Keeler Tavern Museum’s Family Day Is June 13, 2015: Celebrity Visits the Cannonball HouseBy
#Free day of history fun @KeelerTavern on 6/13
Full disclosure: the Executive Director is a history buff and serves at this wonderful museum as a docent, which is a fancy word for “guide”. I have the privilege and honor of taking visitors through a building first constructed and occupied well before the US Revolution, 1707 or so, and lovingly maintained in major part as its two first early owners expanded it. Through review of original diaries, newspapers, letters, and with the phenomenal knowledge generously shared by other docents, the Colonial era and much of the 19th Century has come very much alive for me. And we all strive to accomplish the same for our visitors.
And what has this to do with the address? This building, and its second owner Timothy Keeler, are a part of postal history. Mr. Keeler was appointed post master of the town of Ridgefield in 1805. He built his modest post office in the tavern’s bar. It consisted of a desk in a closet under the stairs leading from the tavern to a meeting room on the second floor, where it is likely the town ultimately voted to join the “rebel” cause of liberty in December 1775. This appointment served as indication that Timothy was a respected and trusted leader of the community. It also served to make the Keeler Tavern the center of town life, which in most communities in the early United States the post office often was. The stage coach from New York to Boston stopped here after its 10 hour trip, and if there were letters for Ridgefield residents, Keeler children were probably dispatched to inform the addressees they could collect them on payment of postage at the Tavern. It was still “addressee pays”!