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Meet the RHS Interns

It’s May 2022 and for the next several weeks, we have the good fortune to have our Ridgefield High School interns on board, lending an extra hand and a fresh perspective; moving projects forward; learning more about our operation; and teaching us new ways of doing things. Thank you to Sara Shepherd and Tyler Ingram, who both started with us as weekly interns in 2021 and are fantastic additions to the team.

Intern Sara Shepherd
Intern Sara Shepherd

How long have you lived in Ridgefield?

My whole life (17 years).

When did you first start working with the Ridgefield Historical Society and what was your first project?

I started working with the Historical Society in August 2021, when I saw on the website that there was an open volunteer opportunity for an archival assistant. I started out by reviewing transcriptions of a collection of antique letters from a local family in the late nineteenth century, and gradually got more involved with working in the collections.

What aspect of the Ridgefield Historical society work/mission interests you most? Collections? Programming? Exhibits?

All of the aspects of running a historical society or museum interest me, but I especially love programming, because I love to see how an organization like the Ridgefield Historical Society connects with the community and shares educational opportunities based on our past with both children and adults.

What are you doing for the rest of the summer?

I’ll be spending some time with my family and friends before college, and likely going on some day-trips around New England.

What are you doing next school year?

I will be attending Vassar College next year, where I will be studying history with a concentration in global nineteenth-century studies.

What Ridgefield event or theme do you think deserves more attention?

I think that as a community, we should highlight areas of town like Ridgebury, Farmingville, and Branchville that also have interesting historical connections, but are not as well-known as the center of town’s history. For example, locations like Ned’s Mountain in Ridgebury have a lot of historical importance, but not many people know enough about them compared to subjects like the Battle of Ridgefield. I believe it would be interesting to create projects based around sharing these “secret” historic spots in each section of town with the community. I also think it would be interesting to collaborate with other historical societies in our area, as museums have been struggling during the pandemic, and uniting for projects and exhibits would help to support these institutions!

What else do you do in your spare time?

I love to read, knit, garden, and spend time with my animals (I have three dogs and three cats) in my spare time!

Intern Tyler Ingram
Intern Tyler Ingram

How long have you lived in Ridgefield?

I’ve lived in Ridgefield since 2004, so my entire life.

When did you first start working with the Ridgefield Historical Society and what was your first project?

I started working with RHS in January of 2021, and my first project was transcribing letters from the Nash family written at the turn-of-the-century.

What aspect of the Ridgefield Historical Society work/mission interests you most? Collections? Programming? Exhibits?

To me, exhibits and collections are the most interesting, as I love working hands-on with artifacts. Working in the vault and going through the Historical Society’s collection has been some of my favorite work I’ve done here, as getting to see and touch items from centuries ago is really interesting and a much different experience than reading about history online or learning it in school.

What are you doing for the rest of the summer?

I don’t really have a set plan, but I might keep interning with the historical society as that’s what I did last summer. I also want to spend time with my family and friends before I go away for college.

What are you doing next school year?

Next school year, I’ll be attending George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where I’ll be studying archaeology and biology. I’m really looking forward to visiting all the great monuments and museums down there, as it’s a super historical city and that’ll be a great way for me to continue studying history as I do here in Ridgefield.

What Ridgefield event or theme do you think deserves more attention?

I think the many years after the colonial period needs more attention, as a lot of focus is put on the Revolutionary War in Ridgefield, but we don’t hear much about what happened after. The letters I read early on were from the Civil War era, which we never really hear about in Ridgefield history. I’ve also seen newspapers from Ridgefield during the Civil Rights era, and I think we should pay more attention to those times of great change as we are currently in a time where things are constantly changing and we could learn a lot from how Ridgefield reacted to similar events.

What else do you do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I play and go on walks with my dog and spend time with my family and friends. I play flute in the RHS Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Orchestra, and I take private lessons for that every week as well. I also enjoy cooking, baking, reading, and playing video games, but I rarely find time to do those activities.


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