Every community is special, with its own history, personality, and local characters, but, in many ways, Ridgefield, Connecticut, is especially special. After all, how many towns of its small size have had six Pulitzer Prize winners as residents? How many have had a seven of its people honored on U.S. postage stamps? And how many have issued medals commending the nation’s most notorious traitor? Ridgefield has been home to many artists and writers, soldiers and sailors, business and finance titans—as well as a few notable criminals, and plenty of otherwise interesting characters. First inhabited by American Indians, the town was settled starting in 1708 by farmers whose roots were in England and Holland. A century and a half later, the town was discovered by wealthy New Yorkers, seeking a refuge from the city, and with them came the Irish, the Germans and the Italians who worked on their estates and provided other support services. And last came the commuters. A town that started out agrarian and became a resort has now turned into a suburban community, known for feeding both mind and body with excellent schools, centers of the arts, and top-notch restaurants. As a newspaper editor covering the community, I long ago became interested in the people, places and things that have made up Ridgefield. For this book, I have tried to collect stories about the town’s history that are not only interesting, but reflect the rich diversity of Ridgefield’s people and the things they accomplished and the way they lived, as well the town’s interesting geography and the names local people attached to it over the years.
About Jack Sanders (Fairfield County, Connecticut Author)
A Connecticut native and graduate of Holy Cross College, Jack Sanders retired in 2014 after 45 years as an editor of The Ridgefield Press, a 140-year-old community newspaper. He’s written eight books of history and natural history, including Ridgefield 1900-1950 (Arcadia), Ridgefield Chronicles (The History Press), Hidden History of Ridgefield (The History Press), Wicked Ridgefield (The History Press) The Secrets of Wildflowers (Lyons), and Hedgemaids and Fairy Candles (McGraw-Hill). He and his wife, Sally, also a newspaper editor, live in a 250-year old farmhouse in Ridgefield.