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Norfolk Town


Norfolk Town Hall is located at 19 Maple Avenue, Norfolk, CT 06058; phone: 860-542-5679. The town was first settled by Cornelius Brown of Windsor in 1744. It was incorporated in 1758.

Beginnings [1]

Two families located here in 1744, but the main settlement did not come until 10 years later. A town was incorporated in 1758. The name was taken from the English county of Norfolk. The town is mountainous, and the scenery and elevation have drawn a large summer colony. It has been widely known as a musical center, and for many years the Litchfield County Choral Union of 700 voices gave annual concerts. During the winter, the village hosted an annual ski tournament.

In the early days the Blackberry River turned the wheels for many textile mills. In Norfolk Village, the beautiful Congregational Church, built in 1813, stands to the west of the Green. The chime was a gift from Robbins Battell, who was an expert on bells and had rare musical ability. The first minister was Reverend Ammi R. Robbins, who came to the church at 21 and served until his death 52 years later. Next to the Church is the stone Battell Memorial Chapel, with Tiffany windows representing the Seasons. On the north side of the Green stands the Public Library, presented to the town by Isabella Eldridge; there is a collection of autographed letters of famous people. At the south end of the Green we find the Memorial Fountain, given by Mary Eldridge in honor of Joesph Battell. The Town Hall, on the west side of Maple Avenue, originally planned as a gymnasium and play house for the town, was the gift of Mrs. Henry H. Bridgman.

Norfolk was the birthplace of Dr. William H. Welch, the dean of scientific medicine in America. In 1930 a memorial tablet was placed at his Greenwoods Road residence in honor of his 80th birthday.

There are a number of 18th century houses in and near the village. The Battell Homestead, known as the Whitehouse, was the home of Joseph Battell who had his store nearby. In his day he was the best known merchant in Litchfield County, and in his store laid the foundations for the family fortune. Goods were brought from the Hudson River, mostly by ox-cart, over an old turnpike which was later named Greenwood Road.

Norfolk is horseback county, with much riding and an annual horse show. The town is famous for its mountain laurel, and the roads are particularly beautiful during laurel time.

  1. Edgar L. Heermance, compiler, The Connecticut Guide: What to See and Where to Find It, Connecticut Emergency Relief Commission, Hartford, 1935.
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