Sunday, September 19, 2021

Renovations


This former church on Route 116 has undergone a nice renovation into a residence.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Back at the Aquarium

 






No school on Yom Kippur and rain was threatened.  Where else?  The Maritime Aquarium of Norwalk.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Ridgebury

 Ridgebury is the northern part of Ridgefield, the part that adjoins Danbury.  RIDGE-field, Dan-BURY.  It is the part of town through which the British troops traveled south in 1777 on their way to the Long Island Sound after burning the munitions stored in Danbury.  

A Congregational church dates to 1760, though the building is from 1851.  George Washington stayed in a nearby tavern in 1780.  

6,000 French troops under le Comte de Rochambeau met Washington in the vicinity and traveled south through southwestern Connecticut and New York.

The road at the side of the church passes some big houses and the north side of Ridgefield Golf Course.

There are numerous horse farms in Ridgebury as well as across the state line in New York. 

I caught a glimpse of a rider behind a stone wall.

On the way back to Ridgefield proper, I took a detour that allowed me to befriend a couple of horses.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Kindness



My kind six year old granddaughter wanted to brighten the moods of people who were feeling sad about the 20th anniversary of September 11.  She made signs with happy messages.  Her mother took her along Main Street, where she taped the messages.


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Old Houses

 Houses from the late eighteenth century are all over.  Most have been expanded over the centuries and have renovated living spaces within their historic shells. 

 
This one in the southern part of Ridgefield is from 1780.


Captain Olmsted's house from 1790.  On Olmstead Lane in Ridgefield.  They changed the spelling.


Across the line into Wilton, a Keeler barn from 1800.  Converted into a home.



Two on Millstone Road in Wilton are from 1800 (top) and 1790 (below).


The Abijah Wallace House in North Salem, New York.  Circa 1760.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

John and Stephanie

 Exploring an unfamiliar neighborhood, I stopped John and Stephanie to ask a question.

They both grew up in Ridgefield, lived in Bloomfield for a while (next to my longtime home of West Hartford) and moved back to Ridgefield 15 years ago.  They also have a home in Naples, not far from mine.  And John is in an exercise class with my Ridgefield neighbor.  Small world.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Ballard Park Gardens

Ballard Park is at the edge of downtown Ridgefield.  A fenced garden and greenhouse are on one side. 


 

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Saturday, September 11, 2021

The Cycle of Terror and Tragedy: September 11, 2001

The tragedy of planes hijacked by terrorists intentionally crashing into the twin towers at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, is among the century's most memorable and traumatic events. 

The New Britain Museum of American Art commissioned Graydon Parrish to paint an 18 foot-long mural commemorating the events.  The central figures of his allegorical painting are the twins, Terror and Tragedy, representing the agony of the two falling towers. 



I attended a lecture by Parrish about his painting at NBMAA on September 11, 2014.   (These photos are from that time.)  Parrish will lecture about it again today, but the lecture is sold out.  It is available as a virtual event, but I didn't register.  The mural was displayed in recent years but is now back until year end.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Roger Sherman Town Hall

 

The town hall in New Milford, Connecticut, is on the site of the home of Roger Sherman, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Le Chateau

High on a hillside in South Salem, New York, Le Ch√Ęteau was commissioned by J.P. Morgan in 1907 as a gift for his pastor and friend, the Rev. William S. Rainsford. Originally called Savin Rock, the country retreat was designed by Atterbury & Atterbury, prominent architects of the day.


Today the facility is a high end event venue, hosting weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, 
corporate events and more.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Gunn Memorial Library


 This library is in Washington, Connecticut.  A 1914 ceiling by Siddons Mowbray is wonderful.  The four panels are based on classic stories about Ceres, Proserpine, Mercury and Pluto.  It is a long story and I really didn't understand it.  Sorry.

Fine stained glass windows are at the end of the hall.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Stone Houses

 Most houses in New England are made of wood because of the plentiful trees.  Brick houses are often the next step up in elegance and cost.  Stone houses are uncommon and are at the design and cost peak.


This one was interesting to me, with the contrast of simple barn siding on the left and stone on the right.


This huge house is hidden in an expensive neighborhood of Ridgefield, on a narrow and winding road adjoining New York state.


Originally a simple farmhouse, this elegant stone house on the border of Wilton and Ridgefield has been completely re-constructed for a New York couple with high end finance and fashion careers.  If you like browsing house magazine glamour, take a look.


Either New Canaan, Connecticut, or Lewisboro, New York.  
I was exploring while on my way to a garden center for more mulch.

Stone facing and careful window design on one wall of a farmhouse brings the glam up.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Weir Farm National Historic Park

 The property where American impressionist painter J. Alden Weir lived and painted in the decades before and after 1900 straddles the southern part of Ridgefield and the northern part of Wilton.  The National Park service manages 71 acres.  Weir Preserve, 110 acres of adjoining fields and woodlands, is owned and managed by a local stewardship group. 



The property comprises 15 historic structures.  This is Weir's residence.  It was originally a simple farmhouse but Weir expanded it several times.  Other American artists spent time here visiting Weir and painting.  They include John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam and John Twachtman.


Weir's studio is down the hill, behind the main house.


One of Weir's daughter married Mahonri Young, a noted sculptor and the grandson of Mormon leader Brigham Young.  In this photo, the studio shared by Young and his painter wife, Dorothy Weir Young, is on the left, Weir's studio is in the center (obscured by a tree) and the main house is at the right.


Previously a National Historic Site, Weir Farm became a National Historic Park earlier this year.  It is the only national park honoring art and an artist.  Last year the United States Mint issued a Weir Farm quarter in its "America the Beautiful" series of quarters. 

Sunday, September 5, 2021

P. T. Barnum


 The great showman, P. T. Barnum, was born in Bethel, Connecticut.  

A statue of Barnum stands beside the Bethel library.

Saturday, September 4, 2021