Oil: Peter P. Cornen led movement in 1880s to drill for oil in Ridgefield, especially Farmingville; Press reported in 1886 [P11/11/1886]: “The workmen digging the well on Dr. Bennett’s place found a vein of soft material, greasy to the feel, and resembling tallow in consistency. It was similar to that found in digging a well on Aaron Lee’s place that gave rise to the story of the finding of oil.” Cornen, who made a fortune discovering oil in Pennsylvania, said Ridgefield is situated over an oil field of “considerable magnitude.” On Nov. 19, 1887, a public meeting took place to discuss forming the Ridgefield Oil and Gas Heating and Gas Lighting Company to begin drilling. [P11/25/1887]. However, drilling never occurs, probably because many townspeople object to the effect it would have on town.

More Historical Nuggets

First Pride Day, 1998

FIRST ‘PRIDE’ DAY: “A Celebration of Community: Straight, Gay and Lesbian“ took place in 1998, on the Community Center lawn. Just a year later, a Rainbow Flag was flown for the first time in the nation over a state capitol, Hartford, on March 21, 1999.

Hezekiah Scott (1789-1879)

Hezekiah Scott was a weaver and operated a distillery on the brook near his home on Barlow Mountain Road — a stream now called Kiah’s Brook.


The first road paving, part of a state experiment, was done on the eastern end of Branchville Road around 1912. Catoonah Street was paved in 1922.