Norwalk, Connecticut

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Jump to: navigation, search
Norwalk, Connecticut
(No city flag)
Seal of the City of Norwalk
City flag City seal
City Motto: The Right Place - The Right Time
Location in the state of Connecticut
County Fairfield County, Connecticut
 - Total
 - Water

59.063 km²
35.035 km²
 - Total (2000)
 - Density

1,404.1/km² (3,637.3/mi²)
Time zone UTC-5
411°45.23′ N 73°440.18′ W 1
External link: City web page

Norwalk is a city located in Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 82,951 making it the sixth largest city in Connecticut. The current mayor of Norwalk is Alex Knopp, a democrat.

The name “Norwalk” itself comes from the Algonquin word “noyank” meaning “point of land”, or its Native American name, “Naramauke” (or Norwauke, Norowake, or Norwaake), a Native American chief.

Norwalk has four railroad stations, all served by Metro North with access to New York City, Danbury and New Haven. The stations are called Rowayton, South Norwalk, East Norwalk and Merritt 7. The South Norwalk station is in the vibrant SoNo section of the city.

Virgin Atlantic Airways has its United States headquarters in Norwalk, as does, Sobe, Pepperidge Farm, and Northrop Grumman Norden Systems (formerly Norden Systems). The flagship store of the regional dairy/produce superstore chain Stew Leonard's, is located in the city. The Maritime Aquarium is a major aquarium that specializes in displaying the marine life and ecology of Long Island Sound.

Each September, Norwalk holds the Oyster Festival. The festival is similar to many state fairs.




Norwalk was purchased in 1640 by Roger Ludlow for the account of “eight fathoms of wampum, tenn hatchets, tenn hoes, tenn knifes, tenn scissors, tenn jewse-harps, tenn fathom tabackoe, three kettles of sixe hands about, and tenn looking glasses” from Chief Mahackmo of the Norwalk Indians (actually the residents of Norwauke village of the Siwanoy subdivision or “sanchemship” of the Algonquin language family). The original purchase included all land between the Norwalk and Saugatuck rivers and a day’s walk north from the sea. Norwalk was incorporated into the Connecticut Colony in September, 1651: “Norwaukee shall bee a townee”.

Yankee Doodle

See Also: Yankee Doodle

During the French and Indian War, a regiment of Norwalkers was assembled to report as an attachment to British regulars. The group was commanded by Col. Thomas Fitch of Norwalk (son of Connecticut governor Thomas Fitch). Assembling at Fitch’s yard in Norwalk, Fitch’s younger sister Elizabeth, along with other young local women who had come to bid them farewell, were distraught at the men’s lack of uniforms and so they improvised plumes from chicken feathers which they gave to the men for their hats.

As they arrived at Fort Crailo, NY, the prim and proper British regulars began to mock and ridicule the rag-tag Connecticut troops who only had chicken feathers for uniform. Dr. Richard Shuckburgh, a British army surgeon, added new words to a popular tune of the time, Lucy Locket (e.g., “stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni”, macaroni being the London slang at the time for a foppish dandy) and the rest is history.

Revolutionary War

In 1776, American spy Nathan Hale set out from Norwalk by ship on his ill-fated intelligence-gathering mission.

In 1779 British forces sought to disrupt American naval activity in Long Island Sound. General William Tryon is ordered to cripple the seaports of New Haven, Fairfield, and Norwalk. New Haven was raided on July 5th, Fairfield was raided on the 7th and in retribution for resistance by the townspeople, completely burned. Residents of Norwalk, certain of what lay ahead, began to make provisions for the defense of their town, mostly by hudling up in the upper hills of the city known as “The Rocks”.

2,600 British troops led by General Tryon arrived at Calf Pasture Beach at approximately 5:00pm on July 10th, 1779, where they spent the night. At dawn, Gen. Tryon marched his troops up what is now East Avenue while Tryon’s second-in-command Brigadier-general George Garth and his men were ferried across the harbor to what is now approximately the IMAX Theater of the Maritime Aquarium. Tryon did not see resistance until he reached Grumman’s Hill, where he met about fifty Americans commanded by Captain Stephen Betts. Far outnumbered, the Americans were soon forced into retreat.

To signal Tryon that they had arrived, the British set ablaze the building that stood at the present-day intersection of Washington and Water Streets (where Donovan’s restaurant presently stands). Then, the British under Garth began a slow drive down Washington Street, with house to house fighting, burning as they went. A second significant skirmish took place around Flax Hill, with the British being shot at from all sides. However, the British troops had been able to drag along a cannon and were able to fire down on the locals. Eventually, the British prevailed, and began a march down West Avenue and Wall Streets, again burning as they went.

General Tryon, in the meanwhile, was sitting in a rocking chair on Grumman’s Hill, watching Norwalk burn from across the river. Tryon and Garth then rejoined at the area of the Norwalk Green, and then proceeded to clear out the locals taking refuge in “The Rocks". Here, the British dispersed of the local militia (and captured an American cannon) and drove the towns people from the hills. On the march back to the ships, Tryon’s troops almost completely destroyed Norwalk; only six houses were spared. Tryon described the burning in his official dispatch to Henry Clinton:

“After many salt-pans were destroyed, whale-boats carried on board the fleet, and the magazines, stores, and vessels set in flames, with the greater part of the dwelling-houses, the advanced corps were drawn back, and the troops retired in two columns to the place of our first debarkation, and, unassaulted, took ship, and returned to Huntington Bay."

After the revolutionary war, many residents were compensated for their losses with free land grants in the Connecticut Western Reserve in what is now Ohio; this later became Norwalk, Ohio.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 94.1 km² (36.3 mi²). 59.1 km² (22.8 mi²) of it is land and 35.0 km² (13.5 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 37.24% water.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 82,951 people, 32,711 households, and 20,967 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,404.1/km² (3,637.3/mi²). There are 33,753 housing units at an average density of 571.3/km² (1,480.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 73.95% White, 15.27% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 3.25% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 4.33% from other races, and 2.95% from two or more races. 15.63% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 32,711 households out of which 28.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.9% are married couples living together, 12.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 35.9% are non-families. 28.2% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.7% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.51 and the average family size is 3.10.

In the city the population is spread out with 22.1% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 35.5% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there are 95.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 91.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $59,839, and the median income for a family is $68,219. Males have a median income of $46,988 versus $38,312 for females. The per capita income for the city is $31,781. 7.2% of the population and 5.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 9.6% of those under the age of 18 and 6.3% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Recent population trends

High School Education



External links

Flag of Connecticut

State of Connecticut




Greater New Haven | Greater Hartford | Litchfield Hills | Lower Connecticut River Valley | Naugatuck River Valley | New York metropolitan area/Gold Coast | Quiet Corner | Southeastern Connecticut

Largest cities:

Ansonia | Bridgeport | Bristol | Danbury | Fairfield | Greenwich | Groton | Hartford | Meriden | Middletown | Milford | Naugatuck | New Britain | New Haven | New London | North Haven | Norwalk | Norwich | Shelton | Stamford | Torrington | Waterbury | West Hartford


Fairfield | Hartford | Litchfield | Middlesex | New Haven | New London | Tolland | Windham

Personal tools
In other languages