Settled in 1708 by colonialists from Norwalk and Milford, the town of Ridgefield grew slowly as an agricultural rural community with strong religious roots. In 1781, the French army under Comte de Rochambreau, encamped in town and the first Catholic mass was offered.
In the late nineteenth century, a railroad spur was built to the town and provided easy access to New York City and soon attracted wealthy New Yorkers to the cool hills. They built huge summer “cottages” some with over 2,000 acres. In order to service these huge estates, many immigrants were hired and lived in town and today their ancestors own businesses or they commute to New York.
With the great depression most of these huge estates were sold off and today form the basis for the plentiful subdivisions of 2 acres in town. The town Fathers have been careful to assure that the town maintains the open spaces and recreational facilities that make Ridgefield a special place to live.
Ridgefield has always been known for its historic features from the Tree Lined Main Street with its late Victorian and Colonial buildings, to its many churches and historic buildings which have been restored. The town retains a quiet elegance and, because of the strong planning and zoning department, has maintained much of the 19th and early 20th century charm.
Today the town is a vibrant, high-energy community, with well known restaurants, famous museums, and a sense of history and purpose. The town attracts many executives who commute to New York City as well as those who work for the many companies headquartered in Stamford and other business oriented towns.