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Tavern on Time



Eleven-year-old Benjamin Hoyt hid in a corn crib and survived the Deerfield, Massachusetts, “Indian” Massacre of 1704 that left other family members either killed or taken prisoner. Nine years later, after migrating south to Connecticut, Hoyt built a rude cabin that would ultimately become his homestead on Lott II, Main Street in Ridgefield—now the Keeler Tavern Museum property. 

So begins the 300-year saga of the Keeler Tavern and the lives that are woven throughout its history via artifacts and stories that were left behind. With a town-wide birthday party planned for June 15 and other activities already underway, the 300th anniversary of Keeler Tavern becomes an opportunity to highlight the changes happening there. 

Keeler Tavern, a living museum since 1966, is updating its Colonial image to include a three-century story, with a cast of characters ranging from wealthy elite to innkeepers, postmasters, hotel proprietors, and farmers. The stories are as varied as the times they depict. From the first one-room building with it’s “Indian”-proof door built by Benjamin Hoyt to the elegant gardens and outer buildings added by American architect Cass Gilbert, the town’s oldest gathering place represents the evolution of America—socially, politically, and economically. 

“No one has the stories we do. It is up to us to tell them and get people excited,” says executive director Hildi Grob. “It is important to have a discussion about history and how it is relative to today.” Grob adds that the yearlong celebration of special events and intellectual programs will highlight the museum’s transformation.

The rich stories are being told by reenactments of former residents like Anna Keeler, distant relative of Benjamin Hoyt. Miss Keeler, an innkeeper at what was formerly the Keeler Hotel, could be called one of Ridgefield’s first feminists. She found a way to circumvent a law that did not allow married women to inherit property by putting off her nuptials until she could convince her brothers to deed the hotel to her. She married her paramour, Abijah Resseguie, in 1829, and the couple renamed the property the Resseguie Hotel. 

Among the artifacts preserved at the Keeler Tavern are the journals of the Resseguies’ daughter and only child, Anna Marie. Her prolific writings mark historic events such as the Civil War and Lincoln’s assassination, as well as day-to-day insight into reading circles, teas, and gossip. She writes about the town-wide mourning of Eddie Pickett, a native son mortally wounded at Gettysburg, and how such events affected her, her family, and friends. Like her mother, Miss Resseguie was a woman who was unafraid to show her spunk. She hired a free black woman, Phillis Dubois, whom she called her “sister,” to help in the hotel. Dubois would ultimately be buried with her mistress in the family plot. 

One of the most affluent periods in Ridgefield’s history occurred after a railroad spur reached the town. With it came wealthy financiers, industrialists, and an influx of artists like J. Alden Weir, Frederic Remington, opera singer Geraldine Farrar, and playwright Eugene O’Neill. 

Ridgefield’s Gilded Age also brought architect Cass Gilbert, who the residence on Lott II and dubbed his new home the Cannonball House for the remnant of Revolutionary War ordnance still embedded in one of its walls. Gilbert not only transformed the property into a summer retreat for his family and friends, he also presented the town with the landmark fountain that commands the corner of Main Street and West Lane.  Its image is also preserved on the town seal. Gilbert created it so his wife, Julia, might enjoy it from her bedroom window. 

Telling entertaining stories and displaying artifacts are only part of the mission that Keeler Tavern has adopted, says Grob. A plan to implement relevant programs that encourage an understanding of history and how it influences us today is already in place. For example, one of the planned programs will shed light on the second amendment and the current debate about gun control. “If we are making history, let’s make sure we are intelligent about it,” Grob adds. 

Those who miss the June 15 birthday will have multiple chances to celebrate the museum’s continuously evolving opportunities to discuss history and how it impacts lives today, says Grob.

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September 2018

The Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce and the Connecticut Giant Pumpkin Growers Club will host the 6th Annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh Off on Sunday, September 23, 2018 from 10 am to 3 pm in Ballard Park,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ballard Park
Ridgefield, CT  06877


Sponsor: Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 203-438-5992
Contact Name: Jen Mulhern
Website »

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Immerse yourself in Spinning a Yarn, a dynamic movement experience created in collaboration between exhibiting artist Analia Segal and artist and performer David Thomson. Performing in a sculpted...

