On this day in Ridgefield history: August 20

The Ridgefield fountain after the 2000 or 2001 restoration

The Ridgefield fountain after the 2000 or 2001 restoration

Contributed Photo / Contributed Photo

The following are a list of events that took place in Ridgefield over the last four centuries on August 20:

Aug. 20, 1771 - The First Society votes that the new Meeting House be built with volunteer labor, but if that can’t be done, to “hire help.” [The church is not completed until early 1800.]

Aug. 20, 1861 - The new organ at the Congregational Church needs repair; rats have gnawed through the bellows.

Aug. 20, 1877 - The house in Limestone District belonging to Munson Blackman Esq. burns to the ground, taking with it “his wardrobe, valuable library, family plate, and furniture.” The Press reports the loss is estimated at “$5,000.49.”

Aug. 20, 1886 - “The Grand Juror gives notice that all persons who have not destroyed all Canada thistles, wild carrots, and wild parsnips for which they are responsible by the first of next month, will be prosecuted according to law,” reports The Press. [These weeds - the wild carrot is today’s popular wildflower, Queen Ann’s Lace - were the “invasives” of the 1800s, and caused considerable problems for farmers whose fields they invaded. Hence, the state law requiring property owners not to allow such weeds to exist.]

Aug. 20, 1920 - The American Legion post is organized and named for Everett Ray Seymour, the first Ridgefielder to die in battle in World War I. It plans to erect a war memorial.

The following excerpts can be found at “A Ridgefield Timeline” on RidgefieldHistory.com.

The Press will be continue piling such lists throughout the summer and into the fall. Please email news@theridgefieldpress.com with any suggestions or feedback.