Thursday, September 29, 2016

Franklin Lischke:
Artist and Model
Millions of people have seen Franklin Lischke running naked, but he didn't mind at all. 
In fact,  Lischke was proud of the fact that as a boy, he frequently modeled for Norman Rockwell, the legendary artist of American life in the 20th century.
Rockwell posed  young Frank for many of his 321 Saturday Evening Post covers, including the famous scene of three skinny-dipping boys, clothes in hand, running by a “No Swimming” sign as they flee the law. It was painted in 1921.
“I still remember the day I posed for it and how I would sit there and have my legs propped up with books” to simulate running, Lischke told the Associated Press in 1991. 
Lischke was a favorite subject for Rockwell’s paintings. “He always said, ‘The kid can raise his eyebrows. He makes a good model.’ ”
Besides having great eyebrow movement, Lischke was convenient. Rockwell in the 1920s rented studio space from the Lischke family in New Rochelle, N.Y. 
“We had an old barn on our property, and Norman Rockwell called my father and asked if he could remodel it,” he told The Litchfield County Times in 1991. “He wanted the second floor for a studio and said he’d pay $25 a month in rent.”
Lischke himself was paid the then-princely sum of 50 cents an hour (about $6.70 in 2016) to model. He later got a raise to 75 cents and was eventually hired as Rockwell’s “studio boy” at $5 a week.
Lischke, who was 13 when he posed for the “No Swimming” cover, continued to model for Rockwell until he was 17 when he became “too old to be a kid model and not good-looking enough to be an Arrow Collar Man,” he said.
Rockwell, who became a lifelong friend, urged the young Lischke to pursue art as a career, and he did. He became a well-known commercial artist in New York City, specializing in fashion work for stores like Bloomingdale’s, Saks, and Bonwit Teller.
Franklin H. Lische was born in 1908 in New Rochelle (where Frederic Remington also had his studio before moving to Ridgefield). He wound up studying at the Art Students’ League under a man who had taught Rockwell, George Bridgeman.
While living in Ridgefield from 1946 to 1986, Lischke maintained a studio in New York City to work as a freelance commercial artist.
In Ridgefield, he used his talents to contribute to the community, doing many of the illustrations for Silvio Bedini's 1958 history, “Ridgefield in Review,” the Bicentennial commemorative book, “Heritage '76,” and the 1975 history of St. Stephen's Church, where he served on many parish committees. 
He also designed graphics and did art for the Keeler Tavern, the Ridgefield Library, the Ridgefield Garden Club, and the Ridgefield Orchestra. 
In 1986, he retired and with his wife, Martha, moved to Litchfield, where he died in 1991 at the age of 83.
One of Lischke’s favorite childhood stories involved how he addressed his boss. “I remember going to the studio when I was 13 or 14 years old,” he told the Litchfield paper. “I always called him Mr. Rockwell, and one day he said to me, ‘Frank, you don’t have to call me Mr. Rockwell.’ Well, I couldn’t very well call him Norman, so he said, ‘Call me Bosco.’ I don’t know where that came from.

“One day I bounded into the studio and called out, ‘Hi, Bosco!’ before I saw him sitting on a window seat with a fine gentleman going over sketches. I got a cool reception that time, so I left. Later, he said, ‘It’s all right to call me Bosco, but not in front of the art director of the Saturday Evening Post.’ ”

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Ralph T. Walker: 
Architect of the Century
Though he probably never lived here, one of America’s leading creators of the skyscraper is spending eternity in Ridgefield — practically next to another skyscraper architect. 
The New York Times called Ralph Thomas Walker “the architect of the century” and Frank Lloyd Wright considered him “the only other honest architect in America.” 
Walker designed many of the major art deco skyscrapers in Manhattan, including the Barclay-Vesey Telephone Building (lately called the Verizon Building, heavily damaged on Sept. 11, 2001), the Irving Trust Building, the Western Union Building, the Salvation Army Headquarters, and the Walker Tower.
