Resources for Researching Ridgefield

These files may be viewed online or downloaded to your computer. The Encyclopedia and Timeline are updated and expanded regularly.

All files are in PDF format. While PDF text files are searchable, the maps are not. Note that many of these files are large and may take a few seconds to download fully.

Table of Contents
    Gravure of Lounsbury Residence
    Gravure of Lounsbury Residence, from Teller’s History of Ridgefield

    Digital Compendiums

    Archive: ‘Dick’s Dispatch’ NEW
    Takes you to a separate page with articles written about early 20th Century Ridgefield by our first town historian, Dick Venus.
    Ridgefield Encyclopedia (Sanders)
    Nearly 4,500 entries on the people, places and things that have been a part of the town. By Jack Sanders. Last updated 8-30-21.
    Ridgefield Names (Sanders) Updated 10-5-21
    A history of Ridgefield through its place names. More that 1,200 names are discussed. By Jack Sanders.
    Ridgefield Timeline (Sanders)
    A three-century, year-by-year trip through Ridgefield’s history from before it was founded in 1708 until 2008, listing nearly 3,000 events. By Jack Sanders. Last updated 4-27-21.
    Engraving from Diary of Jared Nash

    Books and Reports

    History of Ridgefield (Teller)
    The Rev. Daniel Teller wrote the very first complete town history, valued today especially for its many engraved views of the community and its buildings in the 1870s.
    History of Ridgefield (Rockwell)
    George L. Rockwell’s classic history, published in 1927, includes many early vital records and a few genealogies of prominent families. Many period pictures of the town.
    Ridgefield in Review (Bedini)
    Silvio Bedini’s 1958 survey was the last extensive history of the town to be published, and includes many illustrations and maps. The occasion was Ridgefield’s 250th birthday.
    Recollections of A Lifetime (Goodrich)
    Samuel G. Goodrich’s autobiography, published in 1856, includes more than 200 pages describing life in the village of Ridgefield in the late 1700s and early 1800s, a rare picture of a small town at the turn of the 19th Century. (Vol 1 of a two-volume book.)
    Ridgefield, Connecticut, Bi-Centennial Celebration
    96-page hardbound book of history, recollections, speeches, and many photographs in connection with the town’s 200th birthday celebration, published in 1908.
    Uncle Ned’s Mountain (Sanders)
    A history of African Americans in Ridgefield from the town’s founding until 1900. It covers slavery, Blacks who served in the Revolution and Civil War, a Black couple who ran a station on the Underground Railroad, and attitudes about slavery in the antebellum years. By Jack Sanders.
    Diary of Jared Nash (Sanders)
    An extensively annotated diary of a Ridgefield subsistence farmer for the years 1865 and 1866 provides a look at the daily life of many 19th Century residents. Edited by Jack Sanders.
    Books About Ridgefield (Sanders)
    An annotated list by Jack Sanders of print books with historical, political and natural history information about the town, all of which are available for reading at the Ridgefield Historical Society, and some of which are available for reading or downloading from this web page.
    Cellars of Ridgebury District, The (Bedini)
    Consists of random notes by historian George L. Rockwell about old houses and families in the Ridgebury section of Ridgefield, made after publication of his 1927 History of Ridgefield and until 1943. They were collected and compiled by historian Silvio Bedini around 1958 from Rockwell’s papers.
    Crime in 18th Century Ridgefield (Bedini)
    A circa 1959 lecture by historian Silvio Bedini, touches on early colonial life and crime, and the gangs of counterfeiters operating here in the 1750s.
    Historical Sketch of Ridgefield (Nevins)
    A young Allan Nevins, who went on to win two Pulitzer Prizes for historical biography, wrote this booklet in 1921 while living at The Elms Inn (which financed its publication). The book includes a nice profile of the town in the early 1920s.
    Historical Sketch and Manual of the First Congregational Church
    A 1904 edition of the church’s manual, with history, many pictures inside and outside, list of members, etc. One page missing.
    Ridgefield’s Seven Historic Districts
    A report describing each and listing the properties within them.
    History of Georgetown (Baldwin)
    Unpublished history by Irene Baldwin and others of the community bordering the southeast corner of Ridgefield. Indexed.
    Weir Farm Cultural Landscapes Inventory
    A 90-page book produced by the National Park Service in 2003, detailing the history, geography, cultural importance, and more, related to Weir Farm National Historic Park. Includes many photographs, maps.
    History of Fairfield County (Hurd)
    Hamilton Hurd’s huge book from 1888, includes a long profile on Ridgefield, as well as every town in the county.
    Commemorative Biographical Record of Fairfield County (Beers)
    Beers’s collection of profiles of hundreds of notable people, including many Ridgefielders.
    Connecticut Town and City Atlas (Hurd)
    Hamilton Hurd’s 1893 atlas includes detailed map of Borough of Ridgefield (see under Maps), as well as general map of town with schoolhouses and post offices, plus other data.
    Connecticut Historical Collections (Barber)
    John Warner Barber’s 1836 history of every town then existing in Connecticut, with 200 illustrations (digitized by Google Books).
    Civil War Soldiers from Connecticut
    as of July 1, 1864, compiled by the state.
    Connecticut Men in the Revolution, Lists and Returns of, 1775-1783
    Compiled by the Connecticut Historical Society and published in 1909. Many Ridgefield men listed.
    Social Register, Summer 1911
    A valuable resource for determining which New York City families were summering in Ridgefield and where. It is also a valuable source of the names of the estates in town.
    1933 Telephone Directory for Ridgefield
    Names, numbers, and often addresses of people with telephones in 1933. This PDF is not searchable.
    1940 Telephone Directory for Ridgefield
    Names, numbers, and often addresses of people with telephones in 1940. This PDF is not searchable.

