Norwalk Historical Society Hosts Annual Independence Day Celebration
“Happenings Around the Historic Norwalk Green”
Sunday, July 4th, 2010
The Norwalk Historical Society is again pleased to host its annual Fourth of July program. This year’s “Happenings around the Historic Norwalk Green” will run from 12:00pm to 1:30pm and will again include activities held simultaneously at Mill Hill Historic Park, St. Paul’s on the Green Church and the First Congregational Church on the Green.
Visitors are invited to discover Mill Hill Historic Park, Two East Wall Street, home of the Norwalk Historical Society. Guests will be welcomed to tour the Town House Museum (1835) by Norwalk Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel, portraying Revolutionary War Town Clerk Samuel Grumman. All ages will delight in learning about early Norwalk education under the tutelage of “schoolmarm” Samantha Kulish in the Downtown District Schoolhouse (1826) and will enjoy touring the Gov. Thomas Fitch Law Office (c. 1740) with John Atkin portraying Norwalk’s lively colonial governor. At 12:00pm, guests will also learn about some of the town’s Revolutionary War citizens during a Mill Hill Burying Ground tour led by local historian and NHS board member Madeleine Eckert.
St. Paul’s on the Green, 60 East Avenue, will present an open house of the church, the fourth structure built on that site since its beginnings in 1737. St. Paul’s holds the distinction of being the oldest same site organization in Norwalk.
An open house at the First Congregational Church on the Green, Three Lewis Street, will feature an exhibit of historical artifacts from its early history. This year the church will also feature a special Amistad display. The Congregational Church is the oldest religious organization in Norwalk, having been founded in 1652.
At 1:30 pm, the Independence Day Celebration continues with the Let Freedom Ring!™ National Bell Ringing Ceremony on the Historic Norwalk Town Green, with the reading of the Declaration of Independence by a costumed Revolutionary War reenactor. At exactly 2:00pm, the bells from both churches and the Town House will toll 13 times to commemorate the founding of the 13 original states.
This will be followed by a procession to the Mill Hill Town House, where guests will be entertained with musical numbers performed by Norwalk’s renowned Crystal Theatre under the direction of NHS board Advisor Cheryl Kemeny. There will be guest speakers and the latest edition of the popular presentation, “Did You Know? Little Known Facts About Norwalk During the American Revolution.” This year’s edition of “Did You Know?” includes newly discovered evidence that further proves the Eckerts’ theory concerning the Battle of Norwalk. As always, refreshments such as Muster Day Gingerbread and Aaron Burr cookies, made from authentic Revolutionary War-era recipes, will be served.
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.”
All donations received will be used to fund the programs of the Norwalk Historical Society.