His reputation was so great that he was elected president of the American Institute of Architects and, in 1957, the AIA’s 100th anniversary, the organization created a special award for him, the Centennial
Gold Medal of Honor, for his extraordinary service to architecture. In covering the award, The Times dubbed him the "architect of the century."
Born in 1889 in Waterbury, Walker apprenticed at $1 a week under a Providence, R.I., architect while studying at MIT (in his third year of apprenticeship, he got $3 a week). During World War I, he was a lieutenant in the camouflage section of the Army Corps of Engineers; the unit created sometimes elaborate ways of hiding arms and materiel from the Germans, often using painted fabric.  
After the war, he moved to New York where he began designing many tall buildings in cities in the Northeast, was closely involved in the design of the 1939 New York World’s Fair, and became a partner in a major architectural firm that still exists today as HLW International.
So what are his mortal remains doing in Ridgefield, a town in which he probably never lived? Ridgefield was the home, late in their lives, of his parents, Thomas and Marion Shipley Walker, who lived at what is now 83 West Lane, just northeast of the junction of Olmstead Lane. Since Thomas was a construction worker of modest means, Ralph may have bought the house for his parents.
Ralph probably visited his folks here and may have stayed at their house for periods of time. But his home from the 1930s until his death was in Chappaqua, N.Y.
The Walkers moved here around 1930. The couple purchased a “family plot” in Fairview Cemetery on North Salem Road, where both are buried. Thomas died in 1934, Marion in 1947.
Three years after being so highly honored by the AIA, Ralph Walker quit the organization after the AIA charged that a member of his firm stole a contract from another architect. While Walker was found to be completely without fault in the case and eventually rejoined the AIA, he destroyed his Medal of Honor in anger over the incident. Meanwhile, his wife, Stella, was committed to a sanitorium; she died in July 1972. Within months, Walker married Christine Foulds, a widow from England. However, not long afterward, on Jan. 17, 1973, Walker placed a silver bullet into a pistol and shot himself.
One wonders whether Walker, in planning for his death, chose to be buried with his parents, not only for family reasons but also because a few dozen feet away, in the same cemetery, is the grave of another master of the 20th Century building design: Cass Gilbert.
Thus, a relatively tiny, rural cemetery, containing about 625 graves, holds the remains of two of the 20th century’s greatest architects.



Tuesday, September 27, 2016


The Bulkleys: 
The Home on the Hill
In 1902, Jonathan and Sarah Tod Bulkley established one of Ridgefield’s many grand estates. More than a century later, Rippowam is the only remaining estate that is virtually unchanged in acreage and in use from that “Golden Era” when many New Yorkers built their country homes here.
What’s even more amazing, Rippowam is still owned and occupied by the same family.
Descended from the founders of Fairfield, Jonathan Bulkley was born in 1857, graduated from Yale in 1879 and joined the paper manufacturing firm of Bulkley, Dunton and Company, which his father had established in 1833. The company still exists; it calls itself  the largest paper company in North America providing paper products to magazine, book, and catalog publishers. It’s also one of the oldest continuously operating businesses in New York State.
Bulkley was also a director of various other companies, a member of New York social clubs and an influential man in the life of the city. 
The home he and Sarah built at 600 Park Avenue in 1911 is considered one of the city’s architectural treasures. The mansion was designed by James Gamble Rogers, whose many major projects included Sterling Memorial Library and a dozen other buildings at Yale and more at other universities, including Northwestern, Columbia and NYU; the Federal Courthouse in New Haven; Presbyterian Hospital in New York; Butler Library at Columbia; and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital in New York. 
The Bulkley home was the scene of one of New York’s costlier burglaries. According to an account by New York City building historian Tom Miller: “On Feb. 22, 1927, Sarah Bulkley left the house at 3 to attend a tea. Around her neck hung a pearl necklace valued at $50,000 and her fingers were weighed down with several expensive rings. It was a fortunate choice of accessories for Mrs. Bulkley.
