225th Anniversary of the Washington - Rochambeau Revolutionary War Route.
Friday, June 30 through Sunday July 2, 2006
March to Victory Weekend- Ridgefield

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Ridgebury Congregational Church

Ridgebury Congregational Church
605 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield CT 06877

Telephone: (203) 748-2806
Fax: (203) 748-3568
E-mail: Office@RidgeburyChurch.org
Web Site: www.ridgeburychurch.org

Ridgebury Congregational Church serves as a beacon of American history and a symbol of continuing faith. This corner, this land, has been witness to the establishment of the United States through peace and war. The area's religious role dates from the establishment (about 1/2 mile south of the present church) of the "New Patent Meeting House" in 1738, It was formally organized as "The Ridgebury Ecclesiastical Society" with a congregation of 18 members in January of 1760. In the 1960 anniversary services Connecticut Governor Abraham Ribicoff officially recognized 1760 as the congregation's birthdate.

Military troops from England, France, French Canada and the Colonies have passed by here and have camped both on the land and in the church. In the quiet of this simple frame church and the nearby cemetery you can sense the presence of colonials who have actually been here: Benedict Arnold, Alexander Hamilton and George Washington; their enemy, British General Tryon with his 1777 Danbury-burning army, and the patriot allies Comte de Rochambeau with his French army in 1781.

In 1768 a new church building was constructed on the present site, but had no plaster on the walls and no pews for 24 years! In 1851 the church was dismantled and rebuilt on a new foundation of the same size using the wood from the old church as well as the hand-made pews. As of 2006 it is the oldest church building in Ridgefield (although the oldest Ridgefield congregation is the 1712 gathering of the First Congregational Church on Main Street).

In 1922 the Reverend Mr. Hugh Shields, while serving as senior minister of the First Congregational Church in downtown Ridgefield, gathered 15 Ridgebury neighbors and together they refurbished and revitalized Ridgebury Congregational Church which had been closed and deserted for two years. Reverend Shields served a full ministry in both churches until 1956. He continued to serve in Ridgebury until his death in 1962. He rests in Ridgebury Cemetery.

Ordinarily religious properties are not included in the National Register of Historic Places, but in 1984 Ridgebury Congregational Church was accepted as "an important center of community life in Connecticut history...In Ridgebury, the importance of the church's location as the activity center was strengthened by the fact that the general store and post office were next door, to the north. The corner of Ridgebury Road and George Washington Highway both religiously and commercially was the center of the community...the white church on its country corner...makes an important contribution to the historic and architectural character of the community."

 

Ridgebury Congregational Church
Ridgebury Congregational Church

 





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The 225th Anniversary of the American Revolution
Aquarion Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism
The Connecticut Humanites CouncilThe Friends Of The Ridgefield Library Association KIWANIS
Ridgefield Bank
The Russell Wadsworth Lewis Trust
March to Victory Weekend
Friday, June 30 through Sunday July 2, 2006 - Ridgefield, Connecticut
www.ridgefieldvictorymarch.org
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