Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Whipstick Farm

 A retired journalist from Ridgefield's local paper is the town's informal historian.  I try to read his essays about this new-to-me town.  Not long ago I read about a 19th century Chairman and CEO of Chase National Bank who built a weekend getaway mansion in a high end part of Ridgefield.

It turns out that this banker was born on a Midwest farm.  Even though he rose to the heights in finance, he remained a farmer at heart.  So, about a mile away from his weekend mansion he bought a farmhouse and over time accumulated 150 acres that he hired locals to farm.  

Whipstick Farm is still here today, though the land is no longer actively farmed and has largely returned to nature.  The main house now has six acres.  It is now on the market and ready for its next owner 

Monday, May 16, 2022

Birthday Party

The seventh birthday was earlier in the week, but yesterday was the party with friends.  

The birthday girl picked out a llama piƱata.

She swung but didn't break it. 
(Mom is a sustainability professional and is observing No Mow May.) 

A boy classmate broke it open.  The herd descended.

(I put the photo through a program to disguise the kids since some parents are sensitive about showing their kids on social media.  In the other photos, my granddaughters are the only identifiable kids.)


The kids used Sharpies to color wooden boats.  
(The birthday girl is in pink; her five year old sister is in a blue-green dress.)


Some of the kids raced their boats from the dock.


Ice cream sundaes gave a delicious finish to the party. 

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Saint Mary Church

Saint Mary Church is one long block from the center of town, on Catoonah Street.


 Ridgefield's Catholic church opened in 1897.  A new gathering space on the right front of this photo hosts hospitality after mass, meetings, talks and video presentations. It also serves as St. Mary’s baptistry.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Lounsbury House

 I have shown Ridgefield's community center, Lounsbury House, several times before, but not in tulip season.  Here it is.


And, here it is again, turned into "art" through the Waterlogue app.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Springtime

 One of the good things about a New England spring is how it repeats itself from year to year.

I love the way pieris sends out its new leaves in bronze. 


Most daffodils are dying now in southwest Connecticut.  This clump is still happy and healthy.


This field of yellow daffodils was amazing a week ago.

Familiar purple lilacs (syringa) are opening up for their fragrant display.


And less common white lilacs down the road look great paired with a neighboring purple lilac bush.


I see white magnolias often, especially down south.  A yellow magnolia tree stopped me in my tracks.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Deborah Ann's Sweet Shoppe


 Deborah Ann's Sweet Shoppe is one of the most popular stops on Ridgefield's Main Street.  One side is an ice cream parlor.  The other side sells a staggering volume of homemade chocolates, candies of all kinds, as well as giftware.  Last Christmas a sweet little girl gave me a unicorn coffee mug from Deborah Ann's.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

The Fountain Inn

 Built in 1740 on Ridgefield's Main Street for David Hoyt, a loyalist in the Revolutionary War.  After the Battle of Ridgefield, the British troops stayed overnight on the property.

Because of his pro-British sympathies, Hoyt became uncomfortable in the colonies after the war, so he left for England in 1790 and never returned.

A few years ago the current owners converted the house into a beautiful inn.

The Fountain Inn is across the street from the Cass Gilbert fountain, the symbol of Ridgefield.

Monday, May 9, 2022

The Haas Brothers and The Gator Tots






The Haas Brothers are twin artists who have an exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art in a nearby part of New York State.  Their works are humorous and colorful.  Some of the works use beadwork done by women artists outside Cape Town, South Africa, and other women artists in California.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Three Neighbors

 Behind and below my Ridgefield house is a marshy preserve.  

Six white-tailed deer passed through in a light drizzle.  Three were together.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Keeler Tavern

 A 1713 farmhouse, one of the first in Ridgefield, was converted to a tavern in 1772 by Timothy Keeler.  It was a headquarters for patriots during the Battle of Ridgefield.

A British cannonball hit the side of the tavern.  It is still there.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Books on the Common

 Ridgefield is lucky to have an excellent independent bookstore on Main Street.  

When I got back, I picked up three books in the store and ordered a fourth.

I also like the flower boxes.  And the shadows.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Down Time

 






A lot of the reenactors' time before and after the battle reenactment was spent hanging around on the green with other participants, socializing, killing time and talking with curious observers.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Re-enactors


During the day, volunteers from the Ridgefield Historical Society explained history associated with the Battle of Ridgefield and the houses where they were stationed.





Sunday, May 1, 2022

Battle of Ridgefield

Back in Connecticut.  This week is the 245th anniversary of the Battle of Ridgefield.  British forces had marched north to burn armament stores in Danbury, then marched south toward Long Island Sound.  Patriots engaged them along the way, with the biggest engagement in what is now the center of Ridgefield.

Re-enactors recreated the Battle of Ridgefield yesterday.  The colonial forces were mainly farmers and tradesmen in ragtag clothing, while the British were well-trained soldiers in red battle dress.

The patriots gathered on the south side of town and waited for the British to approach.


The colonials had erected barricades in the road, hoping to slow the British.

 

The British arrived from the north.  They had better weapons, including artillery. 



The patriots returned fire.


(More tomorrow.)