On Friday, February 15, Three Centuries of History at Lott II, a special exhibit at Ridgefield Town Hall, kicks off Keeler Tavern Museum’s yearlong 300th anniversary celebration. The general public is invited to the exhibit launch at 11:30 a.m., which will be officiated by First Selectman Rudy Marconi and other town dignitaries.
The exhibit is a collaborative effort between Keeler Tavern Museum and Ridgefield Historical Society. It will showcase the long history of the property, from its origins as the farmstead of Benjamin Hoyt, who survived the Deerfield Massacre, to its time as the early 20th-century residence of architect Cass Gilbert, whose Woolworth Building in New York City celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The stories of the people who lived or visited here illuminate Ridgefield’s as well as our nation’s evolution politically, economically, and socially; it is what makes this house the most significant historic site in Ridgefield as well as the town’s oldest gathering place.
The exhibit unfolds in four large display cases with a timeline that relates objects, documents, and important Ridgefield moments to major events in the nation’s history. Designed to engage all ages, the exhibit tells a sweeping story of Ridgefield’s growth. It begins with Benjamin Hoyt’s farmhouse, built to withstand Native Americans’ arrows, and extends to British fire aimed at Timothy Keeler’s Inn. The timeline continues with Anna Marie Resseguie reporting on Civil War deprivations and describes Cass and Julia Gilbert entertaining area artists and other notables in their elegant garden.
This exhibit is a celebration that introduces the Museum’s emerging identity as a place to take note of the remarkable people who lived here and of the history they took part in over 300 years. There will be many special events and programs throughout 2013 to celebrate the museum and the history of Ridgefield.
The exhibit at Ridgefield’s Town Hall (400 Main Street) will be open through mid-June Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Keeler Tavern Museum, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located at 132 Main Street, operates with no government funding. It regularly offers docent-led tours of its period-furnished rooms, and the Cass Gilbert garden is open to the public year ‘round, except during private events. Additional information on the Museum’s 300th Anniversary Year, including its Birthday Party on Saturday, June 15th, may be found on KTM’s Facebook page or at www.keelertavernmuseum.org. For area information visit www.litchfieldhills.com