“When she returned at 6:30 she found her safe opened and empty. Gone was all of Sarah’s jewelry – diamond bracelets, diamond and emerald rings and a lorgnette chain with 97 diamonds valued at $20,000. ($20,000 then was equivalent to $275,000 in today’s dollars.)
“Bulkley and his sons, who were 29 and 27 years old at the time, had been home all afternoon; none of the servants knew the combination to the safe other than Sarah’s personal maid, Ida Kaemfer; and police called it an ‘inside job.’ All circumstantial evidence pointed to Ida.
“Mrs. Bulkley, however, insisted that the maid was ‘above suspicion.’  The case was never solved.”
Both Jonathan and Sarah were involved in many in philanthropic and social endeavors. He was president of the East Side House Settlement, one of New York’s oldest organizations helping the poor (it still exists today in the South Bronx). Sarah was vice president of the New York Y.W.C.A and active in the the Girls Service League in New York. 
Sarah was also president of the Garden Club of America from 1932 to 1935 and traveled widely in the United States and in Asia promoting the aims of the club. At one point in the 1930s, Japanese Prince Fumimaro Konoye came to Ridgefield to visit Mrs. Bulkley at Rippowam. When she later went to Japan on behalf of the garden club, the prince entertained her. (Konoye went on to become prime minister of Japan, but resigned shortly before Pearl Harbor. In 1945, he was closely involved in efforts to stop the war.) 
Sarah Bulkley, who summered in Ridgefield for 40 years, was a charter member of the Ridgefield Garden Club, serving as its president in the 1920s. Along with her daughter, Sarah Bulkley Randolph (1897-1982), she was one of the founders of the Ridgefield Boys Club. 
Rippowam, which is situated on Rippowam Road near the top of West Mountain, overlooks Lake Rippowam in Lewisboro and includes land in that town. The cave of Sarah Bishop, the legendary post-Revolutionary-era hermitess, lies within the estate’s bounds. 
The Ridgefield Press noted in 1939 that Rippowam was well-known for its “swinging bridge” which Sarah designed around 1920. The bridge extended from the edge of a 60-foot-deep wooded ravine some 50 feet out to the top of a large oak tree to which it was fastened and from which it swung from side to side a few inches from its anchorage. The bridge eventually deteriorated and was removed.
The family allowed kids from the Boys Club to use a pond on the property many years ago.
Jonathan Bulkley died in Ridgefield in 1939 at the age of 82. Sarah Bulkley, a native of Cleveland who grew up in Brooklyn, died in 1943 at the age of 72.
While the family still owns the Ridgefield home, it sold the Manhattan residence three years after Sarah’s death to the Royal Swedish Government. Today it is the residence of the Swedish ambassador to the United Nations.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Aldo Travaglini: 
‘Squash’
No village merchant was more recognized and more enjoyed during most of the 20th Century than Aldo Travaglini. Known to many thousands of his customers as “Squash,” Travaglini was a center of the Main Street scene from the late 1920s until the 1990s.
His news store was as much a part of the village as the town hall — and was often busier and newsier. 
Decades of commuters in the morning or evening “would stop by Squash’s to pick up the paper and check out the local talk,” Gerri Lewis reported in The Ridgefield Press in 2000 when Squash was named Lions Club Citizen of the Year. “It was here that you’d find out how the high school football team was doing, what was going on in local politics, and all the other gossip.  
“ ‘I’ll meet you at Squash’s’ were words commonly spoken around town. It was the place where people arranged to drop off packages for someone else to pick up. You could buy stamps, greeting cards, or even check on the bus schedule because, yes, the bus stopped there. The Sunday newspapers were stacked outside the store and customers on the honor system would put their money in the cigar box.”
Aldo Travaglini was born in Ridgefield in 1914, the sixth of seven children and the first to be born in America. He got his first job when he was 14.
