Norwalk, Connecticut - Encyclopedia

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NORWALK, a city of Fairfield county, Connecticut, U.S.A., on the Norwalk river, in the township of Norwalk, adjoining the city of South Norwalk in the same township, and 13 m. W.S.W. of Bridgeport. Pop. (1900) 6125 (1023 foreign-born and 189 negroes); (1910) 6945; of the township (1900) 1 9, 9 32; (1910) 24,211. The city is served by the New York, New Haven & Hartford railroad, by interurban electric lines, and by steamboats to New York. The city has a green with several old churches and some fine elms, a public library, a hospital, a state armoury and a county children's home. The Norwalk Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution has erected here a drinking fountain in memory of Nathan Hale, who obtained in Norwalk his disguise as a Dutch school teacher and then started on his fatal errand to Long Island. Norwalk has some manufactures, including woollen goods and typewriting machines; and there is some coasting trade, oysters especially being shipped from Norwalk.

The site of the township was purchased from the Indians in 1640 by Roger Ludlow and Daniel Patrick, Ludlow giving six fathoms of wampum, six coats, ten hatchets, ten hoes, ten knives, ten scissors, ten jew's harps, ten fathoms of tobacco, three kettles of six hands, and about ten looking-glasses for all the land between the Norwalk and Saugatuck rivers and extending one day's walk N. from the Sound. The first settlement in the township was made in 1650 at what is now the village of East Norwalk by a small company from Hartford, and the township was incorporated in the next year. The village was burned by the British under Governor Tryon on the 12th of July 1779, and the chair in which it is alleged Tryon sat, on Grumman's Hill, as he watched the flames, has been kept as a relic. Norwalk was incorporated as a borough in 1836 and was chartered as a city in 1893.

See C. M. Selleck, Norwalk (Norwalk, 1896); and Norwalk after Two Hundred and Fifty Years, an Account of the Celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the Charter of the Town (South Norwalk, 1901).

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