Search:
Join Our Community:
Watch for these Programs:
  • Astronomy Series
  • Birding Series
  • More 'Ghosts' in October
  • Snowshoe events when it snows!
  • Animal Encounter Series
  • 'CT Trail Day' Hike in June

Nazzareno Gasparini


Port of Missing Men
(Jack Sanders Collection

At the end of the 19th century, Italians began to immigrate to Ridgefield. At the time immigrants had to have a sponsor in America who would promise them employment.

Henry Anderson, a prominent attorney, sponsored most of the early Italian immigrants who came to work on sewer and water installations for the town of Ridgefield, as well as to build roads, dams, bridges and lakes on Anderson's 1,750-acre tract of land. The land, which is partly in Ridgefield and partly in New York State, was intended to become a housing development called the Port of Missing Men. While the houses were never built, a popular restaurant on Titicus Mountain opened in 1907. The operation catered to wealthy New York sportsmen who wanted to spend time in the country.

Anderson hired Nazzareno Gasparini as a foreman. Gasparini recruited Italian workers, many from his home province of Pesaro. At one time 100 men were employed. They were housed in barracks called “shanties” and were paid $1.00 a day. Some of the fine roads, dams and lakes that they built still exist today.

In 1924 Gasparini and his family moved from the Port property to Ridgefield where he operated a general store with Ernesto Brunetti.

In the early 1950's a group of New Yorkers bought much of the property and subdivided the Ridgefield portion into the Eight Lakes development. Some 10 miles of the Port of Missing Men trails and paths became subdivision roads. These roads include Walnut Hill Road, Birch Court, Rock Road, Scott Ridge Road., Blue Ridge Road, Caudatowa Drive, Sleepy Hollow Road, Round Lake Road, 1st – 12th Roads and the western part of Barrack Hill and Old Sib Roads.

Search:
Join Our Community:
Watch for these Programs:
  • Astronomy Series
  • Birding Series
  • More 'Ghosts' in October
  • Snowshoe events when it snows!
  • Animal Encounter Series
  • 'CT Trail Day' Hike in June