First Congregational Church

First Congregational Church

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

Located on 81 East Town Street

This Church is the fifth meeting house erected in Norwich. The first meeting house, built around 1660, stood near the southeast corner of the Green. The second meeting house, erected in 1675, was on the summit of Meeting House Rocks and served as a lookout against Indian raids during King Philip’s War. The third meeting house was built on the hill near the site of the old one and completed in 1713.

The fourth Church was built at the corner of the Green, completed in 1770 and consumed to ashes in 1801 by a fire of incendiary origin. The cornerstone of the present Church, the fifth, was laid on June 18, 1801, by General Ebenezer Huntington.

The existing building is representative of the period when the huge, barn-like structures of the 18th century were becoming more ornate. This is evidenced by the square two-story tower and projecting portico which repeats the rather flat lines of the roof and the corner quoins of the main building. The structure was extensively remodeled in 1845 and in later years.

Silversmith & Schoolhouse on the Green

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 Margot Hacker Gibbs

Located on 73 (Silversmith) & 69 (Schoolhouse) East Town Street

Once upon a time in Norwich, about 1773, Joseph Carpenter, II, a clockmaker and goldsmith, has this building constructed. It served him and his brother, Gardner, in jewelry, clocks, engravings and mercantile. It is thought to be the only remaining wooden silversmith/goldsmith structure surviving in New England.

At the close of the American Revolution, in the same year that Paris Treaty was signed, 1783, this brick schoolhouse was constructed on the Green. It was named for Dr. Daniel Lathrop who left a legacy of 500 pounds for an endowed free grammar school. Later it was occupied by the Noah Webster Literary Association and is one of the earliest brick schoolhouses still standing in the state.

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


Jedehiah Huntington Home

Jedediah Huntington Home

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

Located on 23 East Town Street

General Jedediah Huntington was born in 1743, the son of General Jabez and Elizabeth (Backus) Huntington. He graduated from Harvard College with honors, and then went into business with his father. He became a valiant soldier during the Revolution and fought courageously during the Battle of Bunker Hill, from which he emerged a Colonel.

After the Battle of Bunker Hill he fought in New York and Pennsylvania. He endured the hardships of Valley Forge and helped repulse the British at Danbury, Connecticut, in 1776. In 1777, at General Washington’s request, he was made a Brigadier General and at the end of the war received the commission of Major General. After the war he served many important positions such as High Sheriff for the County of New London, Judge of Probate for the district of Norwich, First Alderman of the city of Norwich, one of the representatives of the town in the State Legislature. He was one of the founders of the Order of Cincinnati.

He married Faith Trumbull in 1766, daughter of Governor Jonathan Trumbull of Lebanon, Connecticut. They had one son, Jabez. After her death he married Ann Moore of New York. They had seven children.

General Jedediah Huntington was the first collector of U.S. Customs under the Federal Constitution. He was appointed in 1789 by General Washington, removed to New London and built a home there at the corner of Broad and Washington Streets. He died in New London in 1818 at the age of 75. He was initially buried in New London but his remains were later removed to Norwich and buried in the old burying grounds near the Green.

This house contains a very handsome staircase with mahogany rail and rope balusters.

Samuel Huntington Home

Samuel Huntington Home

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 Gernon Trust

Located on 34 East Town Street

Lawyer, judge, diplomat, and President of the Continental Congress, Samuel Huntington left an indelible mark on the history of Norwich and the United States. His life reflected the independence and ambition of a growing nation. He saw Norwich change from a colonial possession to membership within a republic larger than any nation in Europe.

A descendent of Norwich’s founding fathers, Huntington was born in Scotland, Connecticut in 1731. From an early age, Huntington displayed intelligence and a desire to do more than was expected of him. While apprenticed as a cooper, he made time to teach himself Latin. This zest for learning caught the attention of Rev. Ebenezer Devotion, who urged young Samuel to continue his education, by allowing him access to his extensive library and introducing him to Eliphalet Dyer and Jedediah Elderkin. Prominent lawyers and patriots, these men shaped Huntington’s future by schooling him in the law. Passing the bar exam in 1758, Huntington soon married Martha Devotion (daughter of Re. Ebenezer), and moved to Norwich in 1760. Four short years later, he was elected as Norwich’s representative to the Connecticut General Assembly. A year later, he rallied his constituents to stand firm against the dreaded Stamp Act.

