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History of City
A Brief History of Norwich
Norwich was founded in 1659 by settlers from Old Saybrook led by Major John Mason and Reverend James Fitch. They purchased the land that would become Norwich from the local Native American Mohegan Tribe. In 1668, a wharf was established at Yantic Cove. Settlement was primarily in the three mile area around the Norwichtown Green. The 69 founding families soon divided up the land in the Norwichtown vicinity for farms and businesses.

By 1694, the public landing built at the head of the Thames River allowed ships to offload goods at the harbor. The distance between the port and Norwichtown was serviced by the East and West Roads which later became Washington Street and Broadway.

Norwich merchants were shipping goods directly from England, but the Stamp Act of 1764 forced Norwich to become more self sufficient. Soon large mills and factories sprang up along the three rivers which traverse the town, the Yantic, Shetucket, and Thames Rivers. During the American Revolution, Norwich supported the cause for independence by supplying soldiers, ships, and munitions.

One of the most infamous figures of the revolution, Benedict Arnold, was born in Norwich. Other Colonial era noteworthies include Samuel Huntington, Christopher Leffingwell, and Daniel Lathrop.

A Growing City
Regular steamship service between New York and Boston helped Norwich to prosper as a shipping center through the early part of the 20th century. During the Civil War, Norwich once again rallied around the cause of freedom and saw the growth of its textile, armaments, and specialty item manufacturing. This was also spurred by the building of the Norwich-Worcester Railroad in 1832 bringing goods and people both in and out of Norwich.

Norwich served as leadership center for Connecticut during the Civil War as Governor William Buckingham was from Norwich and used his home as a de facto office during the war years. Also, State Senator Lafayette Foster later became Acting Vice President after President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. During this period, Frances M. Caulkins composed her histories of both Norwich and New London.

A Thriving City
Through the end of the 19th century and into the early 20th century, Norwich served as home to many large mills. The population grew and became more diverse with an insurgence of different ethnic groups. These new residents helped to build the city's schools, churches, and social centers.

Today, Norwich is a thriving city with a stable population, wide range of municipal services, a modern industrial park, its own utility company, and a positive outlook for residential and business growth.