From 1923 to 2012, Ridgefield Garden Club was the caretaker of the historic one-room Little Red Schoolhouse, also known as the West Lane Schoolhouse or the Peter Parley Schoolhouse, which is located at the intersection of West Lane and South Salem Road (Connecticut Route 35) in Ridgefield. The original schoolhouse was built in 1756; in the mid-1800’s the current larger schoolhouse replaced it.
During this time the club maintained the interior and exterior of the schoolhouse, keeping it as it would have looked when its doors closed in the early 1900s. This included regular painting, and ongoing maintenance of the roof, siding, floors and windows. The club also maintained the grounds surrounding the schoolhouse. Ridgefield Garden Club filled the schoolhouse with period-appropriate desks, texts, workbooks, toys and memorabilia along with plaques noting the history of Ridgefield and its little red schoolhouses. The club opened the school house to the public several Sunday afternoons every year for decades.
Ridgefield Garden Club turned over the care and maintenance of the schoolhouse building to the Ridgefield Historical Society in 2012, but the club continues to plant and care for the ornamental trees, shrubs, flowers and other plants on the property – a labor of love for nearly 100 years!
The Ridgefield Garden Club