RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — If you drive by the Ridgefield Supply Co. on Prospect Street, you'll feel as if you took a step back in time to another century.
The company has re-created a Victorian railroad station that was located on the property back in 1870. The new station is identical to the original one — even containing some of the original parts.
"My mother Jo-Anne Price and I are both very excited about this project," said Margaret Price, CEO and owner of Ridgefield Supply Co.
Price said her father, Louis Price, who passed away in 2014, would be happy to see the restoration.
"His last time out of the house before he passed away was to the planning and zoning approval of the project.
"It’s truly a gem and really something pretty to look at," she said of the new station.
The idea for the restoration began when Price realized that the station was in disrepair and in need of a renovation. At the same time, Ridgefield Supply Co. was looking to expand.
The old train depot, which was functional until 1962, could not be moved from the property and could not be dismantled.
To preserve it, Ridgefield Supply Co. decided to re-create the Victorian-era station.
The company has been in Price's family since 1933 — and there has been some type of a supply company on the property since the 1880s.
“The passenger side of the rail of the Branchville line stopped in the early 1900s, so the station had a very short life as a passenger train station. This eventually became a warehouse for us," said Price, a Ridgefield resident.
However, Ridgefield Supply Co. eventually started boarding up the building. “It had lost its luster because it was used as a warehouse," she said.
The train station itself became raccoon-infested, Price added.
Yet, she said, "We always saved the components, such as pieces of the molding — as well as protected the brackets — because we knew we wanted to restore it down the road."
In 1972, her father bought the business and ran it as a lumber yard.
"When I bought the business in 2011, it became very clear that we had to upgrade the facilities. We eventually decided to redo the entire property," Price said.
Since the station was not structurally sound to move, "we took all of the key components and deconstructed the building," Price said.
"We built the frame of the building and refurbished and reapplied the brackets. In some instances, we had to re-create some of the molding.
"We re-created it to the point where we put a flat roof on it that has a cistern" to collect water, she said.
The building is now handicapped accessible and energy efficient.
Price said that the renovated train station is part of a three-year project to put 11 new buildings on the property.
The station is expected to be completed and open to the public in May. It will include showrooms, a retail hardware store, an education center and warehouses for lumber and building material storage.
For more information on Ridgefield Supply Co. at 29 Prospect St., click here .
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