“I was lying down on the mason steps watching Bacchiochi design a foundation where Craig’s is now,” he recalled many years later. “Zandri came over and said, ‘Squash, want to work? Go home, get cleaned up and come to the store.’ I said, ‘OK.” 
The store was Bissell’s Pharmacy and the year was 1928.  Squash went on to spend nearly 70 years working in retail on Main Street.
At Bissell’s he ran the long-famous soda fountain (some say he was nicknamed “Squash” after his older brother, Louis, longtime state and town police dispatcher, who had worked at Bissell’s a few years before him). 
He remained at Bissell’s until 1953 when he bought the United Cigar Store from David Moore and his wife, Alice, who was daughter of Harold Finch, the store’s founder. He renamed it Ridgefield News Store, selling newspapers, magazines, cards, and stationery — and, until around 1970, maintaining a popular soda fountain. 
Over the years, he employed hundreds of Ridgefield High School students — kids loved working there for two reasons, said Scott Mason, who was one of them. “Everybody came in. Your friends came in, and all the girls came in that you could meet.” 
Travaglini was beloved as a first boss, and many former employees, returning to town, would always stop by. 
In 1989, he sold the business to his son Mark, who in turn sold in 1994 to owners who changed the emphasis from publications to office supplies and stationery.
Travaglini continued to work there until the mid-1990s. Then, after stints at a couple of other local businesses, he retired to his longtime home in Goldens Bridge, N.Y.  
In 2002, he received a Ridgefield Old Timers award, recognizing his many years of sponsoring youth sports teams and events.
He died in 2007 at the age of 93.
Back in the 1950s and 60s, Travaglini’s store and sidewalk would often be crowded with teenagers, especially after Ridgefield High School, then in the center of town, let out. While Squash hired countless students and supported numerous youth programs, he was not about to put up with youthful thoughtlessness that affected the ability of customers to comfortably access his store. He became famous for yelling at the packs of  kids who’d hang out on the sidewalk, “Get the hell away from the front door.”
One of those kids was Rudy Marconi, RHS 1966. More than 30 years later, when he was running for first selectman, Marconi stood in front of Squash’s one morning, handing out campaign leaflets to people picking up their newspapers. “I was talking and shaking hands,” he said. “Even those that didn’t want to talk — I was forcing myself on them.”
After a while, the front door opened and a voice yelled out, ‘Get the hell away from the door!’”
It was Squash playing a nostalgic joke on Marconi, but none of the people the candidate was talking to knew that.

“I was never so embarrassed in my life,” Marconi — wearing a big smile — told Travaglini a few years later.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Clayton R. Lund:
Uncontainable Compassion
Only two pastors in the three-century history of Ridgefield’s oldest church have served longer than the Rev. Clayton R. Lund. One was his predecessor, the Rev. Hugh Shields, and the other was the Rev. Jonathan Ingersoll, from 1740 to 1778. 
The 17th minister of the First Congregational Church arrived in 1956 and retired just 30 years later. During Lund’s first 10 years here, the congregation tripled in size to 800 people, a church school was added, and an assistant minister was hired. 
A native of Providence, R.I., Clayton Reginald Lund was born in 1919 and graduated from Clark University and Andover-Newton Theological School.  He served congregations in Massachusetts and New York before coming to Ridgefield at the age of 37.
“A ministry is a life of service to other people,” Mr. Lund said in 1986 when he was retiring after 42 years of parish work. “My daily agenda is created by the needs of others. A minister has to be a teacher, preacher, pastor, administrator, and community leader.” 
Lund was all of those, often participating in community organizations and speaking up for people in need. 
He was also a strong leader. In 1978, just after extensive renovations were completed, a child playing with a candle ignited a fire that destroyed the Church House. Lund led the efforts to build a new church house, which was completed in 1980 and named Lund Hall in his honor. 
