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Norwalk Plus magazine : Norwalk Plus Summer 2008 Published: Jun 4, 2008 - 5:26:59 AM

Norwalk history revived

By Norwalk Historical Society

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On May 3-4, 2008, the Norwalk Historical Society hosted a Militia Muster Weekend at Mill Hill Historic Park, 2 East Wall Street, Norwalk, home to NHS. Staffed by members of the recreated 5th Connecticut Regiment, visitors experienced a spring militia muster encampment and talked with the men to learn their views on the Revolution, saw their muskets and equipment and learned how they lived while on campaign. The militia marched over to the Town Green, much as they would have done 230 years ago, and practiced their drill and firing. Meanwhile back at Mill Hill, the enticing aroma of hearth-cooked food emanated from the Gov. Fitch Law Office kitchen where Joy Filler of Newtown, CT prepared the noonday meal for the soldiers.

Children were given the opportunity to ‘join up’ and were drilled with wooden muskets. Amy McCoy of Danbury, CT provided laundry services for the men of the regiment on Saturday. Adults as well as children were fascinated to learn how difficult laundry was in the 18th century. Laundry was first boiled to remove dirt and grease and was then placed in a washtub with a washboard and scrubbed with lye soap. If necessary, it could be returned to the boiling water or if clean, rinsed in cold water and then hung on the line to dry. Another expert craftsman, Jim Freebairn of Stamford and a charter member of the 5th CT, demonstrated molding pewter and cast such essential items as musket balls, buttons and spoons.

Today’s 5th Connecticut Regiment, which was founded in 1974, includes members from across Connecticut who are interested in the history of this country and teaching others through living history. It was formed as a family group, encouraging women and children to participate as well. Historically, the 5th Connecticut Regiment was formed in May 1775, when the Connecticut legislature created six regiments in response to the hostilities begun at Lexington and Concord. The regiment was then composed almost entirely from officers and men of Fairfield County. The regiment served throughout the revolution and towards the end of the war was combined with other Connecticut regiments. In June 1783 they were all furloughed when the Continental Army was disbanded. To learn more about the 5th Connecticut Regiment, please visit the group’s website at www.5cr.org

The Norwalk Historical Society was incorporated in 1899 with the purpose of promoting and encouraging historical research in Norwalk. That vision is kept alive today with the re-establishment of the NHS in 1949 and the continued focus on “the research, preservation, and promotion of interest in the history of Norwalk.”

Visitors of all ages enjoyed the weekend and learning more about their Revolutionary Past. The Norwalk Historical Society would like to thank all who came and supported the event as well as all the volunteers and reenactors who worked tirelessly to create an excellent program.

For more information, call the Norwalk Historical Society at 203-846-0525 or email info@norwalkhistoricalsociety.org.

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