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Ridgefield, Connecticut
Town of Ridgefield
Ridgefield Town Hall
Ridgefield Town Hall
Official seal of Ridgefield, Connecticut
Ridgefield's location within Fairfield County and Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°18′19″N 73°30′05″W / 41.30528°N 73.50139°W / 41.30528; -73.50139
Country United States
U.S. state Connecticut
RegionWestern CT
 • TypeSelectman-town meeting
 • First selectmanRudy Marconi (D)
 • SelectmenSean Connelly (D)
Barbara Manners (D)
Bob Hebert (R)
Maureen Kozlark (U)
 • Connecticut House of RepresentativesAimee Berger-Girvalo (D)
Rachel Chaleski (R)
 • Total35.0 sq mi (90.6 km2)
 • Land34.4 sq mi (89.2 km2)
 • Water0.5 sq mi (1.4 km2)
659 ft (201 m)
 • Total25,033
 • Density727.7/sq mi (281.0/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)203/475
FIPS code09-63970
GNIS feature ID0213496

Ridgefield is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. Situated in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, Ridgefield has a population of 25,033 as of the 2020 census.[1] The town is part of the Western Connecticut Planning Region. The town center, which was formerly a borough, is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census-designated place. The town was settled then quickly incorporated by 1709.[2]


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Ridgefield was first settled by English colonists from Norwalk in 1708, when a group of settlers purchased land from Chief Catoonah of the Ramapo tribe.[3] The town was incorporated under a royal charter from the Connecticut General Assembly issued in 1709.[2] Ridgefield was descriptively named.[4] The most notable 18th-century event was the Battle of Ridgefield on April 27, 1777. This American Revolutionary War skirmish involved a small colonial militia force (state militia and some Continental Army soldiers), led by, among others, General David Wooster, who died in the engagement, and Benedict Arnold,[5] whose horse was shot from under him.[3] They faced a larger British force that had landed at Westport and was returning from a raid on the colonial supply depot in Danbury. The battle was a tactical victory for the British but a strategic one for the Colonials because the British would never again conduct inland operations in Connecticut, despite western Connecticut's strategic importance in securing the Hudson River Valley.[2] Today, the dead from both sides are buried together in a small cemetery on Main Street on the right of the entrance to Casagmo condominiums: "...foes in arms, brothers in death...". The Keeler Tavern, a local inn and museum, features a British cannonball still lodged in the side of the building. There are many other landmarks from the Revolutionary War in the town, with most along Main Street.

In the summer of 1781, the French army under the Comte de Rochambeau marched through Connecticut, encamping in the Ridgebury section of town, where the first Catholic mass in Ridgefield was offered.[citation needed]

Main Street, looking south, c. 1875
Ridgefield station, located on the former Ridgefield Branch of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad
Main Street, looking south from Branchville Road, c. 1906
The Ridgefield School (postcard sent in 1909)

For much of its three centuries, Ridgefield was a farming community. Among the important families in the 19th century were the Rockwells and Lounsburys, which intermarried. They produced two Connecticut governors, brothers and business partners George Lounsbury and Phineas Lounsbury. The Ridgefield Veterans Memorial Community Center on Main Street, also called the Lounsbury House, was built by Gov. Phineas Chapman Lounsbury around 1896 as his primary residence. The Lounsbury Farm near the Florida section of Ridgefield is one of the only remaining operational farms in Ridgefield.[citation needed]

In the late 19th century, spurred by the new railroad connection to its lofty village and the fact that nearby countryside reaches 1,000 feet (300 m) above sea level, Ridgefield began to be discovered by wealthy New York City residents, who assembled large estates and built huge "summer cottages" throughout the higher sections of town. Among the more noteworthy estates were Col. Louis D. Conley's "Outpost Farm", which at one point totaled nearly 2,000 acres (8.1 km2), some of which is now Bennett's Pond State Park; Seth Low Pierrepont's "Twixthills", more than 600 acres (2.4 km2), much of which is now Pierrepont State Park; Frederic E. Lewis's "Upagenstit", 100 acres (0.40 km2) that became Grey Court College in the 1940s, but is now mostly subdivisions; and Col. Edward M. Knox's "Downesbury Manor", whose 300 acres (1.2 km2) included a 45-room mansion that Mark Twain often visited.[citation needed]

These and dozens of other estates became unaffordable and unwieldy during and after the Great Depression, and most were broken up. Many mansions were razed. In their place came subdivisions of one- and 2-acre (8,100 m2) lots that turned the town into a suburban, bedroom community in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. However, strict planning and zoning has frozen development and locked in the aesthetic appearance of the 19th- and early 20th-century through to the 21st-century, especially along its famous mile-long Main Street.[citation needed]

In 1946, Ridgefield was one of the locations considered for the United Nations Secretariat building,[6] but was not chosen due to its relative inaccessibility.[citation needed]


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According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 35.0 square miles (91 km2), of which 34.4 square miles (89 km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2), or 1.52%, is water. The town is bordered by the towns of North Salem and Lewisboro in Westchester County, New York to the west, Danbury to the north, Wilton to the south and Redding to the east.