Cost: $25; $20 members

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Website »

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Sunday, September 23, 2018 at 8pm Pepsi Rock Series powered by Xfinity MEMBER PRE-SALE BEGINS TUESDAY, JUNE 5 @ 10AM Members please call the box office for tickets 203.438.5795 PUBLIC...

Cost: $65

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Ridgefield Playhouse
Website »

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On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
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Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

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Somers Women's Club, a not-for-profit community service organization, will hold its major fundraiser on Sunday, September 23, 2018 at Reis Park on Route 139 in Somers. There will be a huge sale...

Cost: 0

Where:
Reis Park
182 Primrose St
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Somers Women's Club
Contact Name: Jodi Hu
Website »

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On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, CT is pleased to welcome back literary scholar Mark Scarbrough as he leads a five week course The Soul Ajar: An Emily Dickinson Literature Course.  The classes...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »

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Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
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Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

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Don’t miss this chance to see one of the last living Blues legends when he returns to The Playhouse stage! 2015 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Buddy Guy’s incredible career...

Cost: $125

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Pepsi Rock Series powered by Xfinity
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

This presentation, led by Martin House member Bryan Stern, will help small business owners understand key tax law changes that may affect their 2018 business tax returns so that they can plan ahead...

Cost: Free

Where:
Martin House Workspace
69 Westchester Ave.
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Martin House Workspace
Telephone: 914-764-3128
Contact Name: Erin Trostle
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

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Wednesdays, September 26 – November 7, 2018  (no class on Halloween) 6:30-8:30pm Adam Broderick Whole New You Series Partially underwritten by Reliance Merchant Services This...

Cost: 425

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Website »

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Cohen and Wolf,  P.C. Movie Series In one of moviedom’s most influential roles, James Dean is Jim, the new kid in town whose loneliness, frustration and anger mirrored those of...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Ridgefield Playhouse
Website »

More information

In her new book, HATE: Why We Should Resist it With Free Speech Not Censorship, Nadine Strossen argues that expanding free speech, not limiting it, is the solution for changing the hearts and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ridgefield Library
472 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Tavern Museum and History Center
Telephone: 203-438-2282
Contact Name: Lesley Lambton
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Facilitated by Nina Bertolino This program will meet every other Wednesday from 10:30 - 12:30 on the following dates: September 12th & 26th, October 10th & 24th, November 7th & 21st, December 5th...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

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with Antonio Sanchez, Linda May Han Oh & Gwilym Simcock Moffly Media Evening of Art, Wine & Jazz Series Join us in the lobby at 7:15pm for an Italian wine tasting by Pera Wines and an...

Cost: $87.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Ridgefield Playhouse
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

EVERY THURSDAY | 7:30 PM - 10:00 pm Music | Spoken Word | Comedy | More Hosted by Don Lowe Hunt Hill Farm is excited to announce OpenMic night every Thursday night.  Please stop by to...

Cost: donation

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: John C. Maxwell III
Website »

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On Thursday, September 27, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich will host its first-ever Oktoberfest celebration. Featuring German beer from Paulaner USA, Oktoberfest at the Bruce...

Cost: $30 for Bruce Museum members, $40 non-members

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

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Opening Act: Rock Academy Band Friday, September 28, 2018 – Gala & Show Only tickets available Gala at 5:30pm (includes open bar, dinner, silent auction) Live Auction &...

Cost: Gala Tickets: $250 Orchestra Seating & Gala Show Only Tickets: $125 Mezzanine &

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Ridgefield Playhouse
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Aldrich Undercover, a “secret” art exhibition and sale, returns for one night only to the Museum’s Leir Gallery after a six-year hiatus. Hundreds of original artworks will be on...

Cost: $150 - $500

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Saturday, September 29, 2018 at 8pm Pepsi Rock Series powered by Xfinity Partially underwritten by Lisa & Michael Shinall This September, Beth Hart returns to the United States for...

Cost: $65

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Ridgefield Playhouse
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Laura from Olive My Skin will be joining us to talk about her lovely natural soaps, wood wick soy candles and skin care line, all proudly made in Connecticut. All Fair Trade, paraben free,...

Cost: free

Where:
The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Sponsor: The Smithy
Telephone: (860)868-9003
Contact Name: susan
Website »

More information

Evocation of light is ever present in the romantic and experiential landscapes of Ira Barkoff. His recent works convey the spontaneity and the maturity of the artist’s hand and dedication to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: 1953
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

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