Postal Ridgefield: Town Hall exhibit highlights first mail, stamps

Some of the stamps that are on display at “Postal Ridgefield: An Exhibit at Town Hall” this summer.

The Ridgefield Historical Society is hosting an exhibit titled, “Postal Ridgefield,” on the main floor of the Ridgefield Town Hall through August 15. 

This exhibit, sponsored by the Historical Society and assembled by Jack and Sally Sanders from material in their own collection, aims to show the many, varied, and often fascinating aspects of Ridgefield’s postal history.

Mail had long been a popular and affordable way to send messages to family, friends, and businesses. And despite lack of electronics and high-speed transportation for most of its history, U.S. mail was incredibly efficient.

The first mail to Ridgefield from the outside world arrived via stagecoach at the Keeler Tavern. In 1793, a year after the U.S. Post Office Department was created, Ridgefield’s first official post office opened in the King & Dole Store, now the Aldrich Museum offices.

In the years that followed, post offices were often set up in stores, whose owners were also the postmasters. By 1900, there were also neighborhood post offices in Ridgebury, Titicus, and Branchville. The first freestanding post office opened in 1922, right across the street, where Addessi Jewelers currently stands.

Ridgefield had a rich postal history in another respect. Amazingly, seven people who have lived here have been honored on U.S. stamps. In addition, scores of U.S. stamps have been designed by Ridgefield artists.

Visit the exhibit during Town Hall open hours Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

For more information, visit the Historical Society’s website at ridgefieldhistoricalsociety.org or Jack Sanders’ website at RidgefieldHistory.com.

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