The Metro-North Railroad's Branchville station is in the Branchville corner of town. The census-designated place (CDP) corresponding to the town center covers a total area of 6.4 square miles (17 km2), of which 0.16% is water. Other locales within the town include Titicus on Route 116 just north of the village; Ridgebury in the northern section of town; Scotland, which is south of Ridgebury; Farmingville, located northeast and east of the town center; Limestone, located northeast of the town center; Flat Rock, located south of the town center; and Florida, located just north of Branchville.


Ridgefield consists of hilly, rocky terrain, ranging from 1,060 feet (320 m) above sea level (at Pine Mountain) to 342 feet (104 m) at Branchville. Its average village elevation is 725 feet (221 m) above sea level.[7] The landscape is strewn with countless rocks deposited by glaciers, and among the town's bodies of water is Round Pond, formed in a kettle left by the last glacier 20,000 years ago. Another interesting body of water in the town is Mamanasco Lake, an 86-acre (35 ha) lake near Ridgefield High School. A particularly interesting feature is Cameron's Line, named for Eugene N. Cameron, who discovered that rocks west of the line differed greatly from those east of it. This fault line was formed some 250 million years ago by the collision of "Proto North America" and "Proto Africa", and there are still occasional light earthquakes felt along its length. The line bisects the southern half of the town, running generally north of West Lane, across the north end of the village, past the south end of Great Swamp and generally easterly into Redding in the Topstone area.[8] North of Cameron's Line, the town is rich in limestone. The mineral was extensively mined, and remnants of several limekilns exist today. Also mined here in the 19th century was mica, pegmatite, and quartz. Gold, as well as gemstones such as garnet and beryl, have been found here, and dozens of minerals have been unearthed at the old Branchville Mica Quarry. Uraninite, a source of uranium, is found here, too.


Climate data for Ridgefield, Connecticut
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 71
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 36
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 19
Record low °F (°C) −18
Average rainfall inches (mm) 3.76
Source: [9]


See also: List of Connecticut locations by per capita income

Historical population
Population 1756–2000[10]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 23,643 people, 8,433 households, and 6,611 families residing in the town. The population density was 686.7 inhabitants per square mile (265.1/km2). There were 8,877 housing units at an average density of 257.8 per square mile (99.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.12% White, 0.62% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 2.08% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.36% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.97% of the population.

There were 8,433 households, out of which 43.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.6% were married couples living together, 6.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.6% were non-families. 18.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 30.6% under the age of 18, 3.2% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 27.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $107,351, and the median income for a family was $127,981 (these figures had risen to $125,909 and $154,346 respectively as of a 2007 estimate[12]). Males had a median income of $100,000 versus $50,236 for females. The per capita income for the town was $51,795. About 1.3% of families and 2.4% of the population were below the poverty line, 5.3% of those age 65 or over.

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 7,212 people, 2,933 households, and 1,994 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,125.2 inhabitants per square mile (434.4/km2). There were 3,078 housing units at an average density of 480.2 per square mile (185.4/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 95.52% White, 0.54% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 2.44% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.51% from other races, and 0.86% from two or more races, while 2.26% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,933 households, out of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.7% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.0% were non-families. Of all households, 28.5% were made up of individuals, and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the CDP the population was spread out, with 26.9% under the age of 18, 3.3% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 27.9% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.5 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $81,179, and the median income for a family was $127,327. Males had a median income of $93,084 versus $47,232 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $46,843. 3.2% of the population and 1.7% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 1.6% of those under the age of 18 and 6.8% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Arts and culture

The Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra, formerly called the Ridgefield Symphony Youth Orchestra, has performed at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center.[13]

The Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra began as the "Ridgefield Symphonette" in 1965 with 20 players, only a third of them professionals. It became fully professional by the end of the decade and today has 75 musicians and draws soloists of international reputation. In 1984, Maxim Shostakovich, then a Ridgefielder, conducted a sold-out concert of music by his father, Dmitri Shostakovich, with the composer's grandson, Dmitri, performing as piano soloist.[14]

The Keeler Tavern Museum preserves an early 18th-century house that, by the time of the Revolution, had become a tavern and inn. The tavern was a center of community activities, an early post office, and a stop on the northern New York to Boston post road. In the early 20th century, it was the home of noted architect Cass Gilbert. The tavern is open several days a week, offers tours, and has a gift shop.[15]

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is a leading venue for the world's best contemporary artists. Its exhibitions have attracted national attention and respect.[16] The museum was redesigned and expanded in 2004, and offers many special programs, including concerts.

