Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Collectors Welcome

A worldly family puts roots down in historic Ridgefield



Doug Foulke

Jim and Anmarie Galowski and their three children lived overseas for six years, in various hubs throughout the world. They decorated each home they lived in with a taste for the culture of the place they inhabited, embracing the ethnicity and traditions wholeheartedly. “I always wanted my kids to feel as if each place was home, no matter where we were living,” says Anmarie.

When the time arrived for the family to settle permanently in the States, the Galowskis searched for their dream home—an antique, somewhere in southern Connecticut, suitable for a family of five, as well as the furniture and worldly treasures they had collected in their travels. “We wanted an old home with large rooms, high ceilings, closet space, and a basement,” explains Anmarie, well aware her specifications made a tall order.

The couple traipsed through houses in and around Fairfield County. After months of searching, Anmarie came across a description of a home that seemed to fit the bill. “We were going into New York over Christmas break and I called the real-estate agent from the train,” she says.

Near downtown Ridgefield, behind a stone wall topped with handsome white fencing, the Galowskis discovered a legendary estate whose roots are woven into the fabric of the town. The classic Georgian Colonial was built in 1733 by Wadsworth Brigade Captain Gamaliel Northrop, still proudly displaying its original black and white color scheme, popular in England and the Southern colonies in the 1700s. After the Revolutionary War, Federalist-style additions, including a gabled third floor, cupola, ornate roof railing, and a side porch, added to the majesty of the home’s exterior. The Galowskis refurbished these and other features, restoring the home’s regal beauty.

The house’s prominent place in Ridgefield’s history complements its traditional architecture. Many homes were burnt during the Battle of Ridgefield as the vengeful British marched south through town. According to Rockwell’s History of Ridgefield, a brave woman waved a red petticoat out of the Galowskis’ home (then the Northrop homestead) to trick Redcoat soldiers into thinking it was inhabited by Loyalists and to spare it from arson. The British then used the house as a makeshift hospital for their wounded and dying mercenaries. Following the Northrop family, two prominent Ridgefielders resided in the home, Samuel Norris and, more recently, Romeo Petroni—both, Connecticut state senators.

A house that’s been around more than 250 years is bound to have a few secrets. “Over the years, our remodeling efforts have led us to buried pottery, silver, an old shoe-making kit, and some money. We have even found an old crutch, a copper gaslight, and pictures of George Washington in the walls and under floorboards,” reveals Anmarie. A clandestine room tucked away in the basement with an ancient metal-enforced door hints of a secret ammunition depot. Anmarie and Jim converted the room to pack a different kind of heat: vintage wine. The cool room now protects hundreds of bottles that naturally stay between 55 and 60 degrees all year.

Today the five-bedroom, four-and-a-half–bath house features four fireplaces, a grand living room and dining room, library, porch, and two kitchens. Each room is filled with copious character and careful attention to detail. In addition to the main residence, there is a pool house and a Wendy House (a playhouse), both mimicking the main home in traditional design and giving the estate grandeur and prominence.

Upon opening the front door, an Old World charm embraces the visitor. In the foyer, oriental rugs on wide-plank wood floors (found throughout the house) radiate warmth. The eye is drawn to a 19th-century Japanese trunk from Shanghai, and down the broad hallway is an 1820s long-case clock, purchased in England, and an old English chimney from the annual Ardingly Antiques Fair.

The library, adjacent to the foyer and part of the original design of the home, beckons with its tall, wooden bookshelves. The places the Galowskis have traveled or lived—Singapore, Germany, Thailand, England, Spain—is evident in the various book titles. A didgeridoo, an Aboriginal wind instrument, leans against the fireplace mantel. “We bought it in Australia from an Aborigine in the Daintree Rainforest,” says Anmarie. An exotic robe festooned with a five-clawed dragon, purchased at a Beijing market, hangs framed on a wall.

The bright, four-season porch, accessed through the library, was added to the home in the 19th century. This is 12-year-old daughter Christiana’s favorite room and it’s easy to see why. Looking out to beautiful gardens and a winding path that leads to the in-ground pool, one could mistake being in the hills of Vermont, far from the hustle. “I study for tests and do my homework in the big blue comfy chairs. You’re never alone because Ming is always with you,” exclaims Christiana. At six feet, four inches in height, “Ming” is a replica of one of the third-century-B.C. terra-cotta warriors unearthed in China, which the Galowskis purchased at an auction in Singapore.

Also accessed from the library is the formal living room. The five-foot-tall windows light up this 400-square-foot room and accentuate the ornate dentil molding and spectacular arched doorway. “When I walked into this room and saw the doorway, I said, ‘I can buy this house.’ It was a huge selling point for me,” says Anmarie. A beautiful square coffee table, purchased in Singapore, a wooden bar from Thailand, peasant baskets, and an old-fashioned child’s desk are a few of the sentimental objets d’art adorning the room.

