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16. A Historic Complex

To reach the Mill Hill Historic Park, pass the Lockwood Matthews Mansion, continuing on West Ave., take a right on Wall St., Mill Hill Historic Site is on your right.

This fascinating complex consists of three historical buildings and a cemetery.

The red brick building known as the Town House served as Norwalk's Town Hall from 1835 - 1913. Captain Lewis Raymond who had brought brick to Norwalk as ship ballast built it in 1835. In 1913 when Norwalk and the city of South Norwalk consolidated the government moved to South Norwalk's City Hall and the Town House was abandoned. Today the Town House is used for meetings, social occasions and educational programs and is maintained by the Norwalk Historical Society and the DAR.

The next historic building is the Governor Fitch Law Office. Thomas Fitch was the Governor of Connecticut from 1754-1756. This building circa 1740 was originally the kitchen wing of his house, and the only portion of the house that survived the British attack in July 1779. The house is restored to resemble a law office such as the governor might have used at this time. Several of the pieces including a Chippendale-style slant top desk, a small cherry table, and a nine spindle Windsor chair came from the Fitch family.

Col. Thomas Fitch, Governor Fitch's son, was the leader of the Norwalk Volunteers during the French and Indian War (1755-1762) and was responsible for inspiring the writing of "Yankee Doodle" the State Song of Connecticut. At the time the song became popular because it made fun of the rag-tag appearance and ill-equipped state of colonial troops as they left for battle.

Also on the property is the Downtown District Schoolhouse that was built in 1826 and used as a school until 1871.

The Mill Hill Burying Ground is the third oldest in Norwalk. It is interesting to note that in Colonial times less than a third of burials were marked with a headstone. Often, a simple rock was used. Many of Norwalk's early families are interred here.