Plaque by Mr. Thomas Leffingwell Pulling
Located on 348 Washington Street
Once upon a time in Norwich, there was a two-room building owned by the Stephen Backus family in 1675. It later passed to Thomas Leffingwell, the son of Lt. Thomas Leffingwell, and in 1701 he was given permission to open an inn. There followed two major additions to the original building to provide space for that use.
Thomas’s son, Benajah, succeeded his father as an innkeeper and, in turn, Benajah’s son, Christopher Leffingwell, continued in that business. Christopher Leffingwell, Norwich industrialist, entrepreneur, merchant and patriot distinguished himself for his contribution of provisions to the success of the American Revolution. En route to Providence during the war, General George Washington dined at the Leffingwell Inn and met with patriots from the region.
The Leffingwell Inn originally was located at the corner of Harland Road and Washington Street. In 1957 it was doomed for demolition to make way for the new Connecticut Turnpike connector. Fortunately, Philip A. Johnson, President of the Society of the Founders of Norwich, with the help of then Govener Abraham Ribicoff and State Highway Commissioner Newman E. Argraves, made possible its purchase by the State Highway Department. It was then deeded to the Society of the Founders of Norwich with the provision that the Society maintain the Inn as a historic site. At a cost of $100,000, it was moved to the present location at 348 Washington Street, where it is regularly opened to the public as one of New England’s finest examples of colonial architecture and furnishings.