Over the next twenty years Huntington’s reputation for fairness and integrity grew. He was appointed superior court judge and justice of the peace. In 1775, he was named a delegate to the Continental Congress. Professional growth was matched by personal growth when he adopted three of his relative’s children and raised them as his own.

The many years of dedicated service resulted in Huntington being elected President of the second Continental Congress from 1779-1781. His service as President of the Continental Congress coincided with the ratifications with the Articles of the Confederation and Perpetual Union, our first Constitution, which declared that whoever is President of the Continental Congress shall serve as President of the United States.

On March 1, 1781 Maryland became the final state to ratify the Articles of Confederation, thus making Norwich’s Samuel Huntington the first President of the United States in Congress Assembled. This is and undeniably true fact.

Unfortunately, due to health problems, Huntington tried to retire from public service later in 1781, but was to continue in elected public office. In 1784, he became Connecticut’s Chief Justice, and in 1786, Governor of Connecticut, a post he would occupy for ten years. A testament of his popularity as Norwich’s adopted son was that in his last election for governor, he received all 900 votes from Norwich’s eligible voters. Huntington died on January 5, 1796 at age 64.

His home on East Town Street, built in 1783, is a reflection of a modest man who achieved greatness as Governor, Chief Justice, President of the Continental Congress and first President of the United States of America under the Articles of Confederation in Congress Assembled.

Colonial Cemetery

Located on 40 East Town Street, with an entrance also from 85 Town Street

Plaque sponsored by the Major J. D. Robertson Family

Located on 40 East Town Street, with an entrance also from 85 Town Street

Old burying ground at the end of the Old Cemetery Lane

The old burying ground at the end of the Old Cemetery Lane was purchased in 1699 and in 1796 an addition was acquired. The gates shown here were placed at the entrance to the latter purchase. The gates are called the Amos Hallum Hubbard Gates and were acquired from the Palmer Smith estate by the Daughters of the American Revolution. They were dedicated on July 5, 1903. Originally the gates guarded the entrance to the Amos Hallum Hubbard Mansion, build in 1832. The Mansion was torn down in 1903 to make way for the present Post Office on Main Street in downtown Norwich.

The Salisbury Mines produced iron for Revolutionary War cannons, cannon balls, and anchors

The iron from which these gates were molded is supposed to have come from the famous Salisbury Iron Mines in Litchfield County, Connecticut. The Salisbury Mines produced iron for Revolutionary War cannons, cannon balls, and anchors for the frigate Constitution (“Old Ironsides”), and the chain that blockaded the Hudson River.

Founders Cemetery

Plaque sponsored by Mr. Thomas Leffingwell Pulling

Located on Lee Avenue

It was December 16, 1661 that the town purchased a burying place of Thomas Post

Once upon a time in Norwich, upon the death of a most prominent lady, the new community realized they needed a cemetery. It was March, 1661 when Mrs. Sarah Post passed away. She was buried on the home lot of her husband, Thomas Post.

Norwich, as an incorporated city, was just two years old, but not far from this cemetery a hardy race of Puritans established their new community known as Norwich. “They were fearless, resolute people. They were bound by a common faith. They were an associated body both in civil and ecumenical capacity,” and when they came upon the ground where they built their church, they started a new Christian settlement, first called Mohegan, but later, in 1659, incorporated as Norwich.

It was December 16, 1661 that the town purchased a burying place of Thomas Post. It was a parcel of land 8 rods one way and 5-1/2 rods the other way in a home lot of said Thomas Post. It was often referred to as the Post Gager Burial Ground. It is now designated as The Founders’ Cemetery.

In this sacred soil are buried the founders of the City of Norwich, their wives and other family members: Rev, James Fitch, Mayor John Mason, Thomas Adgate, Robert Allyn, William Backus, John Baldwin, John Birchard, Thomas Bliss, Morgan Bowers, Richard Edgarton, Francis Griswold, Christopher Huntington, William Hyde, Samuel Hyde, Thomas Leffingwell, john Olmstead, John Pease, John Post, Thomas Post, John Reynolds, Jonathan Royce, Nehemiah Smith, Thomas Tracy, Thomas Bingham, John Bradford, John Gager, Thomas Howard, Thomas Waterman, John Tracy, John Calkins, Stephen Gifford, Josiah Reed, Richard Wallis, Stephan Backus, Richard Hendys and Robert Wade.