The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Norwich (Connecticut)
NORWICH, a town and city, and one of the county seats of New London co., Connecticut, situated at the head of the Thames river, 15 m. from Long Island sound, and 35 m. S. E. of Hartford; pop. in 1860, 14,048; in 1870, 16,653. The town and city are not coëxtensive. The principal portion of the city lies upon the sides and summit of the eminence that rises between the Yantic and Shetucket rivers, which here unite to form the Thames. The business portion is at the base near the water, in the locality formerly known as Chelsea Landing, while the residences are mostly upon the plateau that extends N. from the brow of the hill. The houses are generally white, and, rising in terraces one above the other, can be seen from a considerable distance down the river, whose elevated banks lend additional attraction to the view. The principal public building is the court house, used for town, city, and county purposes. There is a cemetery tastefully laid out, and in the park a monument has been erected to the soldiers of the civil war. West of the Yantic is a portion of the city known as the West Side or West Chelsea. Greeneville, in the N. E. part of the city, on the right bank of the Shetucket, contains one of the largest paper mills in New England. The town extends N. W. of the city, in a pleasant valley surrounded by hills. At the falls of the Yantic, about 1 m. from its entrance into the Thames, the river is compressed into a narrow channel, and rushes over a rocky bed having a perpendicular descent of about 50 ft. The “Falls” in this vicinity is an active manufacturing village.
Norwich has railroad communication with the principal points in New England by means of the New London Northern and Norwich and Worcester lines, and is connected with New York by daily lines of steamers. The harbor is commodious, and is accessible by vessels drawing 10 ft. of water. It has an important trade in coal, lumber, West India goods, groceries, and drugs. The capital invested in manufacturing and transportation companies amounts to $9,000,000. The aggregate capital of the seven national banks is nearly $3,000,000; the deposits in the three savings banks amount to about $11,000,000. The principal articles of manufacture are machinery, rolling-mill products, printing presses, firearms, locks, water wheels, type, paper, organs, and cotton and worsted goods. Norwich has good public schools, a free reading room, a public library, one daily and three weekly newspapers, an old ladies' home, and 16 churches. The free academy was built and endowed by the private subscription of $110,000 by residents of the town, and is open for a full academical education to all its children, free of expense to them, and without regard to sex or condition.—Norwich was settled in 1659. In that year Uncas and his two sons made a formal deed of the site of the old town, 9 m. square, to Major John Mason and 34 other proprietors, and received from the company £70 as a compensation. Its settlement was begun by Major Mason and the Rev. James Fitch, who, with a part of his congregation, removed from Saybrook. The city was incorporated in 1784.