Search
Close this search box.

‹‹ MORE NEWS

Meet the 2023 Summer Interns!

This summer, thanks to the generosity of the Goldstone Family Foundation and the Kasuli Family, the Ridgefield Historical Society benefited from several extra pairs of hands and the brightness and energy of youth as six student interns joined the team for the season. 

This summer, thanks to the generosity of the Goldstone Family Foundation and the Kasuli Family, the Ridgefield Historical Society benefited from several extra pairs of hands and the brightness and energy of youth as six student interns joined the team for the season.  

Meet these fabulous students below – and comfort yourself with the knowledge that the love of history is alive and well in Ridgefield, Connecticut. 

Sara Shepherd – 2023 Goldstone Family Foundation Intern

Sara is a rising sophomore at Vassar College, where she is a History and English double-major

What sparked your interest in history and led you to join the Ridgefield Historical Society as a summer intern?

I have loved to visit museums and historic sites since I was a child, but I didn’t realize until high school that museum studies was a career path that I could pursue. I got involved with the Historical Society two years ago this August, where I have learned a lot about both the Society’s operations and Ridgefield history, and luckily I was able to return this summer! 

What is your favorite historical topic, time period, person, and/or location in Ridgefield, and why?

Anything from the 19th Century in Ridgefield history especially interests me, including the elaborate estates from the Gilded Age, as well as the correspondence of typical Ridgefield residents like the Nash family (whose letters I helped to transcribe in past summers). As the 19th Century was such a dynamic time in the nation’s history, I’ve loved to learn about how Ridgefield residents contributed to (and reacted towards) the many transformations that occurred. 

What specific projects or experiences have you been involved in during your internship with the Ridgefield Historical Society in 2023? Are you enjoying what you’re working on and if so, why? How have your projects shaped your understanding of the town’s history?

I have been involved in cataloging artifacts and pictures entering the Historical Society’s collections, and additionally, I have been working on transcribing the recently acquired letters of Edwin Pickett, a Ridgefielder and Civil War soldier who died at Gettysburg, to his wife in 1862-3. I’ve especially enjoyed this project, as Pickett not only reflects on well-known battles and people during the Civil War, but also on life back at home, and how Ridgefield residents participated in the war in many different ways. 

What do you like to do when not studying or interning?

In my spare time, I enjoy reading, knitting, and gardening.

Sam Bazarian – Goldstone Family Foundation Intern
Sam is a rising sophomore at Gettysburg College, where he plays football and is a Business and History double-major

What sparked your interest in history and led you to join the Ridgefield Historical Society as a summer intern?

My dad has always been interested in history, so I was surrounded by it growing up, and now it is something he, my brother, and I bond over. I like studying The American Revolution, the American Civil War, World Wars I and II, and maritime history, mainly the Titanic. I continue to surround myself with history, currently studying it at Gettysburg College. This summer I still wanted to be around it, and thankfully the Historical Society had their internship program.

What is your favorite historical topic, time period, person, and/or location in Ridgefield, and why?

18th Century Ridgefield has always been interesting to me, particularly the Battle of Ridgefield in 1777. Keeler Tavern was one of my favorite field trips, especially seeing the cannonball in the wall. My favorite location has become the vault in the David Scott House. When I can, it is very cool to go through all the different things the Society has archived about our town.

What specific projects or experiences have you been involved in during your internship with the Ridgefield Historical Society in 2023? Are you enjoying what you’re working on and if so, why? How have your projects shaped your understanding of the town’s history? 

Mainly I have been helping catalog new and backlogged artifacts and documents into our system and making sure they find their home in the vault. But my favorite project has been oral history interviews of Ridgefield residents who served in World War II. My job is to go over the transcripts while listening to the audio to make sure there are no errors. But I have been enjoying listening to their stories, many of them very fascinating. I cannot wait for them to be finished, that way more people can read or listen about their experiences.

Given your interest in the Titanic, what are your thoughts on the Titan submersible?

The Titanic is something I have been fascinated with for a long time. So when I first learned of Ocean Gate a couple of years ago, I loved the idea of being able to see the wreck with my own eyes. Realistically though, also given recent events, it would be almost impossible to do. Deep sea tourism is something very hard to do, with all the money involved and also all the dangers of going down 12,500 ft in the ocean. However, if the safety was there and the opportunity presented itself, I would totally do it.

What do you like to do when not studying or interning?

When I am not interning, I like to read and catch up on my history, whether that is watching documentaries or reading about something. I also love doing anything with football.

Francesco Carro – Georgianne Kasuli Memorial Fund Intern
Francesco is entering his junior year at the University of Connecticut and is pursuing a degree in Marketing

What sparked your interest in history and led you to join the Ridgefield Historical Society as a summer intern?

History has always been one of my favorite subjects, I never struggled in any history class I took and never had difficulty staying engaged. What drove me back to RHS specifically was my first summer interning there. I was so surprised by the amount of knowledge hidden away in that tiny red house I always drove by. Learning what it was like and how different life was in the past through items that are donated to the collection made me want to return for another internship. [Note: Francesco also interned at the Ridgefield Historical Society in Summer 2022.]

What is your favorite historical topic, time period, person, and/or location in Ridgefield, and why?

Any time during the 20th Century, but the ’40s are my favorite. I feel like for most of history change has happened at a glacier’s pace, but began to change exponentially faster during the 1900s. I also think that it’s most relevant to us today too, the impact of many events are still felt and the lessons are still repeated.

