This is an easy multi-cache that traces, in reverse, Ridgefield’s 300th anniversary parade route. Each waypoint marks an artifact, and each of these artifacts, like a gps device, will situate you in time and space, both historically and geographically. The anniversary parade traced 300 years of living, wandering, and time-keeping, and so this muliti-cache cites various methods of navigation.
You log and complete the cache outside at the dairy.
For over 30 years during the late 18th century, Sarah Bishop lived in a small cave on a mountain between North Salem and Ridgefield. She periodically walked into both towns for supplies and to attend church. In the 19th century a vagrant known as the Leatherman because of his 60lb handmade leather suit, spent 30 years walking a 365-mile clockwise circuit every 34 days through towns in New York State and Connecticut. Ridgefield was on the Leatherman’s circuit, and he periodically slept in Sarah Bishop’s cave. Bishop lived alone, passing the time. The Leatherman was so precise in his timing that people put out food for him and kept their schedules by his. The 2008 parade participants, commemorating 300 years of Ridgefield’s history, marched to a different rhythm, one kept by clocks synchronized through satellites and global networks. These three different ways of moving and keeping time are organized in the model cave, turning it into an observatory: video projections, fragments of narration, and sculptural components orient viewers to these discrete rhythms.
Use Sarah Bishop’s cave to look, listen, and rest.
This multi can be accomplished on foot, bicycle or vehicle. On foot, it can be completed in less than an hour. The cache coordinates are listed, but the five prior waypoints must be found to complete the cache.
Waypoint #1: A Weedy Gravestone
41° 17.124'N 73° 29.661'W
A wandering gravestone has found a place of rest at Ridgefield’s Historic Society. The Society is located in the 275-year-old David Scott House, whose preservation, renovation, and restoration was completed in September 2002. The house includes a large fireproof and waterproof archival room within a "vault" with special equipment to control the humidity and temperature for fragile documents. But outside, in the elements, the gravestone has been separated from the little girl whose brief life is now marked only by an engraving.
Locate this weedy stone and make a note of the year of her death.
Waypoint #2: Ballard Plaque
41° 17.036'N 73° 29.937'W
The Battle of Ridgefield was fought at what is now Ballard Park and reenacted as part of Ridgefield’s 300th anniversary celebration. This Battle was one of Connecticut's largest Revolutionary War actions, resulting in Ridgefield's residents becoming so outraged at the wanton destruction of private homes and the civilian deaths by the British, that the ¨hearts & souls of our citizenry became firmly committed to the Patriot cause for the rest of the War.” The 1777 skirmish involved a small colonial patriot militia force led by, among others, General David Wooster who died in the engagement, and the infamous Benedict Arnold, whose horse was shot from under him. Sarah Bishop, the Legendary Hermitess of Ridgefield, lost her family and home in Long Island during the revolutionary war when Patriots burned it to the ground. She later found the cave she would reside in for the remainder of her life not far from this battlefield.<>
Make a note of how many months after the battle at Ridgefield that British General John Burgoyne was defeated.
Waypoint #3: Fire
41° 16.897'N 73° 29.913'W
Following the Great Fire of Ridgefield on December 8, 1895, in which a large portion of Main Street was destroyed, a group of community-minded citizens banded together to form the Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department. In May of 2005, another fire broke out on Main Street.
Find the object that supports the firefighters of Ridgefield and make a note of the date it was manufactured. You will be standing at the center point of the Parade Route. Take a photograph facing south from this vantage point and upload it when you log this cache.
Waypoint #4: Marking Time
41° 16.844'N 73° 29.907'W
Like the parade itself, this waypoint collapses three hundred years of history into a single timepiece. The eagle of the revolution, the roman numerals, World War II, and the very moment you come to it.
Note the year the women of Ridgefield erected this monument.
Waypoint #5: Elevation
41° 16.840'N 73° 29.894'W
A miniature earthwork welded to commerce. The Old Leatherman, who walked a 360 mile loop every 34 days in the 19th century, traversed between sea level and caves in the mountains surrounding Ridgefield, including Sarah Bishop’s cave.
Make a note of your elevation.
THE FINAL DAIRY: 41° 16.607'N 73° 29.846'W
Find the dairy and use the last digit in each of the numbers you obtained at the previous waypoints to open the lock and gain access to the final. For the first digit of the combination lock, subtract the last digit of the number you obtained from waypoint #1 from the last digit of the number you obtained from waypoint #5. For the rest of the combination, use the last digits from the numbers you obtained from waypoints #2-4, in that order.
Thus for the four digit combination:
- First digit=last digit of #5 minus last digit of #1
- Second digit=last digit of #2
- Third digit=last digit of #3
- Fourth digit=last digit of #4
Inside you will find a logbook and a pile of compasses. Log your visit. Take a compass. Enjoy!
In 2010 an exhibition attended the cache. For more information on this exhibition and cave see Sleeping Under Stars, Living Under Satellites.