With all of the comfortable places to kick back and relax, the Galowskis and their one-year-old Havanese dog most often congregate in the spacious, eclectic kitchen. “We catch the most beautiful sunsets here,” declares Anmarie, surrounded by large paned windows. The comfortable sitting and dining areas, exceptionally high ceilings, and amazing views of the gardens makes it the place where backdoor friends gather, art and craft projects are created, and long talks over coffee ensue.

A full kitchen was added to the home in 1903 and renovated by the Galowskis upon moving in. The original, smaller kitchen still remains and connects via a back staircase to what was once the servants’ quarters on the second floor. “It is a house with a lot of character and one that you can get lost in. Literally. We’ve had guests who can’t find their way back to the kitchen.” says Anmarie.

As for Anmarie and her family, their search is over. “We’re here to build roots, we’re not moving again,” she says. Yet reminders of all the places the Galowskis have lived and loved remain. Even Ming.

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

            

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

TownVibe Green Awards 2018

Face Value

Rediscovering local community in the digital age

Ridgefield Out & About - Apr/May/June

Art: When the King Comes to Town

Special screening with the director of "Elvis Presley: The Searcher" –– May 24

Tiger's Eye

Tiger's Den Bar & Grill serves popular comfort-foods with an occasional twist

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

April 2018

Saturday, April 21 through Tuesday, April 24 Wilton Library’s Annual Gigantic Spring Book Sale Fundraiser Wilton Library’s largest book sale features more than 70,000 items sorted in...

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists presents its juried small group exhibition "2-1-2" in the main gallery, opening Saturday, April 21 with a reception from 4-6pm. It is free and open to...

Cost: 0

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Earth Day with The Wildlife Line FREE admission ~ You’re invited, to come and celebrate ( : Sunday April 22nd, from 11-4, at beautiful Harrybrooke Park, in New Milford, CT. Live...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Harrybrooke Park
100 Still River Drive
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Harrybrooke Park
Telephone: 860-799-6520
Contact Name: Billy Buckbee
Website »

More information

Registration Closes: Friday, April 13th Jenna graduated from F.I.T with a degree in Fashion Design. She started her career working for the high-end Accessory Brand, Isabella Fiore and later moved...

Cost: $155.00

Where:
DayDreamer Studio
@ The Yellow Monkey Antiques
792 Route 35
Cross River, NY  10518
View map »


Sponsor: DayDreamer Studio
Telephone: 914-977-4243
Contact Name: Nicole Mata
Website »

More information

​NEWDAA, the North East Westchester Domestic Abuse Alliance, hosts its annual Interfaith Service this year in Katonah.  Join community members, local clergy and government representatives...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Katonah United Methodist Church
5 Bedford Road
Katonah, NY
View map »


Sponsor: NEWDAA
Telephone: 203-356-5405
Contact Name: Patti D'Agostino
Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

ENTRY DEADLINE: February 24, 2018 The area’s hottest musical competition known as BandJam 2018 will bring eight high-octane bands to compete at The Ridgefield Playhouse!  A panel of...

Cost: $20

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 EAST RIDGE ROAD
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Saturday, April 21 through Tuesday, April 24 Wilton Library’s Annual Gigantic Spring Book Sale Fundraiser Wilton Library’s largest book sale features more than 70,000 items sorted in...

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists presents its juried small group exhibition "2-1-2" in the main gallery, opening Saturday, April 21 with a reception from 4-6pm. It is free and open to...

Cost: 0

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Saturday, April 21 through Tuesday, April 24 Wilton Library’s Annual Gigantic Spring Book Sale Fundraiser Wilton Library’s largest book sale features more than 70,000 items sorted in...

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists presents its juried small group exhibition "2-1-2" in the main gallery, opening Saturday, April 21 with a reception from 4-6pm. It is free and open to...

Cost: 0

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn about building structures resistant to earthquakes with toothpicks and marshmallows Tuesday, April 24th from 4-5 PM For kids in grade 1-3 Registration is required To register,...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On Wednesday April 25 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. join us for a leisurely stroll down our stream-side trail in memory of one of our founding Board members, Helen Hermes, to discover some of her...

Cost: FREE

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
Redding, CT  06896
View map »


Telephone: (203) 938-2117
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists presents its juried small group exhibition "2-1-2" in the main gallery, opening Saturday, April 21 with a reception from 4-6pm. It is free and open to...

Cost: 0

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Come see Edith+Eddie, a 2018 Academy Award® nominated best documentary short film, followed by a panel discussion of esteemed experts in the fields of estate...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Ferguson Library
One Public Library Plaza
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource, Inc.
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Kathleen Bordelon
Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Join Grace Farms Foundation and New Canaan Library for an insightful conversation about global policy and America’s potential for growth and leadership with retired United States Army General...

Cost: Free

Where:
Grace Farms
365 Lukes Wood Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Grace Farms Foundation & New Canaan Library
Telephone: 203-920-1720
Contact Name: Regan Hayes
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Ridgefield Guild of Artists presents its juried small group exhibition "2-1-2" in the main gallery, opening Saturday, April 21 with a reception from 4-6pm. It is free and open to...

