of Main St. and Bailey Ave. The fire spread rapidly to the adjoining Western Union telegraph office and Barhite . . . Map (db m31586) HM
19Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 18 — Bissell's – Destroyed by Two ConflagrationsRidgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
Hiram K. Scott set up the town's first variety and drug store in 1853. Scott was an influential businessman, serving as postmaster, town clerk, probate judge and a druggist for 50 years. He sold his store to Harvey Bissell in the summer of . . . Map (db m31587) HM
20Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 20 — State Police and the Benjamin Franklin SchoolRidgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
Looking Towards East Ridge from Governor Street, the four buildings on the hill have been an important part of Ridgefield's landscape for the last 100 years. On the left is the George Rockwell home, which, with the house next door was once the . . . Map (db m31588) HM
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21Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 22 — Benedict Arnold's Betrayal and Lieutenant Joshua KingRidgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
On September 23, 1780, on his way through American lines to New York City, Major John Andre of the British Army was captured, taken prisoner and brought to American headquarters in South Salem, N.Y. Andre had plotted with General Benedict . . . Map (db m32002) HM
22Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 23 — The Town Common and Hauley HouseRidgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
The First Meeting House was built on the green in 1713. In 1723 the first Congregational Meeting House was erected and served as a school, church and government building. It was replaced in 1800 by a second Meeting House, in use until 1888 . . . Map (db m31999) HM
23Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 24 — Ridgefield's Colonial PlansRidgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
The First Recorded Plan for settlement was in 1697 when a group of Congregationalists primarily from Norwalk petitioned "to purchase of the Indians a certain tract of land lying about 14 miles northward of the town of Norwalk to settle a . . . Map (db m32048) HM
24Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 25 — Keeler Tavern and the “Big Shop”Ridgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
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 . . . Map (db m23411) HM
25Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 26 — Settler’s RockRidgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
The first surveyors came north from Norwalk to determine the suitability of the land for settlement as a plantation. Tradition says that they spent their first night on top of Settler’s Rock and that fires were built at its base to protect . . . Map (db m23420) HM
26Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 27 — Titicus: An Industrial CenterRidgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets® —
Mills first appeared along the Titicus River in the early part of the 18th century. Sawmills, the first to come, permitted the proprietors to build frame houses instead of rough log cabins. Titicus also boasted the largest tannery in town, which . . . Map (db m23609) HM
27Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 28 — Ridgebury – George Washington Slept HereRidgefield, Connecticut — The Museum in the Streets —
Ridgebury, "The New Patent," was one of the last land purchases made by the Proprietors. Tradition says that the First Congregational Church in Ridgebury had its beginnings in the "New Patent Meeting House" as early as 1738. In 1768 the . . . Map (db m32052) HM
28Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 29 — Branchville – A Center of Italian–American LifeRidgefield, Connecticut — 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 . . . Map (db m31967) HM
29Connecticut (Fairfield County), Ridgefield — 30 — Quarries, Abrasives and the "Fresh Air" KidsRidgefield, Connecticut — 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 . . . Map (db m31966) HM
 
 
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Sep. 26, 2022