Important Visitors of the Keeler Tavern

The Keeler Tavern was Ridgefield’s most important gathering place throughout the 19th century, attracting notable visitors from around the world.

Typical meeting places for the early American people, local taverns were the setting where much of the nation’s fate was decided. These favored spaces hold vast amounts of historic relevancy as a result of conversations had, and the actions decided within. It was during this time that the Keeler Tavern became a thriving stop on the inland stagecoach route between New York and Boston, and a natural cultural hub catering to copious fatigued travelers.



Jerome Bonaparte & Betsy Patterson · 1804

In the summer of 1804, a most exciting event occurred at Timothy Keeler’s Inn. Jerome Bonaparte, youngest brother to infamous Napoleon, arrived with his beautiful American bride Betsy Patterson, for a meal while on their honeymoon to Niagara Falls.

Arriving in a handsome private coach drawn by four matched white horses, and a sizable crowd of gawkers gathered along Main Street, the couple took refuge in the tavern. Visit the museum and see where the ill-fated honeymooners dined during their visit, in what is now called the Bonaparte Dining Room.