Archive for March 29, 2012

Silvio Bedini

Silvio Bedini grew up in Ridgefield and became a very famous historian. He ultimately became a curator at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. He was asked in 1958 to write a brochure about the history of Ridgefield for the town’s 250th anniversary. In three months he produced an outstanding local history titled Ridgefield in Review. His interest in history can be traced back to a visit to the Ridgefield Library while growing up. He was allowed to visit the basement historical room by a kindly librarian. The librarian allowed him to see, but not to touch, the sword that had been presented to Sergeant Jeremiah Keeler by the Marquis de Lafayette. He was hooked by history.

Eugene O’Neill in Ridgefield

Eugene O’Neill, the foremost American dramatist, lived from 1922 until 1927 in Ridgefield. He and his second wife, Agnes, bought Brook Farm on North Salem Road. It was an impressive residence. It was a large multi-roomed house with servant quarters, a four-car garage and thirty-one acres of land. O’Neill even purchased an Irish wolfhound to enhance his role as lord of the manor. It was a very compatible site for his writing. He wrote Desire Under the Elms as well as All God’s Chillun Got Wings, Marco Millions, The Great God Brown, Lazarus Laughed and Strange Interlude.

Civil War Ancestors

Ever wonder how to track your ancestors who fought in the Civil War? Come to the Danbury Public Library this coming Saturday (March 3 at 10:00 am in the Farioly Program Room) and you will learn how to do this. Harlan Jessup, noted local genealogist of the Connecticut Ancestry Society, will take you through the steps you need to follow to secure these important records. He has ancestors on both sides of the conflict. John O’Donnell, local historian and librarian, will talk about Danbury and its connections to the Civil War. Be sure not to miss this great event which celebrates the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.