Wilton residents may be wondering what is going on at 183 Ridgefield Rd. Over the next six months, travelers along scenic Ridgefield Rd. in Wilton who cast their eyes toward the property’s upland horizon will soon see an addition to the farmland’s skyline: the raising of the Daniel Offutt Barn.
Officials of the Wilton Land Conservation Trust say they’re thrilled to have the 19th century Daniel Offutt Barn on-site at the 183 Ridgefield Road Preserve and describe the structure’s small scale and history as a perfect complement of the agrarian past of the property.
In March of 2020, the Wilton Land Conservation Trust purchased 183 Ridgefield Rd. after a multi-year battle over whether the 14-acre parcel should be developed commercially. Thanks to the financial support of WLCT’s friends and members, and the award of an Open Space Acquisition Grant from the State of Connecticut, the property will be preserved in perpetuity as open space, which the Land Trust says is for the greater Wilton community to explore, experience, and enjoy.
“We’re excited to break ground at 183,” said David McCarthy, Executive Director of the Wilton Land Conservation Trust. “It’s the first step of many towards opening the property to the public.”
Last June, the Daniel Offutt Estate donated a small antique barn – together with the funds to relocate it – to the WLCT. The barn was carefully disassembled and relocated from Weston to 183 Ridgefield Rd. To date, the WLCT has poured the foundation and slab. Over the next six months, passersby will be able to observe progress as parts of the antique barn are slowly raised and reassembled, eventually to reemerge to reclaim its place in local history.
The immediate use of the barn will be for storage. In the future, the WLCT will seek approval to use the barn for small educational programs centered around agriculture and nature planned for the 183 preserve.