    Maps

    Listed by year of publication.

    1812 Map of Connecticut (Warren)
    Warren’s Map of Connecticut shows Ridgefield when it extended north to the New Fairfield border.
    1856 Map of Fairfield County (Clark)
    Richard Clark’s 4 by 5 foot (in the original) hand-colored wall map of Fairfield County, showing almost every house and other major building, with owners’ names.
    1856 Map of Main Street, Ridgefield (Clark)
    Village map inset from Clark’s map (above).
    1867 Ridgefield Town Map (Beers)
    From the 1867 Beers Atlas of Fairfield and Westchester Counties, detailed map of town showing almost every house and other major building, with owners’ names.
    1867 Ridgefield Main Street (Beers)
    Village map inset from Beers’s map (above).
    1867 Map of Titicus (Beers)
    Titicus map inset from Beers’s map (above).
    1893 Atlas – Ridgefield Borough (Hurd)
    Map of the village (borough) of Ridgefield from Hurd’s atlas (available under Books).
    1906 North Ridgefield Map (Hyde)
    Northern half of Ridgefield, from E. Belcher Hyde’s Atlas of Westchester County, with many lot lines, buildings and owners’ names. Very detailed.
    1906 Map of South Ridgefield and Lewisboro (Hyde)
    Southwestern quadrant of Ridgefield, from Hyde’s Atlas (as above). Includes center of town.
    1912 Map of Ridgefield (Minor)
    Henry R. Minor map of Ridgefield, with all houses and owners/occupants.
    1936 Dolph & Stewart Atlas, Center of Ridgefield
    Dolph & Stewart atlas, center of town, with names of owners.
    1936 Dolph & Stewart Atlas, East Side of Ridgefield
    Dolph & Stewart atlas, east side of town, with names of owners.
    1936 Dolph & Stewart Atlas, North Side of Ridgefield
    Dolph & Stewart atlas, north side of town, with names of owners.
    1936 Dolph & Stewart Atlas, West & Central Ridgefield
    Dolph & Stewart atlas, west and central part of town, with names of owners.
    1936 Dolph & Stewart Atlas, Southwest & Central Ridgefield
    Dolph & Stewart atlas, southwest part of town, with names of owners.
    1952 Ridgefield Planning Map, South Half
    Official town map, south half of town, with owner names; with Ridgefield Lakes inset.
    1952 Ridgefield Planning Map, North Half
    Official town map, north half of town, with owner names; with Ridgefield Lakes inset.
    1958 Richard Scarry Battle of Ridgefield Map
    Richard Scarry map of the Battle of Ridgefield (no key to numbers, alas).