However, over his three decades in Ridgefield,  Lund was best known for comforting those in need. At his retirement, novelist and historian Kathryn Morgan Ryan, whose Roman Catholic husband, author Cornelius Ryan, was a close friend of the minister, called  Lund “a man of surging talent and uncontainable compassion. Very soon now…we in the town he loves will realize that, like others in our lives, we took him for granted, that we believed he would always be here for us — all of us, any of us, at any time. It is hard to let go of the security he represents.” 
He was so respected as a minister that in 1990, Andover-Newton, his alma mater, established a $20,000 Clayton R. Lund scholarship for ministerial students. 
Lund, who had moved to Danbury after his retirement, died there in 2000 at the age of 81.
“Clayton Lund brought a powerful blend of dignity, faith, wisdom, flair, and charm into the pulpit,” wrote the Rev. Dr. Charles Hambrick-Stowe in his 2011 church history, “We Gather Together.” “He was well-suited for leading the church through the rapid changes coming to the town of Ridgefield from the 1950s through the 1980s.”
Lund himself described those changes concisely in a 1987 church history, “Ridgefield … was on its way to becoming one of the East’s most desirable and expensive places to live. Ridgefielders watched with some apprehension as their beautiful town, in which they knew and greeted one another, was ‘invaded’ by newcomers. Change was rapid, construction was everywhere. Woods were cut down for new development; oddly named new roads ribboned the hills and valleys; personal service and shopping became a thing of the past.” 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Otto Lippolt:
Collector & Lover of Land
Otto Lippolt was a man who loved the land and collected what he loved. Most of what he collected is now town parkland.
A native of Massachusetts,  Otto F. Lippolt was born in 1891 and moved in the 1920s to a 100-acre farm at the corner of Ridgebury Road and George Washington Highway (the farmhouse later became the Ridgebury Congregational Church parsonage). 
A well-known and respected well driller and well serviceman,  Lippolt was on call 24/7. 
“His generosity was fabulous,” said his friend Carl Baumhart in a 1965 tribute after Lippolt had died at the age of 74.  “Let anyone call and say they were out of water and even if the hour be 3 a.m., he dressed and went to find out why. A cry for water was, to him, a cry of distress.”
Lippolt also collected Ridgebury land, especially during the Depression, when many large and long-unused  tracks would come up at tax sales. 
“Any man who loved trees and nature so much was bound to obtain as much of it as possible,” Baumhart said.  “So he acquired a considerable part of the Ridgebury area.”
By the 1950s he had amassed more than 700 acres, and began slowly subdividing a small portion that he called Hemlock Hills, which included Old Mill and Bear Mountain Roads. But he was not a cut-and-slash developer. 
“He knew there’d eventually be a population explosion and that Ridgebury would participate,” wrote  Baumhart, a former newspaperman and Famous Writers School teacher. “He meant to see to it that the lovely land he owned went to those who felt much as he did about it. He wouldn’t sell to just anybody. 
“He had an outdoorsman’s love of the land. You could almost see his keen, far-seeing eyes stroking the surrounding hills gently as he gazed across them. He liked to detour now and then just to take a look at a particular giant of a tree that had become almost a personality to him.” 
Lippolt developed only a small portion of his vast holdings. As it turned out, two years after he died, his widow Marion Washburn Lippolt, a Ridgebury native, sold 570 acres to the town at the modest price of around $5,000 an acre; she could have sold to a developer, but she knew her husband  loved the land. Mrs. Lippolt died in 1984.
The “Lippolt property,” as it was first known, became the Hemlock Hills and Pine Mountain refuges. The Hemlock Hills section included a few dirt roads that Otto Lippolt had created in preparation for subdividing; some roads even had drainage culverts that still function more than a half century later. Wildflowers, including rare Bottle Gentians and Ladies’ Tresses orchids, sprang up in the middle of some of these dirt roads and at an old sand quarry.
The main dirt road through the Hemlock Hills tract existed long before Lippolt. Bogus Road, the northern part of which is now a paved town road, ran down to the area of Lake Windwing, and was used by the British as they marched from the burning of Danbury south to Ridgefield village and the Battle of Ridgefield on their back back to their ships at Compo in Westport.
