Fun Facts

Ridgefield is a 300+-year old community with total area of 35.0 square miles. Ridgefield was settled by English colonists in 1708 after purchasing the land from Chief Catoonah of the Ramapo tribe.
Historical Census Populations by year: 1800 – 2,025; 1900 – 2,626; 2000 – 23,643.

PLACES

Ridgefield’s Historic Districts make up 395 acres of land with 312 historic sites dating back to the 18th century.Nearly 25 percent of town is designated as natural open space. Pine Mountain features a 1200-foot peak and is situated in the northeast corner of town.

  • The Keeler Tavern Museum preserves an early 18th century house that became a tavern and an inn by the time of the Revolution.
  • Ridgefield’s Town Hall has stood at 400 Main Street for more than 100 years. The original Town Hall burned to the ground in 1896. Scenic stone walls throughout Ridgefield made of rocks cleared from 18th c. farming fields serve as property boundaries.
  • The Internationally known Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is a leading venue for the world’s best contemporary artists.
  • Weir Farm National Historic Site is the only National Park Service property in Connecticut, honoring J. Alden Weir (1852-1919), the famous American Impressionist painter
  • The 18th c. one-room Little Red Schoolhouse & exhibits are where teacher & author “Peter Parley” created his early textbooks.
  • The Ridgefield Playhouse hosts movies, live events & concerts, in a restored performance hall designed by Cass Gilbert Jr.
  • The CT. Governor Phineas C. Lounsbury Mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places and is now our Community Center for holding meetings, receptions & movie shoots.

PEOPLE:

  • Keeler Tavern was the home of noted architect Cass Gilbert, designer of both the U.S. Supreme Court Building and Woolworth Tower in New York.
  • Sculptor Frederick Remington lived and worked in Ridgefield.
  • Time magazine owner Henry Luce and his wife, Clare Boothe Luce, a playwright and Congresswoman.
  • Authors have included Eugene O’Neill, Howard Fast, Cornelius Ryan and Maurice Sendak.
  • Some notable recent residents include Judy Collins, actor Robert Vaughn and actor/playwright Harvey Fierstein.
  • Also, portrait artist John Howard Sanden and cartoonist Roz Chast, a frequent contributor to New Yorker magazine.
  • Ira Joe Fisher, a poet and former CBS weatherman lives is town as well as newsman Morton Dean.

EVENTS:

  • The Revolutionary War Battle of Ridgefield on April 27, 1777 was led by Generals David Wooster, who died in the engagement;  and Benedict Arnold, whose horse was shot from under him.
  • In 1946, Ridgefield was one of the locations considered for the United Nations secretariat building, but was not chosen due to its relative lack of accessibility.
  • Many wealthy NY publishers discovered Ridgefield in the early 1900’s, building large estates and ‘summer cottages’throughout the higher sections of town.  Most still exist today.
  • A cannonball from the Battle of Ridgefield remains lodged in the clapboard siding of Keeler Tavern.
  • In 2006, the tree that was chosen for display in Rockefeller Center, New York, came from Ridgefield.
  • Stephen’s Church August Nutmeg Festival has been organized each year since 1906 when it started as an ‘apron and cake sale’ by the Ladies Guild to raise money for charity.
  • The 1939 film In Name Only, with Cary Grant, Carole Lombard and Kay Francis, is partially set in Ridgefield, and the opening shot is of the wooden sign at the corner of Main Street and Branchville Road.
  • In the 1941 film The Lady Eve, starring Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwick, Fonda’s character hosts extravagant parties in a fictional town called Bridgefield, CT, a town full of millionaires, outside of New York. This town is based on the town of Ridgefield.
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