Governor Thomas Fitch Law Office
Governor Thomas Fitch’s house was built in 1740. During the Revolutionary War, the house was destroyed when the British burned Norwalk on July 11, 1779. This structure was part of the kitchen wing added to the house after it was burned.
Originally located on the top of Earls Hill on the east side of East Avenue, the house was demolished when the State appropriated the property for the construction of Interstate 95. The historical part of the house was given to the City. Because of the work of the Norwalk Master Builder’s Association, Chamber of Commerce and the Norwalk Historical Society, this part of the house was moved to the Mill Hill site and restored in 1971.
The O’Brien Company, working under the direction of John Gaydosh, Architect, was the prime contractor on the restoration. The house is restored to resemble an office such as the governor might have used in his time.
On the left of the main floor is a room equipped as a law office. Among the furnishings are a quill pen, pictures on the wall of the reigning British Monarch, a small cherry table in the corner that belonged to James Fitch, a Chippendale-style, slant-top desk, possibly made before 1770, and, above the woodbox, a cupboard providing storage space for books. The nine spindle Windsor chair came from the house of Gov. Fitch’s son, Thomas Fitch, who later was a colonel. Wide oak boards were used in the floor. Feather and bead, hand-planed paneling covers the fireplace wall.
Col. Thomas Fitch, Gov. Fitch’s son, was the leader of the Norwalk Volunteers during the French and Indian War (1755 to 1762) who acquired the title ‘Yankee Doodle’ after the song written by Colonel Richard Schucksberg, a British army surgeon, in derision of the unkempt appearance of volunteers as they arrived at Fort Crailo, in what is now Rensselaer, New York.
The room to the right on the main floor looks like an early kitchen, with fireplace, beehive oven, crane and trammel iron. The gateleg table in this room was a gift of the Norwalk Bar Association.In the cellar are two alcoves in the base of the chimney for the cool storage of milk, butter and other perishables. The dovetail hanging suspension of the cellar stair treads is a very rare type of construction, difficult to make but quite strong.
The room on the second floor was apparently the clerk’s bedroom. The frame of the trundle bed and a couple of blanket chests are the only furnishings.