Welcome to City of Norwalk

   City of Norwalk, Ohio

The Maple City

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History of Norwalk, OH

  On July 11, 1779, Norwalk, Connecticut was burned by the British Tories under Governor Tryon. A committee of the General Assembly estimated the losses to the inhabitants at $116,238.66. Later, our federal government gave an area in the Western Reserve of Ohio as compensation for those established losses.
   
  On May 30, 1800, the United States ceded the land titles to the "fire sufferers" and the representatives of the Reserve transferred the political jurisdiction to the general government. The Indian title was extinguished by treaty on July 4, 1805, on payment of $18,916.67; and in 1806, 13 men arrived to make the first survey of the Firelands.
   
  On November 9, 1808, a group of prominent citizens from Ridgefield, Norwalk, New Haven, Greenwich, and Fairfield met at the courthouse in New Haven, Connecticut, as the Board of Directors of the Proprietors of the half-million acres of land lying south of Lake Erie, called the "Sufferers Land." They passed a resolution naming many of the townships in this area known as the "Firelands of Ohio."
   
  Between 1806 and 1810, many families made the trip to look over land they had purchased in the "Firelands." During the War of 1812, because of the fear of British and Indian raids, settlement of the Huron County area came almost to a standstill. However, in 1815, Platt Benedict of Danbury, Connecticut visited and examined the present site of Norwalk. He returned to Danbury and purchased 1,300 acres of land with an eye toward establishing a town.
   
  In July of 1817, Benedict returned to Norwalk with his family and immediately built a house. This was the first permanent residence established within the limits of Norwalk Village. In May of 1818, the county seat was successfully removed from Avery, Ohio to Norwalk, and by 1819 a census showed a population of 109 residents. Platt Benedict, the founder of Norwalk, died in 1866 at the age of 91. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.
   
  Among the earliest settlers of Norwalk were other men of wealth and education. They brought with them not only the customs, but also the architecture of New England. Many of their homes are still standing today.
   
  In 1881, Norwalk's population reached the required minimum entitling her to incorporate as a city and the City of Norwalk dates from April 12, 1881.
   
  The characteristic New England spirit of energy, perseverance, and frugality, imbued by its settlers who so successfully met untold hardships, still remains in their descendants. We credit this for Norwalk's continued growth. It has not matured by spasmodic impulses, but has developed at a measured and steady pace to its present size and importance among the cities of Northern Ohio.
   



Platt Benedict, Founding Father of Norwalk


For more history on Norwalk and the Firelands Region check out Firelands Historical Society located at 4 Case St. Norwalk, Ohio



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