Peter Parley Schoolhouse

The Ridgefield Playhouse, opened in December 2000, is housed in the former Ridgefield Alternate High School auditorium, and was remodeled as a playhouse. It is the year-round venue for dozens of concerts and other performances, many by internationally known artists. The Playhouse also shows movies, many of them first-run.[17]

Weir Farm National Historic Site, which straddles the Ridgefield-Wilton border, preserves much of the farm of J. Alden Weir (1852–1919), a painter of the American Impressionism style. The property was later used by his son-in-law, Mahonri Young (1877–1957), noted sculptor and a grandson of Brigham Young. The site includes the Weir Farm Art Center and a gallery, and many special events take place there, including shows by visiting artists in residence. Weir Farm is one of only two official National Park Service units in the state.[18]

The Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance was founded as the Ridgefield Studio of Classical Ballet in 1965 by Patricia Schuster. In 2002 it became the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. The Conservatory is home to three pre-professional performance companies: the Ridgefield Civic Ballet, The Junior Dance Ensemble, and the Contemporary Dance Ensemble. The conservatory presents The Nutcracker annually at the Ridgefield Playhouse.[19]

Ridgefield golf course

Thrown Stone Theatre Company is a professional theatre company in town that focuses primarily on new work.[20]

Located at the intersection of West Lane and Route 35, the Peter Parley Schoolhouse (c. 1750), also known as the Little Red Schoolhouse or the West Lane Schoolhouse, is a one-room schoolhouse in use by the town until 1913. The site and grounds are maintained by the Ridgefield Garden Club. The building is open certain Sundays and displays the desks, slates, and books the children used.[21]

Ridgefield's public open space includes Aldrich Park, Bennett's Pond State Park, Brewster Farm, Florida Refuge, Hemlock Hills/Lake Windwing, Pine Mountain, Seth Low Pierrepont State Park, and the Weir Farm National Historic Site. Its public open spaces make up 5,200 acres (2,100 ha), accounting for 23% of the towns overall land.[22]

Ridgefield Golf Course is the town's municipal 18 hole golf course designed by George Fazio and Tom Fazio and opened in 1974.[23]

The town's largest industry is Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, whose United States headquarters are located in the Ridgebury section of town.

In 2006, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree selected to be displayed in New York's Rockefeller Center for the Christmas season came from Ridgefield.[24]

The town also features a skatepark, owned by the town and maintained by the town's parks and recreation service, in which both skateboarding and aggressive inline skating are done. In 2010 the skatepark was rebuilt and expanded as a result of the need to expand the Ridgefield Playhouse parking lot.[25]

Annual events

On the National Register of Historic Places

Part of the town center is a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) as Ridgefield Center Historic District.[citation needed] The district was added to the Register in 1984 and includes representations of mid-19th-century revival, Late Victorian, and Colonial revival architectural styles.[citation needed] Noted architect Cass Gilbert purchased historic Keeler Tavern within the district and renovated it for his use as a summer home.[citation needed] Roughly bounded by Pound Street, Fairview Avenue, Prospect Ridge, and Whipstick Roads, the district was added on October 7, 1984.[citation needed] In addition to the town center historic district, there are a number of individual properties and at least one other historic district in the town that are NRHP-listed:

Government and politics

Ridgefield town vote
by party in presidential elections[28]
Year Democratic Republican Third Parties
2020 63.31% 10,278 35.04% 5,689 1.65% 268
2016 55.31% 7,907 39.73% 5,680 4.96% 709
2012 46.30% 6,461 52.74% 7,360 0.96% 134
2008 52.17% 7,480 47.33% 6,786 0.50% 71
2004 46.42% 6,554 52.47% 7,408 1.11% 157
2000 43.50% 5,760 52.13% 6,902 4.37% 578
1996 41.62% 4,974 50.56% 6,042 7.82% 935
1992 35.58% 4,729 46.39% 6,166 18.03% 2,396
1988 33.73% 4,055 65.39% 7,860 0.88% 106
1984 27.29% 3,206 72.47% 8,512 0.24% 28
1980 24.25% 2,591 61.23% 6,542 14.53% 1,552
1976 34.34% 3,451 65.01% 6,533 0.65% 65
1972 29.33% 2,621 69.03% 6,169 1.64% 147
1968 32.73% 2,267 63.38% 4,390 3.90% 270
1964 56.81% 3,085 43.19% 2,345 0.00% 0
1960 33.83% 1,407 66.17% 2,752 0.00% 0
1956 20.81% 656 79.19% 2,496 0.00% 0