Today,  Hemlock Hills and the Pine Mountain Refuges are part of the largest contiguous piece of open space in Ridgefield and one of the largest in Fairfield County. Its trails connect to a large parkland in Danbury and Bethel. 


Friday, September 23, 2016


Charles Spire:
The Music Man
“Before he arrived,” former high school Principal Joseph Ellis said of Charles Spire, “the music program was practically non-existent. With Charlie’s leadership it became one of the finest music programs of any school district, anywhere.” 
In 1973, when Spire became supervision of music, excellent programs that Dr. Robert Rowe had started in the 1940s were long gone; music education had taken the brunt of budget cuts as enrollments exploded in the 60s. 
By the time Spire retired in 1990, music was flourishing in the schools and Ridgefield students were performing both here and across Europe. 
“My master plan is to see that every child, K through 12, is touched by culture,” he once said. Charles A. Spire was born in 1929 in Gowanda, N.Y., where, during the Depression, music was one of the few diversions and outdoor band concerts were regular community events. “I saw what music did for the small town where I grew up,” he said. 
As a boy he performed on any instrument he was given with any group he could. He studied music at Boston University, and with the likes of Arthur Fiedler and Paul Hindemith. 
He made his concert piano debut with the Boston Pops and also performed at Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony. 
But after serving as an Army major during the Korean War,  Spire decided he wanted to work with children. He taught music in New York state from 1955 until coming to Ridgebury School as a music teacher in 1967. In 1971, he established the Ridgefield Youth Orchestra, which became so proficient it was invited to give concert tours in Europe in 1979, 1984, 1989 and 1991. 
Recalling the performances he’d heard or been a part of as a small-town child, Spire staged 73 concerts in Ballard Park between 1973 and 1990, showcasing hundreds of student musicians. 
A member of the board of Opera New England, he brought opera stars to the schools and took many students to Lincoln Center for great performances. In 1975, he began spring Broadway musicals at the high school. 
A year later, he staged a huge, all-day school Art and Music Festival in Ballard Park to celebrate the Bicentennial. More than 2,000 students — from kindergarten through high school — performed. “Youngsters were dipping candles, weaving baskets, working leather, and compounding medicines, much like Ridgefielders two hundred years earlier,” wrote Lois Street in a 1990 Ridgefield Press profile of Spire.
The same day, “the polls were open for balloting on the school budget,” Street wrote. “The townspeople voted it down.”
To Spire, she said, that day symbolized “23 years of teaching in a town which is enthusiastic about strong programs — and equally enthusiastic about bashing the budgets that provide them.”
For his accomplishments, Spire was named Kiwanis Citizen of the Year in 1976 and Rotary Citizen of the Year in 1993. A longtime member, he had twice served as president of Rotary.
In his spare time, he wrote for Symphony Magazine and served on the board of the Charles Ives Center in Danbury. He lived for many years on Cherry Lane where he maintained a water garden in a pond on his property. He eventually moved to Florida where he died in 2011 at the age of 82.
On his retirement in 1990, Spire reflected on the countless students he had taught and led over the years.
“Today’s children are described as self-centered, as wanting everything given to them or else they’ll drink and do drugs,” he said. “Well, not the ones I see.” Describing a recent rehearsal, he said, “the kids were doing their best, showing respect for each other and pride. I walked away with such a joy. It was so wonderful — and it’s a feeling no different than 40 years ago.”
When he retired, he received a letter complimenting him for inspiring students “to strive for excellence in all things so that, in working hard and displaying individual initiative, they will know they can make a difference in the world.” The letter was signed by President George H.W. Bush.
Spire hoped that in retirement he would be able to find time to return to composing. One of his plans was to take a march he once sold to MGM and rewrite it for orchestra. MGM used the march as the theme in the movie, “The Great Escape,” starring Steve McQueen.
