Plaque sponsored by the Norwich Grange & Norwich Tenpin Bowl
Located on West Town Street at Route 395
Once upon a time in Norwich… Bean Hill, at the northwest end of the original English settlement of Norwich, was named for the traditional New England dish of baked beans. In 1729, the town set aside the green for public use. Bean Hill soon became and important center of trade. Stores exchanged goods for farm products. Taverns provided lodging and entertainment. Local crafts flourished, producing a variety of wares, including pottery, hats, leather, barrels, nails , and woodwork. Woolen mills were established in the early 1800s.
Bean Hillers were active in the religious and political ferment of the 1700s and 1800s. Dissenters from the congregational Church met at Bean Hill in 1745. The first Episcopal services in town were held here in 1738. Early Methodists also worshipped here. Political speeches and public gatherings were held under an elm on the green. Major John Durkee was a leader of the Sons of Liberty, opposing the British Stamp Act in 1765. Aaron Cleveland opposed slavery in 1774. David Ruggles, and African American born here in 1810, was a major figure in the Underground Railroad. Another native, David Case, was Norwich’s first casually in the Civil War.