Ridgefield Historical Society celebrating 20 years at Scott House

The Ridgefield Historical Society will mark 20 years of preserving the town’s history at the 1714 Scott House next month. It will also honor its founders during a year of celebration that kicks off on Oct. 2.

The Society came into being with the opening of the Scott House on Sunset Lane in October 2001 after a yearslong effort by members of the Ridgefield Preservation Trust to save the iconic saltbox home. The Addessi family, who owned the building when it stood on Catoonah Street, made a major fundraising contribution to disassemble and store the structure until its new life could begin.

The house was originally constructed on Main Street but was moved to Catoonah to allow construction of the Scott Block. That Scott, surprisingly, had no relation to the original Scotts.

Scott House’s new location on Sunset Lane includes a climate-controlled vault where precious historical materials are archived. Although the building received other modern touches, such as a small freight elevator to move materials for archivists and researchers, it was finished in a way that emphasizes its early 18th century origin.

A 20th anniversary celebration is planned for Saturday, Oct. 2, from 1-4 p.m. (rain date: Oct. 3), featuring: live music by the Ridgefield High School Jazz Ensemble, Dan Bonis and Ed Accardi; refreshments; a quilt-making demonstration; information tables; a coloring station; a historical book sale; “How the Scott House was Moved and Reassembled” exhibit; a commemorative program; a hot dog truck by Chez Lenard; a Community Corner; self-guided tours of the Scott House; and more. (see box)

Free parking will be available at the Grove Street Medical Complex (38A and 38C Grove St.).

Event schedule

1 to 4 p.m. - Quilt-making demonstration, information tables, coloring station, book sale, exhibit, hot dog truck, community corner, self-guided tours of the Scott House.

1:30 to 2:45 p.m. - Live music with Dan Bonis and Ed Accardi.

3 to 3:30 p.m. - Commemorative program with a lemonade toast and Snickerdoodle cookies.

3:30 to 4 p.m. - Ridgefield High School Jazz Ensemble.

The day will include tributes to the founders of the Society, which was borne from the revitalized Ridgefield Preservation Trust. Its officers were president David Scott, vice president Jeanne Timpanelli, secretary Wendy Erich and treasurers Georgianne Kasuli and Patricia Kearney. The board included Kay Ables, Lee Dickinson, Walter Goodman, Linda Hannah, Leslie Ide, Andrea Jabara, Keith Jones, James Roberts, Kathryn Rosa, Pat Stephens and Town Historian Richard E. Venus.

Other 20th anniversary events include “The War on Long Island Sound,” a virtual presentation by Ed Hynes, on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m.

A LEGO Sculpture Contest will run from November through January 2022, featuring the Scott House and the Peter Parley Schoolhouse. Popular silhouette artist Deborah O’Connor will return on Saturday, Dec. 4, to create freehand portraits for visitors. Framing will be available on-site to make for a memorable holiday gift.

An interactive program, “Holiday Traditions at the Scott House,” is being planned for Dec. 11 and 12. For more information call 203-438-5821 or email Development & Marketing Director Kathryn Tufano at ktufano@ridgefieldhistoricalsociety.org.

The Society’s website, ridgefieldhistoricalsociety.org, will be updated regularly with additional events and information. The 20th anniversary programming is generously supported by lead sponsors Liz and Steven Goldstone, with additional funding provided by Fairfield County Bank.