From a press release:
City Officials to Travel Back to 1779 – Public Invited to Join them
Some of Norwalk’s top officials will travel 230 years back in time at the Norwalk Historical Society on Friday, July 10th at 8:00 pm. Mayor Richard Moccia, Police Chief Harry Rilling, Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel and Councilmen Doug Hempstead, Bill Krummel and Steve Serasis will portray their eighteenth century counterparts in a reenactment of a meeting of the Norwalk Selectmen on the eve of the Battle of Norwalk in 1779. They will wear authentic 18th century clothing and the Mayor, playing first selectman Thaddeus Betts, will read a letter actually sent from Norwalk’s Selectmen to George Washington on Friday, July 9th, 1779.
There will also be a chance for audience participation. Anyone who attends can ask questions of the Selectmen as though they were Norwalk citizens in 1779. Costumed redactors in the audience will play out scenes taken from records of the time. Audience members will get a real feeling for the tension between American Patriots and Tories still loyal to the King.
When the Selectmen wrote this letter the General Washington, they already knew about the violence and destruction of the British attacks on New Haven and Fairfield. They knew Norwalk would be next and everyone could see the troop ships across the Sound at Huntington. The letter asks Washington for troops to help defend the town because, “The militia are collecting but will by no means be sufficient to oppose such an Army.” “This letter and the meeting really bring our own history to life,” said Norwalk Historical Society President Scott Kuykendall, “you really get a sense of how scared everyone was.”
The Mayor as Thaddeus Betts will be joined by Chief Rilling as militia commander Lt. Col. Stephen St. John, Town Clerk Garfunkel as Town Clerk Samuel Grumman, Councilman Bill Krummel as Selectman David Comstock, Councilman Doug Hempstead as Selectman Matthew Marvin, Councilman Steve Serasis as Selectman Nathaniel Benedict and Historic Commissioner Peter Bondi as General Wolcott.
The Meeting will be preceded by a memorial service for all victims of the Burning of Norwalk on The Green at 7:00 pm.
The Norwalk Historical Society was incorporated in 1899 with the purpose of promoting and encouraging historical research in Norwalk. That vision is kept alive today with the re-establishment of the NHS in 1949 and the continued focus on “the research, preservation, and promotion of interest in the history of Norwalk.”
For more information, please call the Norwalk Historical Society at 203-846-0525 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Norwalk Historical Society, please visit the NHS website at www.norwalkhistoricalsociety.org.
All donations received will be used to fund the programs of the Norwalk Historical Society.