In April 1937, the idea for the Ridgefield Thrift Shop was presented to members of the District Nursing Association by their President, Mrs. Theodore Jessup. She felt that such a shop could, in time, contribute a good part of the necessary funds needed to run the DNA.
Under the enthusiastic guidance of Mrs. J. Whitney Peterson, the first shop was opened in what was known as The Balcony. The shop was beautiful and roomy, and sold such things as jade bracelets and Tang horses. However, in less than a year, the rent for the shop became so expensive it had to move or the profits would be whittled away.
In February 1939, the shop moved to the only available space on Main Street, the current Coldwell Banker location, then owned by S. S. Denton.
The Ridgefield Thrift Shop was incorporated in 1946 as an independent non-profit organization chartered to sell donated goods to raise money for other charitable organizations that supported Ridgefield residents.
The Thrift Shop continued to grow and in June of 1960 moved to 15 Catoonah Street where it flourished for the next 57 years. Interestingly, this building was the original church for St. Mary’s Parish built in 1879 and enlarged in 1888. The Ridgefield Visiting Nursing Association, formerly the DNA, owns that building.
In 2017, the shop moved to 21B Governor Street in the Donnelly Plaza. The new shop provides twice the selling space, better parking, easier drop off and greater visibility. This move signifies the continuing growth of the shop and its need to better serve the Ridgefield community.
Over one hundred active volunteers work diligently to run RTS. Every year over seventy charitable organizations receive monetary contributions raised through the sale of the generous donations from Ridgefield area residents. The RVNA, of course, in keeping with our history, is among them.
Please join us.