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Your tax-deductible gift to our Annual Appeal will ensure the Ridgefield Historical Society’s growth, and its future for decades to come, as a resource for Ridgefield and the local area. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

November 2023

Dear Friend of Ridgefield History,

In 2023 the Ridgefield Historical Society experienced remarkable growth, thanks to the generous support of donors like you, which allowed us to make meaningful contributions to the community that will have a significant positive impact for generations to come. The Society was gifted a stunning Bauhaus-inspired post-World War II property and invested in staff, including its first full-time executive director, an executive assistant, and a bookkeeper. Your belief in our mission to preserve the entire history of Ridgefield, spanning all eras from past to present, has fueled our expansion.

The Ridgefield Historical Society is the place where Ridgefield artifacts, now numbering over 10,000, and stories that illustrate the lives of your families are told, celebrated, preserved for the future, and accessible to all on our website. We believe everyone has a story to tell and this year we started the Ridgefield History Club, a popular monthly community storytelling program that unites us through shared experiences.

We’ve demonstrated our commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion by launching a major CT Humanities-supported project in collaboration with Ridgefield CT Pride and student volunteers from the Ridgefield High School GSA Club, to teach students how to record oral history interviews with Ridgefield LGBTQIA+ elders, fostering intergenerational conversation, and increasing civic pride and awareness. We honored the lives of Peter and Dinah, enslaved residents of the Scott House, now our headquarters, with all the 8th grade students from East Ridge and Scotts Ridge Middle Schools, through the Witness Stones Project. By giving voice to underrepresented individuals, we enrich our community’s understanding of its diverse history.

United States Senator Richard Blumenthal joined us in August to announce the start of our significant National Park Service-supported Battle of Ridgefield Archaeology Project to research and preserve the history of this important event through archaeological investigations. We are also spearheading the forensic studies at laboratories across the country of the Revolutionary War era skeletal remains found in a mass grave on Main Street, including cutting-edge genetic genealogy to identify and honor them.

Our dedication to education is unwavering. Through hosting and teaching seven student interns this summer, awarding a scholarship to a Ridgefield High School senior, and organizing Battle of Ridgefield and Bennett’s Pond walking tours, we ensure that history is not a distant concept but a tangible experience for all ages. Our new living history programming brought Farmingville School third graders to the Peter Parley Schoolhouse, captivating young minds and igniting a passion for learning.

Historic preservation is at the heart of our mission. Our Historic Resources Inventory Project has meticulously documented over 300 new buildings in the town’s architectural heritage, while our Branchville Schoolhouse Restoration Project will preserve a cherished community landmark by turning it into a museum of Ridgefield history and a community meeting space.

I invite you to become a part of our transformative journey. Your tax-deductible year-end contribution to our Annual Appeal will empower us to expand our reach even further, deepen our impact, and ensure that the stories of Ridgefield’s past resonate for generations. Together, we can preserve the history of Ridgefield and foster a greater understanding of our shared heritage. Join us in protecting Ridgefield’s past and enhancing our community’s future; please donate now.

With gratitude and warm regards,

Stephen Bartkus

Executive Director


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