Ridgefield CT Area Guide
Ranking as highest quality of life regularly by Connecticut Magazine, the town of Ridgefield, Connecticut is heads above many other areas anywhere in the state. Ridgefield is a short 52 miles northeast of bustling New York City, making this area perfect home for many different types of lifestyles; for business commuters or those that are looking for some big city excitement. Ridgefield is located in Fairfield County; in the southwest corner of Connecticut, a picturesque backdrop this quintessential New England town. The population of Ridgefield is 23,890, which is spread across a distance of 35 square miles. The Town of Ridgefield consists of hilly, rocky terrain but surrounded by rolling hills and fresh water streams. Ancient glaciers, some 20,000 years ago, helped shape the land of Ridgefield; depositing countless rocks throughout the town and forming the town's bodies of water, namely Round Pond which was the last contribution of these prehistoric formations.
Known for its Victorian homes, museums, and unique shops, restaurants and boutiques, Ridgefield has grown into a quaint New England community and has become a popular location in which to reside. Ridgefields world-class reputation is also contributed to its fine dining establishments, from world-class country inns to modern bistros, many of which grace the towns famed Main Street district. The Main Street of Ridgefield is one the town's most popular locations. Stretching more than a mile along a ridge some 750 feet above sea level, the towns center (including Main Street) is said to be the loftiest between the cities of Boston and Washington DC. Main Street is lined with charming historic style homes, towering maple trees, stone walls, 3 blocks of shops and restaurants, and wonderful old churches, complete with steeples. Main Street also holds many of the town's annual events, such as the Memorial Day Parade, the Holiday Stroll in December as well as church fairs such as the Nutmeg Festival which takes place every August to raise money for charity.
In the year 1708, a group of settlers established themselves in the southwest corner of Connecticut that was to be Ridgefield, after purchasing the land from Chief Catoonah of the Ramapoo tribe. A year later the town was incorporated under Royal Charter. Since then, Ridgefield has enjoyed and endured many years of pivotal American history. One of the most pivotal battles in the Revolutionary War occurred in Ridgefield in 1777. The Battle of Ridgefield pitted the Connecticut Continentals and a small colonial militia force against the Royal British Army. During this battle, Continental Army General David Wooster lost his life in the engagement; and Benedict Arnold, who at the time was still one of the leading strategists and heroes of the war, received a near fatal leg injury after his horse was shot out from beneath him, crushing him underneath. Though not considered a textbook victory for the American Revolutionaries, after surprising vigor of the British faced at the Battle of Ridgefield, they never again attempted a landing by ship to attack colonial strongholds during the war.
Today one can find both Redcoat and Continental soliders buried alongside one and other in a small cemetery on Main Street in Ridgefield. Right of the entrance to the Casagmo condominiums, is a memorial that reads: "...foes in arms, brothers in death..." All throughout the town are memories of this critical battle, its impact and materiel can be seen to this day. A former inn now turned museum, The Keeler Tavern, features a British cannonball still lodged in the side of the building. Other landmarks like this can be found throughout the town of Ridgefield, many of which reside one the mile long stretch of Main Street.
With new railroad construction spurring interest in the area, the 1800s in Ridgefield were a time of great growth and prosperity. Many affluent New Yorkers discovered Ridgefield at this time and proceeded to build expansive summer homes here. Some famous estates included, Col. Louis D. Conley's "Outpost Farm," which at one point totaled nearly 2,000 acres, some of which is now Bennett's Pond State Park; Seth Low Pierrepont's "Twixthills," more than 600 acres, much of which is now Pierrepont State Park; Frederic E. Lewis's "Upagenstit,"100 acres that became Grey Court College in the 1940s, but is now mostly subdivisions; and Col. Edward M. Knox's "Downesbury Manor", whose 300 acres included a 45-room mansion that Mark Twain often visited. These mansions, as well as many others, were disassembled and razed during the Great Depression era. Their once glorious lots were then turned into suburban, bedroom community in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, allowing much needed space for Ridgefields expanding population.
Ridgefield Attractions, Parks and Recreation
For an area with such serene landscapes, it would be a shame if there were not area for local residents to soak in the beautiful natural environment of their hometown. Fortunately for the residents of Ridgefield, Connecticut, there are numerous areas for outdoor enjoyment and relaxation. The town of Ridgefield features several parks throughout the community, catering to a wide variety of different open air leisure pursuits.
Take some time and spend it with Mother Nature at the Aldrich Park, which offers 37 acres of trails and camping ground. Hiking and camping parks also can be found at Sturges Park and Lake Windwing. Lake Mamanasco and the Pierrepont Pond, a two free access lakes in Ridgefield, providing visitors an intimate experience with local wildlife through their mile-long canoe outings. Recreational swimming is popular at Martin Park Beach, and the Graham Dickinson SPIRIT Skate Park serves as a safe and unique place for skateboarding and inline skating.
Besides outdoor adventures, Ridgefield offers a variety of social events and facilities including the Ridgefield Playhouse, the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, and the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art. The Ridgefield Parks and Recreation Commission sponsors and organizes many adult and youth activities, such as football, ice hockey, ballet and horseback riding. Ridgefield also offers a public golf course, as well as a private golf course, tennis and a swim club. And Ridgefields seniors will enjoy the Founders Hall, with a lively assortment of trips and classes and games for the 60+ group.
Please visit our Relocation page for a list of local parks and links to local attractions, and learning about great sites such as: The Keeler Tavern Inn Museum, a member of the National Register of Historic Places and featuring an authentic cannonball from Revolutionary times embedded into the wall; and the Garden of Ideas, Ridgefields own public accessible garden of fresh produce and inspiration.
Please visit my other area pages within my website by clicking on an area below:
The Morris Group
Phone: (203) 431-2583