The Keeler Tavern Museum raised more than $105,000 last year as part of a dollar-for-dollar challenge made by a local philanthropist aimed to transform the historic site on Ridgefield’s Main Street.
“The local community really responded to our benefactor’s challenge to ‘Rock the Tavern,’” said Hilary Micalizzi, the museum’s board president. “From $10 bills dropped in donation jars to $100 and $1,000 gifts, as well as generous in-kind donations by local contractors and tradespeople working on our site transformation, the support came in many forms. We couldn’t be more grateful.”
With completion of the Cannonball Challenge, Keeler Tavern Museum is close to meeting its initial capital campaign goal of $1.5 million — originally set in 2016 — when it acquired the “Brick House” located on the property immediately next door at 152 Main Street.
“We’re aiming for $2 million,” said Micalizzi, “because while the Brick House space has been renovated, its visitor center capabilities will only be fully realized when we expand our museum’s offerings for 21st-century audiences.”
The history center, which already attracts thousands of visitors of all ages annually, is re-imagining its tours and exhibitions to more fully interpret the site’s 300-year history for its relevance today.
Donations to Keeler’s capital campaign, which continues through 2020, can be made at www.keelertaverncampaign.org or by sending a check/credit card information to 132 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877.
Tours are offered February through December, on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, from 1 to 4 p.m. Further information about the site, including rental of its Cass Gilbert-designed Garden House and garden for social occasions, can be found at keelertavernmuseum.org or Facebook.com/KeelerTavernMuseum.