A Walking Tour of Norwalk, Connecticut
a walking tour in the Look Up, America series from walkthetown.com
by Doug Gelbert
published by Cruden Bay Books at Smashwords
Copyright 2010 by Cruden Bay Books
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the Publisher.
Roger Ludlow is the “Father of Norwalk” since he bought the land west of the Norwalk River from Mahackemo, chief of the Norwalke Indians, in 1640 or 1641. But Ludlow was merely an agent, Deputy Governor of Connecticut, not an adventurer or settler. The purchase may have been to thwart potential Dutch expansion plans out of New York. Ludlow stayed in the town of Fairfield and left the dirty work of clearing land and carving out a life in new territory to others.
Those first settlers migrated down from Hartford in 1649 and the first crops were planted. Flax and hemp used for linen and rope became an early important crop. In the island speckled waters they found natural beds of oysters, the foundation of an industry that would help power Norwalk’s economy for three centuries.