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The Museum in the Streets, Ridgefield, Fairfield Co, CT


Historical Marker

Historical Marker

Built as a farmhouse in 1713 on Lot#2 by David Hoyt, it was sold to his grandson Timothy Keeler, who converted it into an inn/tavern in 1772. The Keeler Tavern, which also served as a post office, was inherited by Anna Keeler, Timothy’s daughter, who with her husband, Abijah Resseguie and their daughter Anna Marie operated it as a hotel. For many years the building was a stagecoach stop on the line from New York to Boston. Its reputation for hospitality and service made it a favorite stopping place for travelers. In 1907 Miss Resseguie sold her property to renowned architect Cass Gilbert who used it as his summer home. It was purchased by a group of preservationists in 1965 and in 1966 opened its doors as the Keeler Tavern Museum. The fountain at the intersection of Main Street and West Lane was designed by Cass Gilbert and presented as a gift to the town in 1915. It is much-loved symbol of the town.

“Big Shop,” now located off Bailey Avenue on Big Shop Lane (see Panel #2) was originally a carriage manufactory at the corner of Main Street and West Lane. Tradesmen of the day – blacksmiths, trimmers, upholsters, harnessmakers, painters and woodworkers and the like, all built carriages and wagons that were sold throughout the country. Jones Hall took up the second floor. It was a meeting place where many local functions were held, and where in 1864 Hannibal Hamlin, Abraham Lincoln’s first Vice President spoke at a rally. The building was moved in 1888 to make way for construction of the new Congregational Church.

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The Museum in the Streets

Related locations

CT, Fairfield Co, Ridgefield

Related people

Cass Gilbert
Timothy Keeler
Vice President Hannibal Hamlin

Posted By: Ray Gurganus

Updated: 11-13-2022