Cost: 0

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Thursday April 26, 6-9PM Gallo Ristorante, 5 Grove Street, Ridgefield Guest Bartenders from the Ridgefield Rotary Club: Robert Herber, Rainer Gonet, Kristina Kelly,  Ralph...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gallo Restaurant
5 Grove St.
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-431-7726
Website »

More information

EVERY THURSDAY | 7:30 PM - 10:00 pm Music | Spoken Word | Comedy | More Hosted by Don Lowe Hunt Hill Farm is excited to announce OpenMic night every Thursday night.  Please stop by to...

Cost: donation

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: John C. Maxwell III
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Ridgefield Guild of Artists presents its juried small group exhibition "2-1-2" in the main gallery, opening Saturday, April 21 with a reception from 4-6pm. It is free and open to...

Cost: 0

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Music on the Hill  celebrates "Music of Scandinavia" in a concert combining the Festival Chorus and professional Chamber Chorus, led by Artistic Director David H. Connell....

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Presbyterian Church
48 New Canaan Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Music on the Hill
Telephone: 203-529-3133
Contact Name: Music on the Hill
Website »

More information

Ages: K-5 Registration Closes: Wednesday, April 25th In this workshop, Lil’ Dreamers will have a ton of fun learning marbling techniques while creating their own unique papers.  Each artist...

Cost: $30.00

Where:
DayDreamer Studio
@ The Yellow Monkey Antiques
792 Route 35
Cross River, NY  10518
View map »


Sponsor: DayDreamer Studio
Telephone: 914-977-4243
Contact Name: Nicole Mata
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On Saturday April 28 from 10 – 11 a.m. veteran fly-tier New Pond Farm Program Director Tim Laughlin, would like to introduce you to the art of fly tying. Learn to tie a “Woolly...

Cost: $15 per New Pond Farm member child, $20 per non-member child

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
Redding, CT  06896
View map »


Telephone: (203) 938-2117
Website »

More information

Norwalk Now Presents a City-Wide Adventure NORWALK CITY HUNT Saturday, April 28, Meet-up 10:30 AM, Hunt 11 AM-1 PM, After Party 1-3 PM Norwalk Now presents Norwalk City Hunt, an...

Cost: $40

Where:
93 N Main St
norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Now
Telephone: 203-561-9878
Contact Name: Linda Kavanagh
Website »

More information

Learn how you can transform your yard into an outdoor living OASIS! Vendors of the latest and greatest outdoor living products will be onsite Saturday, April 28th at Ridgefield Supply to answer...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Ridgefield Supply
29 Prospect Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877-0519
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-2626
Contact Name: Krystal Lugo
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists presents its juried small group exhibition "2-1-2" in the main gallery, opening Saturday, April 21 with a reception from 4-6pm. It is free and open to...

Cost: 0

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

“Glorious,” raved the New York Times when Joyce DiDonato sang the title role of Cendrillon at the Royal Opera in 2011. “Her performance was thoroughly...

Cost: $25

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 EAST RIDGE
RIDGEFIELD, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

On Saturday April 28 from 1 – 2 p.m. join New Pond Farm Program Director, Tim Laughlin, and learn how to fly cast. Fly-fishing is becoming a very popular sport for ladies. Once you learn the...

Cost: $15 per New Pond Farm member and $20 per non-member

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
Redding, CT  06896
View map »


Telephone: (203) 938-2117
Website »

More information

Saturday, April 28th at 3:00 Rated PG Open to everyone, no registration required For questions, please call the library at 914-669-5161 or email at keelerlibrary@wlsmail.org To learn...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

The Ridgefield Library's 2018 Great Expectations Gala will honor The Couri Family - John and Elaine Couri and Chris and Megan Couri with the Hope H. Swenson Visionary Award for their many...

Cost: $250

Where:
Ridgefield Library
472 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Library
Telephone: 203-438-2282 X11029
Contact Name: Laureen Bubniak
Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Livingston Taylor is part of musical royalty – with James Taylor as his brother and Ben Taylor as his nephew, Livingston lives up to the Taylor name and more! From Top-40 Hits: “I Will...

Cost: $75

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 EAST RIDGE ROAD
RIDGEFIELD, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Children’s Learning Centers of Fairfield County to Honor Margaret Keane at Benefit Concert Children’s Learning Centers of Fairfield County (CLC) will honor Synchrony Financial CEO...

Cost: $55

Where:
Palace Theatre
61 Atlantic Street
Stamford, CT  06901
View map »


Sponsor: Children's Learning Centers of Fairfield County
Telephone: 203-653-1369
Contact Name: Mike
Website »

More information

Ability Beyond's signature annual black-tie “Masquerade Gala" fundraiser seeks to unmask the ability in everyone. The elegant evening will feature both...

Cost: Individual tickets are $250

Where:
Amber Room Colonnade
1 Stacey Rd
Danbury, CT
View map »


Sponsor: Ability Beyond
Telephone: 203-826-3183
Contact Name: Kelsey Rondeau
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags