Tucked up in the eastern side of northern Norwalk is Cranbury Park. It is a 200-acre park that is home to the Gallaher Mansion, which at present can only be viewed from the outside. The 21 room mansion was purchased by the City of Norwalk in 1965. The site was the home of a former sanitarium, one of those places where they sent “crazy people” who otherwise had assets.

The Kensett Sanitarium burned in 1912, giving way to the eventual construction of the mansion by Edward Beach Gallaher in the 1930s. Gallaher is known for many things, chiefly of the patent sort, but interestingly he’s a descendent of Elihu Yale. Yeah, that Yale. Ironically, the builders of the mansion were connected to Princeton University, not Yale University, and the stone that you see on the exterior of the building is the same fieldstone you see on St. Paul’s Church in Norwalk, but also on many Princeton Buildings.

In the 1700s this was farmland so the wooded landscape we see today is a fairly recent evolution. There are miles of wooded hiking trails, a picnic pavilion, a playground, an 18 hole Frisbee golf course, ​and a wide-open lawn. Locals tend to bring their dogs for walks here.

The Carriage House Theater Company operates a community theater in, what else, the carriage house.

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