That’s Tracy Seem (above at left) at Ridgefield High School in June 2022 presenting the first-ever Ridgefield Historical Society Scholarship to senior Tyler Ingram (second from left).
How were you originally introduced to the Ridgefield Historical Society and how long/what roles have you served on the Board?
I have always been aware of RHS, but only really had the opportunity to volunteer when my boys were older. I answered an ad for archival help four years ago and immediately jumped right in on special projects, then served as membership chair, and now as President for the past two years.
Do you have a favorite era of Ridgefield history? History in general?
In Ridgefield, I am very much in awe of our rich pre-history/history and it is hard for me to pinpoint one era specifically. The timeline and waves of growth are quite interesting to me. History in general, it is also tough for me to pinpoint an era as my interests are truly across the board depending on culture/country and often focused on what I happen to be reading!
What is your educational/professional background?
I studied Art History at University of California, Santa Barbara, and have a Fine Art Museum background. I worked with the National Trust in England and currently work at a National Trust for Historic Preservation site in CT. I have been very fortunate to work with incredibly interesting collections and properties, that have included excellent examples of architecture, landscape architecture, decorative and fine arts.
What other interests do you have?
Travel is huge. We lived abroad many years and we raised our boys in three different countries. Running has always been my favorite way of discovering new areas when we moved/traveled. My family, friends and my springer spaniels … and then there is tennis , museums, food — seriously too many to list …
How long have you lived in Ridgefield?
We bought our 1740 house in 2000, moved away (but kept the house) for almost a decade, and now have been back (in that same house) for about a decade. I grew up in Redding, so Ridgefield has always been a part of my stomping grounds as well.
Would you like to share any goals/aspirations of the Ridgefield Historical Society?
RHS is such an impressive organization. For a 20-year-old institution, I am continually impressed not only by the dedication of our volunteers, working board, and staff, but equally so by the interest and eagerness to take on new initiatives. My aspiration during my tenure is to continue to secure our foundation so we can successfully take on the next twenty years.
We are at a very exciting time of evolution and the work is earnest and significant. I am inspired as we grow, but also very conscious of the importance to continually develop a solid board and volunteer base so we can handle our expanding workload. RHS belongs to the entire community and what we do touches almost every corner and every era. My goal is to make sure we can find ways to include this entire community in our important work — which is quite fulfilling and super fun!