Coffee with … Stephen Bartkus, Ridgefield Historical Society


One of our favorite things about Ridgefield is its rich history, visible everywhere you look in the preserved colonial architecture around town. There are so many interesting stories about Ridgefield’s past, even way beyond the architecture.

Who better to share our town’s fascinating history than Stephen Bartkus, the new Executive Director of the Ridgefield Historical Society.

Watch our interview above with Stephen, a practicing archaeologist and accomplished curator, for an introduction to their various programs that make history come alive! And below are a few things you may not know about this wonderful organization. Let’s celebrate the history of Ridgefield!

How can we learn more about Ridgefield’s history?

The Ridgefield Historical Society invites the community to take part in its many programs that celebrate the history of Ridgefield.

History Club

The Ridgefield History Club is an informal story telling session where everyone shares their memories related to a specific topic in Ridgefield’s history. Attendees are encouraged to share their stories, photos and objects for a “show and tell” with the group or just come and listen to the fascinating conversation about our town’s past!

Learn more

History lectures and tours

The Historical Society holds frequent lectures and tours about the history of Ridgefield and interesting author talks that the public may attend.

Upcoming events

Peter Parley Schoolhouse

Also known as the West Lane Schoolhouse or the Little Red Schoolhouse, the Historical Society offers ongoing programs at this historic one-room schoolhouse that was built in 1756.

Learn more

Ridgefield Oral History Project

Numbering over 200 interviews with Ridgefield residents, the oral history collection is expansive, spanning topics ranging from World War Two to the Covid Pandemic.

A recent grant from CT Humanities will help to record, preserve, and share Ridgefield LGBTQIA+ stories. This new initiative, in collaboration with Ridgefield CT Pride, and student volunteers from Ridgefield High School and the High School’s GSA Club, will help diversify the oral history collection.

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The Battle of Ridgefield

Every five years, the Town of Ridgefield and Ridgefield Historical Society celebrate the Battle of Ridgefield with a full weekend of events, turning back the clock, and bringing the history and characters of the time alive, as well as introducing new important discoveries regarding the Battle.

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Museum in the Streets

Did you know that you can learn about Ridgefield’s history right in the streets? This heritage discovery trail highlights 32 “stations of history” throughout Ridgefield with informative signs that bring the past to life beyond the walls of traditional museums.

Learn more

“Your support keeps the history and heritage of Ridgefield alive and present, offering a deeper understanding of our town, our peoples, and our context in the greater world – for centuries to come.”

Ways to get involved

There are so many ways to get involved in the Ridgefield Historical Society! Attend programs and events, volunteer, tell your oral history, and become a member! Learn more

Become a member

In addition to supporting this vital organization that keeps the history and heritage of Ridgefield alive, membership comes with priority and discounts to RHS events, programs and services, like genealogy and historic house research. Become a member

Want to be a “Coffee with inRidgefield” guest?

Do you have an interesting story to tell? We’d love to hear from you!

Email Julia at editor@inridgefield.com.