East Great Plains Mohegan Battleground

East Great Plains Mohegan Battleground

The picture of a proud Irish Mary Collins Stanley with her three boys Bill, Jim and Chick, taken over 100 years ago.

Plaque sponsored by the Mohegan Tribe

Located on 574 New London Turnpike (Three Rivers Community College)

In 1643, the Narragansett Sachem, Miantonomo, raised an army of 900 and marched against Uncas. The war party was discovered coming down the Quinnebaug. Mohegan runners were sent to warn Uncas at Fort Shantok and Mohegans at nearby villages. The Mohegan warriors hastily gathered and advanced to the Great Plain where Uncas confronted Miantonomo and challenged him to single-handed combat. Miantonomo refused and said that since his warriors had come prepared to fight, they would do battle. At hearing this, Uncas dropped to the ground, and his warriors, at a prearranged plan threw the Narragansetts into flight.

They were unable to rally their men from this surprise, and they were chased to the brink of the Yantic River where many lives were lost. The remainder were pursued to Sachem Plain by the Mohegans. Miantonomo was captured and held for Uncas. Also caught were a brother of Miantonomo and two sons of the Narragansett sachem, Canocicus. After a stay with Uncas of several months, the authorities demanded Miantonomo be sent to Hartford to await their judgment.

Dr. Ier Manwaring Home

Dr Ier Manwaring

Located on Manwaring Road

Dr. Ier Manwaring was one of Norwich’s first women medical doctors. She died at the age of eight-five in 1957. Born in Montville, Connecticut, December 29, 1872, she was the daughter of John and Mercy (Raymond) Manwaring. Her parents moved to Norwich in 1877, taking up residence in the beautiful country estate in East Great Plain where she lived until her death.

She was educated in the Broadway School (now gone) and received her medical education in Women’s Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from which she graduated in 1895.

In World War I, as a member of the American Women’s Hospital Unit No. 1, she was decorated by the French Government for service at Chateau Thierry and Belleau Wood.

Several years ago the house was moved from its original site (where the Thames Valley Institute now stands) to Manwaring Road.

Maplewood Cemetery

Maplewood Cemetery

Plaque sponsored by the Maplewood Cemetery Board of Directors, 2002

Located on 184 Salem Turnpike

Once upon a time in Norwich…the citizens realized at the turn of the century that the expansion of Yantic Cemetery, located on Lafayette Street and founded in 1843, or the City Cemetery, located on Oak Street and founded in 1755, was impractical. For this reason it was now time to locate a suitable property for a new interdenominational burial ground.

The Norwich Cemetery Association was formed on March 24, 1902, and the Osgood Farm, located in East Great Plains was purchased on June 17, 1902. The Beebe family cemetery, which predates Maplewood by many years, is located within its boundaries.

A contest, sponsored by The Norwich Bulletin, offered a ten-dollar prize “to the person who should first send to The Norwich Bulletin the successful name for the new cemetery.” Mary R. Griswold of West Main Street was the prize winner.

Upon its origin, it was decide that the new cemetery would maintain a park-like atmosphere, which was popular among modern cemeteries of that period. A variety of plantings including shade trees, would be established to provide a comfortable setting for visitors.

Today, the 138-acre property continues to maintain a park-like atmosphere as it serves Norwich and the surrounding communities. Maplewood Cemetery is a not-for-profit, nondenominational cemetery governed by a board of directors and trustees who volunteer their time to direct the affairs of the cemetery.

East Great Plains Fire Company

Plaque sponsored by the East Great Plains Fire Company

Located on New London Turnpike at West Main Street

Once upon a time in Norwich, behind this site, stood the poor farm and the mental asylum for which Asylum Street was named. Norwich’s first poor house was on lower Washington Street. As the city prospered, successful merchants, bankers, manufactures and sea captains built mansions of Washington Street, forcing the poor farm to this site.

One March 12, 1876, at 2:00 a.m., a fire was reported. The facility, having been deliberately removed to this remote section of town, burned before help arrived. Sixteen mental patients, locked in their rooms, were unable to escape and burned to death. In this field, most of those bodies are buried.

The poor farm was rebuilt and used for many years. Those who died there without friends or family, numbering well over 100, are also buried beneath this field in unmarked graves. In later years, mental patients were cared for at the Norwich State Hospital. The poor farm was ultimately abandoned, sold and was again destroyed by fire in 1956.

