Norwalk History

Norwalk History

The history of the City of Norwalk predates its consolidation in 1913 by 273 years when on February 26, 1640, Roger Ludlow entered into a treaty with the Norwalk Indians and purchased “all lands lying between the Saugatuck and Norwalk rivers, to the middle of said rivers, and from the sea, a day’s walk into the country.” This was what is now, East Norwalk.

Another portion of early Norwalk was the central portion – “Of the meadows and uplands, adjoining, lying of the west side of the Norwalk River – was purchased by Daniell Patrick.

In these early deeds and other references, Norwalk was spelled either Norwalke or Norwake. Sometimes even Northwalk or Norrwake. Early on, it was believed that the name Norwalk came from “north walk” – a day’s walk to the northern edge of the land purchased from the Indians. It’s derivation, more likely, comes from an early pronouncing of the Indian name Naromake or Naramake.

On February, 15, 1651, the western part of the lands were purchased by a group of 12 men and added to the area of Norwalk which included Rowayton and the Norwalk islands.

As more settlers made their way to the new lands From Hartford and the north in the direction of East Norwalk where they began to settle. This end point was marked by the Founder’s Stone placed at the corner of East Avenue at Fitch Street in 1896 by the Norwalk Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution:

“Norwalk founded A.D. 1649. Its earliest homes were planted in the vicinity of this stone…”

Further – “At a General Court in in Hartford, 11th of September, 1651, James Hayes, esquire, Governor, etc., It is ordered, sentenced and decreed, etc. It is likewise ordered, that Norwalk shall be a Town.

So, now, Norwalk is a town. Norwalk was next reincorporated as a borough in 1836, then reincorporated as a city in 1893. It was 20 years later, in 1913 that its “consolidation” occurred becoming what the City of Norwalk is today.