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On Board With Sally Sanders

This month, we introduce board member Sally Sanders, who’s been a volunteer in a variety of capacities and a board member since 2018, the year after she retired from a journalism career.

How long have you lived in Ridgefield and what brought you here?
I’ve lived in Ridgefield since 1968, when I graduated from college and married Jack Sanders, who was working at The Ridgefield Press. We’ve lived in the same antique house on Olmstead Lane since 1972.

When did you first get involved with the Ridgefield Historical Society?
I retired from Hersam Acorn Newspapers in 2017 and a year later heard from my husband that Kay Ables needed help with a collection of materials that centered around Georgetown. Since I had been the editor of The Redding Pilot for a few years early in my career, I was familiar with names and locations in Georgetown and so offered to help. That led to further involvement and eventually a board position.

Have you always been a history person?
No. I actually majored in zoology in college! However, having lived in a pre-Revolutonary War house for more than 50 years, and working at the town’s newspaper for about the same period gave me a great appreciation for exploring and preserving the town’s stories. And, of course, I’m married to someone who’s been researching and writing town history for decades.

What is your area of focus on the Historical Society Board?
My main focus is writing about and sharing the Ridgefield Historical Society’s mission and Ridgefield history, through our website, social media, press releases, the Scott House Journal, etc. I also volunteer an afternoon every week working with collections manager Betsy Reid. In that work, I’m always finding inspiration for future stories. And finally, my husband and I oversee the Peter Parley Schoolhouse, host its open houses and work with groups on special events there.

What do you enjoy about the Historical Society? 
The stories that are waiting to be shared in our collections and the work that all of us do to help preserve this town’s amazing history.

Do you have a favorite era of Ridgefield history? 
I’m drawn to the Revolutionary War era and the amazing courage of the Ridgefield men and women who lived here then. But really, all eras of Ridgefield history are fascinating.

Why should people care about history?
If for no other reason than that it’s just so interesting. Understanding our town’s history is really learning about the individuals who came before us, whether they were struggling subsistence farmers or wealthy business titans from New York,  immigrants from Ireland or Italy or newcomers seeking more space to raise their families.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not preserving history?
Reading, knitting, quilting, and a daily walk.

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