When he sold the piece, Spire had not expected the film to become a classic.
“Boy, I wish I’d kept the rights,” he said with a grin.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

B.E. Sperry:
The End of An Era
A prominent Ridgefield businessman for a half century, B.E. “Bert” Sperry died amid much family sadness. His business also ended with a bang.
In the fall of 1946, Sperry drove to Michigan to visit his brother, Frank, who had been hospitalized with burns suffered when a relative’s house burned down. Frank had been staying at the relative’s house after a fire had destroyed the trailer he himself had been living in with his brother, former Ridgefielder Fleet Sperry — Fleet was burned to death in that blaze.
On the day before Halloween, Bert Sperry suffered a heart attack at a Ohio hotel and died. 
Born in 1871 in Michigan, Bert Eugene Sperry came to Ridgefield in 1892 and worked at the Adams and Keeler livery stable. Five years later, he opened his own stable in a huge building on Catoonah Street that had been Whitlock’s livery stable. He had as many as 75 horses at one point.   
Sperry handled in an effective way the arrival of the automobile and the departure of the horse.
“When automobiles began to provide better local transportation,” his Press obituary said, “Mr. Sperry turned to taxicabs.” 
He continued in the taxi business until World War II and also sold coal and wood. 
Sperry was active in the Lions Club and other local groups. 
Sperry’s livery stable was a huge edifice that stood opposite the Ridgefield firehouse. It was built to hold not only horses that could be rented or boarded, but carriages that could be rented with horses for use like an Avis car or U-Haul truck today. Upper floors held large amounts of hay to feed the horses and provide bedding.
When the horses left, the three-story barn, built probably in the 1870s, became obsolete and for some years had been poorly maintained. It was showing its age and perhaps lack of maintenance in the winter of 1947-48, when a couple of big snowstorms in late December and early January had piled huge amounts of snow on the roof. 
The building began creaking and sagging. Fire Marshal Horace A. Walker condemned the structure (there was no building inspector back then) and ordered the Harry Dodson family, who had an apartment in the rear section, to get out and take anything of value with them. 
At 4 o’clock on the morning of Jan. 17, 1948 — 12 hours after the Dodsons had moved out —  the building collapsed in a thunderous roar of splitting timbers and breaking glass that woke up people throughout the village. 

It was a dramatic end of an era.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Profiles on Facebook's
'Old Ridgefield' Group

Here is a list of more than 190 profiles of Ridgefielders posted as Who Was Who on the "Old Ridgefield" Facebook Group as of Sept. 21, 2016:
Abbe Family,
Abbot, Dr. Joel,
Adler, Larry,
Aldrich, Larry,
Allan, Edwin B,
Allee, William H,
Allen, William I,
Ancona, Joseph,
Atherton, John,
Babin, Jacqueline,
Bacon, Peggy,
Bailey, Annie Keeler,
Baker, Paul,
