Washington Crossing

Plaque sponsored by the Society of the Founders of Norwich, Connecticut

Located on 173 North Main Street (N.P.U property)

Springtime is approaching in 1781 and so also is the beginning of the end for England’s war against American independence. General Washington visits Norwich, then one of our largest cities, on his way to Newport to plan strategy with General Rochambeau, commander of 6,000 French soldiers sent by Kind Louis XVI. Admiral Grasse’s French navy gains control of Chesapeake waters just as English General Cornwallis sets up camp at Yorktown, Virginia. Combined French and U.S. armies trap Cornwallis by land as Admiral Grasse prevents an escape by sea. General Cornwallis surrenders 8,000 English soldiers on October 17, 1781. English realizes U.S. independence is inevitable and agrees to a peace treaty signed in Paris on September 3, 1783.

Bradford-Huntington Home

Bradford-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 16 Huntington Lane

Thought to be Norwich’s oldest house, this house is one of the three remaining structures built by a founder. It was built in different sections at various periods. In 1691 Simon Huntington Jr., purchased the land and “new dwelling house.” Additions to the house were attributed to him. In 1719 Simon’s son, Joshua, obtained the homestead. The heavy, plain, box cornice, the attic over hang, and the pediments over the end windows are all primitive features of the 1719 addition.

The broad rear ell along Huntington Lane was built by Joshua’s son, General Jabez Huntington, a wealthy West Indian trader who came into possession of the property in 1745. He installed much of the fine paneling. Some of the shutters have heart-shaped openings, and the double door on the ell is studded with nails in diamond patters. The interior hardware is notable. Leaden sash weights from this old house were cast into bullets during the Revolution.

General Jabez Huntington was born in 1719. After graduating from college in 1741 he entered into commercial life in Norwich, added largely to his father’s ample fortune, and at the beginning of the Revolution, owned a large number of vessels engaged in foreign trade. Though fully aware of the risk in his business, he was an ardent participant in the War of Independence. He gave largely of his fortune for the cause.

General Jedediah Huntington was one of their sons, born August 4, 1743. In 1741-2 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Tracy) Backus. She died in 1745. He then married Hannah, daughter of the Reverend Ebenezer Williams of Pomfret.

According to Crofut’s Guide to Historic Sites, George Washington spent the night of April 8, 1775 at this house. Lafayette is said to have been entertained here during some of visits to Norwich.