Beth Jacob Community Synagogue 1979-Present

beth jacob community present

The picture of a proud Irish Mary Collins Stanley with her three boys Bill, Jim and Chick, taken over 100 years ago.

Plaque sponsored by the Norwich Hebrew Home For the Aged

Located on 400 New London Turnpike

For 50 years this United Synagogue of America Congregation (conservative movement) resided on Church Street in downtown Norwich. In 1975 a new secular administration was elected on a platform that it was time to relocate. The geographic dispersion of the congregation indicated a need to move closer to residential clusters and the needs of the congregation’s activities begged for less, but more flexible space.

Between 1975 and 1979, this successful project was undertaken. The Beth Jacob Community Synagogue moved into its new home in September 1979.

Beth Jacob Community Synagogue 1929-1979

Beth Jacob Community Synagogue 1929-1979

Plaque sponsored by the Norwich Hebrew Home For the Aged

Located on 100 Church Street

In the summer of 1929, twenty-nine Jewish families came together to found a more liberal congregation, The Norwich Jewish Community Synagogue. In 1934 the name was changed to the Beth Jacob Community Synagogue.

Principally first and second generation immigrants, from eastern Europe, these courageous Jewish pioneers wanted a more modern, American approach to their historic religion, one that would teach their children the heritage of their fathers while blending more seamlessly into the American landscape.

The new Conservative Jewish movement afforded this with its mixed seating of men and women, services in a blend of English and Hebrew, and sermons in English.

By 1979 the old church building was visibly worn and the congregation built a new home at 400 New London Turnpike.

The Alms Fire

The Alms Fire

The picture of a proud Irish Mary Collins Stanley with her three boys Bill, Jim and Chick, taken over 100 years ago.

Plaque sponsored by the Norwich Grange

Located on Asylum Street

Once upon a time in Norwich, behind this site, stood the poor farm and the mental asylum for which Asylum Street was named. Norwich’s first poor house was on lower Washington Street. As the city prospered, successful merchants, bankers, manufactures and sea captains built mansions of Washington Street, forcing the poor farm to this site.

One March 12, 1876, at 2:00 a.m., a fire was reported. The facility, having been deliberately removed to this remote section of town, burned before help arrived. Sixteen mental patients, locked in their rooms, were unable to escape and burned to death. In this field, most of those bodies are buried.

The poor farm was rebuilt and used for many years. Those who died there without friends or family, numbering well over 100, are also buried beneath this field in unmarked graves. In later years, mental patients were cared for at the Norwich State Hospital. The poor farm was ultimately abandoned, sold and was again destroyed by fire in 1956.

The Brothers of Joseph Synagogue

The Brothers of Joseph

The picture of a proud Irish Mary Collins Stanley with her three boys Bill, Jim and Chick, taken over 100 years ago.

Plaque sponsored by the Norwich Hebrew Home For the Aged

Located on 2 Broad Street

The Congregation was founded by Russian immigrant Jews in 1883, who unlike other predecessors, insisted all secular proceedings would be in Yiddish. A burial society was formed the same year. In 1884, the name Brothers of Joseph was adopted.

In 1898 their first permanent synagogue was built on West Main Street, The synagogue’s first rabbi, in circa 1895, was Joseph Baron, believed to be the first full time rabbi to serve in Norwich. In 1909, he was succeeded by Rabbi Joseph N. Rosenburg, who served 42 years, until his passing in 1950.

In 1964, under the spiritual leadership of Rabbi Michael D. Geller, a new house of study and worship was built on the Osgood site at the corner of Broad and Washington Streets. The congregation moved from its 1898 West Main Street home.

Van Tassel Explosion

Van Tassel Explosion

Plaque sponsored by the City of Norwich

Located at Central Headquarters on West Main Street

In 1962, a terrible explosion took the lives of four uniformed Norwich firemen. It was the worst loss of lives in the history of Connecticut among firemen at a single fire.

Today, at Central Fire Headquarters, there is a monument to the memory of Captain William J. Sheridan, Fireman Carl J. Burke, Fireman Leonard M. Counihan and Fireman Edward Romano who gave their lives in the performance of their duties at the Van Tassell Warehouse fire on April 3, 1962.

A historic photo of the event, taken by Bob Dick, then photographer for The Norwich Bulletin, shows Fireman Thomas LaFreniere, who survived the explosion, heading back into the fire to rescue his buddies. He was suffering severe shock, and Police Sgt, John Sisco was able to overtake LaFreniere and escort him to safety.