What specific projects or experiences have you been involved in during your internship with the Ridgefield Historical Society in 2023? Are you enjoying what you’re working on and if so, why? How have your projects shaped your understanding of the town’s history?

The project I’ve enjoyed the most so far has been the oral history project. Hearing the veterans recount their experiences with WWII intrigues me. Hearing their unfiltered opinions and first-hand experiences of happenings during the war is much more interesting than learning about these things through a textbook or lecture. 


What do you like to do when not studying or interning?
Whenever I’m not interning I love photography and video/photo editing.


Jane Prusko – Georgianne Kasuli Memorial Fund Intern
Jane is a rising senior at Ridgefield High School

What sparked your interest in history and led you to join the Ridgefield Historical Society as a summer intern?

I’ve been interested in history ever since I was little; my mom also loves it and I’ve been fortunate enough to travel often which further expanded this interest. My English teacher this year informed my class of the internship.

What is your favorite historical topic, time period, person, and/or location in Ridgefield, and why?

My favorite location in Ridgefield is downtown Main Street. I feel that the large variety in independently owned businesses really demonstrates the character of the town.

What specific projects or experiences have you been involved in during your internship with the Ridgefield Historical Society in 2023? Are you enjoying what you’re working on and if so, 

As an intern, I’ve sat in on a meeting of the RHS History Club and cataloged many documents. I’ve really enjoyed learning about the history of the town and getting to hear stories from its residents.

Looking ahead, how do you envision using your internship experience with the Ridgefield Historical Society will contribute to the field of history or your future profession?

I will use my experiences here to ideally take many classes in related fields when I enter college.

Sebastian Utomo – Ridgefield Historical Society Volunteer Intern
Sebastian is a rising sophomore at Ridgefield High School 

What sparked your interest in history and led you to join the Ridgefield Historical Society as a summer intern?

My 8th grade social studies teacher, Mr. Broderick, and my participation in the National History Day contest are what sparked my interest in history. I wanted to learn more about Ridgefield’s history, so I decided to join the Ridgefield Historical Society as a volunteer.

What is your favorite historical topic, time period, person, and/or location in Ridgefield, and why?

My favorite historical location in Ridgefield is Main Street. Despite existing for centuries, Ridgefield’s Main Street has always remained the same, with many historical buildings like the Keeler Tavern not demolished yet. Ridgefield’s Main Street is my favorite location because it holds so much history while also being a common public area for the citizens of Ridgefield.

What specific projects or experiences have you been involved in during your internship with the Ridgefield Historical Society in 2023? Are you enjoying what you’re working on and if so, why? How have your projects shaped your understanding of the town’s history?

During my 2023 volunteer experience with the Ridgefield Historical Society, I have enjoyed auditing the Ridgefield Historical Society’s website, auditing interview transcriptions, transcribing historical figure scripts, cataloging historical books, bookkeeping financial transactions, and scanning books/artifacts for online documentation.  These projects have helped me to understand just how much depth and length Ridgefield’s history has.

Can you tell us more about your History Day Project?
Back in 8th grade, my social studies teacher, Mr. Thomas Broderick, encouraged students to participate in NHD (national history day) which is an event where students create a project in the form of a website, paper, performance, or video that discusses the yearly topic. I chose the Treaty of Versailles as the 2022 topic was “Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences.” 

I created an individual website [on the topic] and managed to make my way to nationals. 

Editor’s note: Not everybody manages to make it nationals! Congratulations Sebastian!


Ainsley Hoemann – Ridgefield Historical Society Volunteer Intern
This fall, Ainsley is going to be a junior at Syracuse University, studying History 

What sparked your interest in history and led you to join the Ridgefield Historical Society as a summer intern?

I have had a love for history for as long as I can remember. I have a passion for uncovering mysteries of the past in order to find some clarity for the present and possibly the future. The Ridgefield Historical Society’s internship program allows me to do this in a smaller setting while also giving me the opportunity to learn more about the town I am from.

What is your favorite historical topic, time period, person, and/or location in Ridgefield, and why?

Early American history has always seemed fascinating to me and learning more about what led up to the Revolutionary War and ultimately America’s freedom in the 18th Century. More specifically, women’s history and the role women played in this time is equally — if not more — important to understanding the history of America. The Keeler Tavern Museum is one of Ridgefield’s most famous historical sites, but it holds important information not only for Ridgefield, but the country as a whole.

What specific projects or experiences have you been involved in during your internship with the Ridgefield Historical Society in 2023? Are you enjoying what you’re working on and if so, why? How have your projects shaped your understanding of the town’s history?

I am currently working on transcribing an oral history interview between Gabby Kessler and Betsy Reid. I have had the privilege of listening to Ms. Kessler’s first-hand account of World War II and the horrific events of Holocaust. Oral histories are vital in keeping stories alive especially as we have less and less living survivors of the Holocaust each year. I feel that I have a responsibility to uphold Ms. Kessler’s story and I have thoroughly enjoyed the work I have completed so far.

What do you like to do when not studying or interning?

When I am not interning, I try to read as much as possible, especially in the summer.

Search

More Posts

On Board with Frank Cobelli

We welcome Frank Cobelli to the Ridgefield Historical Society board, charged with maintaining our growing collection of buildings and grounds.

Send Us A Message

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list and receive updates, news, and invitations.

Visit Us

Ridgefield Historical Society
4 Sunset Lane
Ridgefield, CT 06877
Tel. (203) 438-5821

Follow Us

Community

 © 2024 Ridgefield Historical Society, All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy