Norwalk Historical Society

• Mill Hill Historic Park •
2 East Wall St. • Norwalk, CT

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1640
Norwalk, CT 06852

Tel: (203) 846-0525

Contents of this website
Copyright ©2006
Norwalk Historical Society

2008 Town House Times Newsletter Download

The Norwalk Historical Society’s Newsletter, The Town House Times, has a new all-color format! In an effort to bring more communication to our valued membership, each issue will be an up-to-date review of NHS achivements, events, and other news. The printed version is mailed to all NHS members.

Download here (Adobe PDF format, requires free Acrobat Reader to view)


$50,000 Grant for Mill Hill Historic Park

On July 4, 2006, the NHS hosted the Annual 4th of July National Bell Ringing Ceremony and 230th Anniversary of the Signing of the United States Declaration of Independence Celebration Program at Mill Hill Historic Park.

State Senator Bob Duff attended and noticed the 1835 Town House, c.1740 Governor Fitch Law Office and the 1826 School House are in desperate need of repair and restoration. We walked around Mill Hill to view the deteriorating conditions of the historic buildings and discussed the difficulty of acquiring historic preservation funding these restoration projects.

A few days later, Senator Duff called to express his desire to help us acquire funds for Mill Hill restoration projects. We wasted no time faxing his office a list of estimated costs for outstanding repairs and restoration for the Mill Hill buildings.

On August 29, 2006, Senator Duff announced a $50,000 grant for Mill Hill Historic Park!

Our sincerest thank you to State Senator Bob Duff for recognizing as living museums, these early historic buildings of Mill Hill speak volumes to our community about Norwalk’s colonial past, way of life, industries and our people. We can not afford to neglect our history if we are to preserve Norwalk’s rich heritage for future generations.

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NHS Acquires Rare Red Slipware Plate

August 14, 2005 –

NHS President, Gail Wall and board member Dick Ventre, thought all was lost that dark and stormy day as they returned home from Boston.  Armed with a bankroll of $15,000, they just could not compete in the fierce bidding on a rare piece of Norwalk redware pottery, which proudly bears the words “Norwalk, feb’y 13, 1854.”  Desirable to pottery collectors nationwide, this artifact was clearly of special importance to the Society as it was manufactured at the foot of Mill Hill (the site of the Society’s headquarters) in Asa Smith’s pottery works, one of the oldest and largest in all of Norwalk.  

When the plate was initially put up for auction by Boston’s Skinner Auction House (in conjunction with eBay’s Live Auctions to broaden participation), word spread quickly throughout the collector/dealer world.  But, by the time NHS was notified of the event, only five days remained until the auction date.

Many share credit for this story’s happy ending, but pivotal was the action of good Samaritan, David Smith of Arts and Antiques Weekly.  Smith contacted the winning bidder, NY redware dealer Gary Stradling.  Stradling, a good Samaritan himself, offered to ‘sell’ the plate to NHS for essentially cost plus expenses rather than to private collectors for more than twice as much.


The NHS is proud and grateful that the Norwalk Pie Plate is now a shining jewel in its redware collection. The Norwalk Pie Plate will be on display for an upcoming exhibit on Norwalk Pottery.

The NHS would like to thank all those involved, especially those who made the 54 pledges.  Among them are: Carl Kuehner of 35 Glover Partners, Michael DiScala of M.F. DiScala & Company, State Senator Bob Duff, State Representative Chris Perone, Norwalk Historical Commissioners: Marilyn Robinson (chair), Carol Ann Falasca (vice chair), Ralph Bloom, Marija Bryant, Debbie Mathies; City Council Members: Doug Hempstead, Gwen Briggs and Kelly Straniti; Board of Education Member Bruce Kimmel; Norwalk Preservation Trust President, Tod Bryant; ZBA Commisioner, Gordon Tully; Planning Commissioner, Leigh Grant; Assistant to the Mayor, Ed Schmidt, the Norwalk Rotory Club and the Norwalk Village Green Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

See articles related to this event at Antiques and the Arts Online: Article 1 Article 2
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