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On Staff With Janet Graves

This month, we introduce, Janet Graves who joins the Ridgefield Historical Society as our new Executive Assistant!

Welcome to the Ridgefield Historical Society! Can you tell us about your background and what drew you to this position?

I first became interested in the Ridgefield Historical Society in 2022 after participating in many of the events the weekend of the Battle of Ridgefield’s 245th anniversary. From the smell of the gunpowder during the reenactment, to the encampment on the lawn of Jesse Lee and the ceremonial funeral procession down Main Street, it was a weekend to remember.  The Historical Society did an amazing job getting the public excited about our town’s history and our family decided that we wanted to get involved in the 250th celebration of the Battle of Ridgefield.  So when a position became available at the Ridgefield Historical Society I saw it as a perfect fit!  A chance to serve the community that I am so grateful to be a part of and a way to learn about the rich history of Ridgefield. 

How long have you lived in Ridgefield and what brought you here?

As relative newcomers, we have lived in Ridgefield since 2022.  Over the years our family has found many reasons to visit Ridgefield, from restaurants to shops, doctors and activities for the kids but the biggest draw for us was that we had family who lived in town.  We fell for the small town charm, the rich history and the town’s love of dogs.  My husband and I, our four children and two dogs (Duke and Daisy) have settled in beautifully.  

What is your favorite era of history? Is there a particular historical person, event, or topic you’re most interested in?

My favorite era of history is by far the Revolutionary War.  I can remember learning about the famous battles and war heroes in grammar school.  In particular, I was fascinated by stories of a  young girl, Sybil Ludington who had an all-night horseback run similar to the more popular ride by Paul Revere. At just 16 years old she took off on a 40 mile ride rallying the militia and warning that the British were coming.  As the story goes, the next day along with troops from New York and Connecticut, the militia rallied at the Battle of Ridgefield.  My children and I have followed the route that Sybil took that evening (which is marked by route marker signs along the road) and are so impressed by the distance she rode and the terrain she had to manage.  As a young girl I was inspired by her determination to warn her neighbors and rally our troops!  Her story sparked my intererest in Revolutionary War history, in particular forts and battlefields as well as what life was like in colonial times. Although there has been some controversy in more recent years as to whether Sybil even existed, she has been an important symbol of courage and brought the Revolutionary War to life for many young children throughout the years.

What other interests do you have?

The older I get the more joy I find in simple things. Together with my family, I love celebrating the holidays with our Christmas Cookie baking day and month long preparations for our holiday meal and traditions.  Our family has written a cookbook that we have added to over the years and it is a beautiful collection of family recipes that reminds us of our time spent together. I enjoy traveling, volunteering, knitting and cheering on my favorite college football team, Roll Tide! I have always enjoyed writing and have been inspired by our beautiful little town and the many talented authors who call Ridgefield home.  I can’t wait to see what the next chapter has in store for me.


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

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