Bedini, Silvio,
Beers, Henry I,
Bennett, Harry,
Biow, Milton,
Bishop, Sarah,
Bissell, H.P,
Blackwell Betsy Talbot,
Blankenship, William,
Blum, Dr. Harry,
Blumgarten, James,
Boring, Wayne,
Boyce, Walter,
Brown, Eliphalet,
Buhrman, Bert,
Carboni, Benvenuto,
Carroll, Leo F,
Chekhov, Michael,
Cleves, Mabel,
Coca, Imogene,
Coleman, Rev. James,
Copland, Aaron,
Copp, John,
Costanzi, James,
Couch, Edward J,
Crocker Family,
Crosby, Fanny,
D’Addario, Dom,
Dick, Edwina Eustis,
Dielman, Frederick,
Donovan, Jeremiah,
Dowling, John E,
Dutton, E.P,
Eason, Myles,
Farrar, Geraldine,
Farrar, Sidney,
Fast, Howard,
Fawcett, Robert,
Fields, Gail Rogers Glissman,
Fossi, Louis J,
Franklin, Fabian,
Fry, Varian,
Gabor, Jolie,
Gage, D. Smith,
Gilbert, George Washington,
Gilbert, Victor,
Gilchrist, Huntington,
Gilkes, Lillian B,
Gillum, Pinky,
Gold, Andrew,
Goldstein, Mel,
Goodrich, Samuel, Parley,
Grafton, Samuel,
Green, Herb,
Gunther, Max,
Haight, John F,
Haight, Robert S,
Hampden, Walter,
Hanley, William G,
Hepburn, Emily Eaton,
Herrick, Gerard,
Hightower, John,
Hoban, Fairfield,
Holleran, Clifford,
Horblit, Harrison and Jean,
Hoyt, Irene,
Hughes, John B,
Hull, Harry E,
Jacob, Sereno,
Jacobsen, Sacha,
Johnson, Rev. Samuel,
Jones, Edward,
Joseph, James,
Kampen, Irene,
Keefe, Tammis,
Keeler, Capt. Benjamin,
Kemble, E.W.,
Kilcoyne, Marie,
Knox, Edward M,
Kraus, Robert,
Landegger, Karl,
Landis, Jessie Royce,
Leonard, Elizabeth,
Levy, B.E,
Lounsbury, George E,
Luce, Clare Boothe,
Maine, Florene,
Mallon, Mary,
Martin, Francis D,
McGlynn, Richard T,
McGovern, Gordon,
McNamara, Walter,
Medynski, Father Francis,
Meltzer, Alan,
Minot, Dr. Henry,
Mitchell, John Ames,
Montgomery, Douglass,
Moorhead, Lillian,
Moss, Donald,
Nash, Charles S,
Nelhybel, Vaclav,
Nevin, Hardwick,
Nevins, Allan,
North, Alex,
O'Neill, Eugene,
Oexle, William,
Oliphant, Elmer Q,
Olmsted, Ebenezer,
Olsen, Olaf,
Orrico, John,
Paccadolmi, Phyllis,
Paddock, Archibald Y,
Perlin, Bernard,
Perry, Gen. David,
Petroni, Romeo,
Pierrepont, Seth Low,
Pontello, Mike,
Recht, Charles,
Regney, Noel,
Remington, Frederic,
Richardson, Anne S,
Risch, Joan,
Roach, Joseph,
Roberts, Gail,
Rockelein, Conrad,
Rogers, Donald I,
Rome, Harold,
Rosa, Kathryn Venus,
Ross, C. Chandler,
Rowland, Alice V,
Rowley, John,
Ryan, Cornelius,
Ryan, Kathryn Morgan,
Safford, Theodore,
Salerno, Bartholomew T,
Salvo, Adam,
Scalise, George,
Scarry, Richard,
Scherf, Captain Meinhard,
Schuster, Patricia,
Scott, John Walter,
Scripps, Robert P,
Servadio, Gildo,
Shapiro, Joseph,
Shaughnessy, Thomas,
Sheehan, Dr. James,
Sheeler, Charles,
Shields, Hugh,
Shields, Laura Curie Allee,
Sholes, D. Smith,
Shortell, Richard E,
Skandera, Michael,
Smith, Duncan,
Sonnichsen, Eric,
Spong, Hilda,
Stebbins, Henry G,
Stengel, George,
Stevens, Carlton Ross,
Stockli, Albert,
Thomas, Harry,
Thomas, Norman,
Toffler, Alvin,
Trahey, Jane,
Turner, Aaron,
Ullman, Paul,
Van Lidth de Jeude, Erland,
Velte, Paul,
Vetter, George,
Wagoner, Philip D,
Warrups, Chicken,
Weissmann, Frieder,
Wheeler, John N,
Wilder, Gen. Wilber,
Wilk, Max,
Wills, Ruth E,
Wilmot, Tony,
Wohlforth, Mildred,
Wood, Lee B,