Ridgefield has a traditional New England Board of Selectmen–Town Meeting form of government, which is created by Town Charter and approved by the voters.[29] The Charter calls for an annual Town and Budget Meeting to be held on the first Monday of May each year. The following are the elective offices of the Town of Ridgefield: Board of Selectmen, Town Clerk, Town Treasurer and Tax Collector. The following are the elective boards and commissions of the Town of Ridgefield: Board of Education, Planning and Zoning Commission, Board of Appeals on Zoning, Board of Tax Review, Board of Police Commissioners and Board of Finance. The chief executive is The First Selectman, who also serves a legislative function as a member of the Board of Selectmen. The current First Selectman, Rudy Marconi (D), was first elected in 1999.[30]

Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 27, 2020[31]
Party Active voters Inactive voters Total voters Percentage
Democratic 6,514 359 6,873 32.95%
Republican 5,755 377 6,132 29.40%
Unaffiliated 6,993 537 7,530 36.10%
Minor parties 305 18 323 1.55%
Total 19,567 1,291 20,858 100%


Main article: Ridgefield School District (Connecticut)

Ridgefield has nine public schools and two private schools. The public schools are managed by Ridgefield Public Schools. The six public elementary schools are Veterans Park, Branchville, Farmingville, Scotland, Barlow Mountain, and Ridgebury. Scotts Ridge Middle School (Ridgefield's newest school) and East Ridge are the town's two middle schools. The high school is Ridgefield High School. The high school's teams are called the Tigers.[32]

Ridgefield's Roman Catholic schools are St. Mary, serving preschool through eighth grade, and St. Padre Pio Academy, serving kindergarten through eighth grade and run by the Society of St. Pius X.

Ridgefield Academy is a co-educational, independent school serving preschool through eighth grade, situated on a 42-acre (17 ha) turn-of-the-20th-century estate on West Mountain that was once home to the Congregation de Notre Dame.[33]

There are also various preschools and a Montessori school.


Branchville station is located in the southeast corner of town, in the Branchville neighborhood. The station is part of Metro-North Railroad's Danbury Branch.


Main Street in Downtown, c. 2010

Ridgefield is predominantly made up of 19 encompassing neighborhoods. Ridgefield, Main Street, Branchville, Titicus, Farmingville, Ridgebury, Topstone, West Mountain, Cooper Hill, Ramapoo, Route 7, Georgetown, Deer Run, Peaceable Hill, Quail Ride, Westmoreland, Twixt Hills, Long Ridge, and Starrs/Picketts Ridge.

Notable people

See: List of people from Ridgefield, Connecticut



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  2. ^ a b c Jones, Keith M. "The Battle of Ridgefield". Town of Ridgefield, Connecticut. Archived from the original on July 25, 2010. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Barber, John Warner (1838). Connecticut Historical Collections, Containing a General Collection of Interesting Facts, Traditions, Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes, Etc., Relating to the History and Antiquities of Every Town in Connecticut with Geographical Descriptions. Durrie & Peck. pp. 399–400.
  4. ^ The Connecticut Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly. Connecticut Magazine Company. 1903. p. 334.
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  11. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  12. ^ Bureau, U. S. Census. "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  13. ^ "WCYO – Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra". Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  14. ^ "Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra - RSO History". Archived from the original on October 29, 2014. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  15. ^ "Keeler Tavern Museum — Ridgefield, Connecticut". Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  16. ^ "About". The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  17. ^ "The Ridgefield Playhouse | Ridgefield, Connecticut". The Ridgefield Playhouse. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  18. ^ "Working with Connecticut" (PDF). National Park Service. United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
  19. ^ "The Nutcracker | Ridgefield Playhouse". Archived from the original on February 20, 2015. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  20. ^ "Thrown Stone". Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  21. ^ "购彩大厅安全检测". Archived from the original on June 25, 2015. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  22. ^ "iuhd". Archived from the original on July 27, 2011.
  23. ^ "Golf Course Info". Ridgefield Golf Course. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  24. ^ "The Rockefeller Christmas Tree Comes to Town: Gothamist". Archived from the original on April 27, 2017. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  25. ^ "Graham Dickinson SPIRIT Skate Park | Ridgefield Parks & Recreation". Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  26. ^ "Nutmeg festival at 100: Ridgefield's oldest fair is today", article by Kathleen Flaherty in The Ridgefield Press, August 12, 2006
  27. ^ "Home". Lounsbury House. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  28. ^ "General Elections Statement of Vote 1922". - Connecticut's Official State Website. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  29. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 8, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2014.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ "Office of the First Selectman | Ridgefield CT". Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  31. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 27, 2020" (PDF). Connecticut Secretary of State. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  32. ^ "Ridgefield Public Schools - home". Archived from the original on March 15, 2015. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  33. ^ "-> About". Archived from the original on June 24, 2015. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  34. ^ "Aquarion Water Company". Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  35. ^ ,
  36. ^ HARTransit Ridgefield - Katonah