Methodists in Norwich first organized in 1796. They built the city’s first Methodist Episcopal Church in the Bean Hill neighborhood in 1831-1833. As explained by Edgar F. Clark in The Methodist Episcopal Churches of Norwich, Conn. (1867):
The name of the Church Society, as appears in the minutes, was first called “Norwich;” in 1834, “Norwich North,” which appellation it has very generally retained. In local conversation, it is often called “Bean Hill,” from its locality.
The Methodist society on Bean Hill for many years held their public services in the venerable building which had served successively and alternately for a classical academy, a free school, and a Separatist conventicle. In this extemporized chapel, many of the early noted itinerants preached in their rounds. Here Lee, Asbury, and other messengers of the church, proclaimed their message. Here Maffit delivered one of the first of his flourishing effusions on this side of the water. When the eccentric Lorenzo Dow was to preach, the bounds were too narrow, and the audience assembled in the open air, upon the hill, under the great elm.
The present Methodist church on the hill was erected in 1833.
The church was altered in 1879 (the current pediments above the pair of blue doors date to that alteration). The congregation moved out of the building in the twentieth century (c. 1960) and it was then unsympathetically remodeled as a furniture store and is now a photography studio.
Jesse Brown’s house in Norwich, at 77 East Town Street, facing Norwichtown Green, was licensed as a tavern and stage coach stop in 1790. President John Adams and First Lady Abigail Adams were guests at the Tavern on August 1, 1797. The Tavern was sold to William Williams of New London in 1814. Captain Bela Peck owned it from 1817 until his death in 1850. The next owner, Moses Pierce, bought the building in 1855. He gave it to the United Workers of Norwich to be used as a home for poor and orphaned children. It was called the Rock Nook Home, which is today part of United Community & Family Services.
The house at 23 Broad Street in Norwich was built 1913 (or c. 1920) for Henry E. Church, partner with William Smith Allen in the Norwich funeral business of Church & Allen. The company was then located at 15 Main Street and is now at 136 Sachem Street. The house is an example of the Craftsman style with a screened-in porch.
The official property card for the house at 6 Huntington Avenue in Norwich dates the house to 1708, but the nomination for the Bean Hill Historic District states that it was built in the last half of the eighteenth century and names it the Roger Huntington House. This may be Roger Huntington (Comptroller) who is described in The Huntington Family in America (1915):
Roger Huntington, born February 1, 1784, in Norwich, Conn.; married, January 30, 1814, Ann, daughter of Benadam Denison. She was born in 1784, and died September 15, 1819. He married for a second wife, August 30, 1820, Amelia Matilda Lambert. He was engaged early in life in trade, and was a man of most unwearied industry, and a pattern for the nice method and accuracy with which he executed every trust. His moments, not employed in his business, were most actively devoted to reading and study. He rose to a high rank among the citizens of his native town, in all those qualities which secure public esteem and confidence.
He represented Norwich, and the Senatorial district to which it belonged, in the State Legislature, and was Speaker of the House of Representatives while in that branch.
He was Comptroller also of the State. He died at his residence in Bean Hill, Norwich, June 27, 1852. The general sentiment of the community, among which he had always lived, was well expressed in an obituary notice in one of the city papers. It says, “We are pained to record the unexpected death of our most respected friend and fellow citizen, the Hon. Roger Huntington, of Norwich Town. Mr. Huntington was no ordinary man; and his high character and superior talents justly entitled him to the confidence and trust reposed in him by his fellow citizens.” His wife, Amelia Matilda, died at Norwich, Conn., May 27, 1883.
The house at 409 Washington Street in Norwich was once the site of Isaac Huntington’s blacksmith shop. In 1722, James Norman acquired the property from Christopher Huntington and either converted the existing building into his residence or removed it and built a new one on the site. As related in Old Houses of the Antient Town of Norwich (1895) by Mary E. Perkins:
In 1714, the town grants to Isaac Huntington 4 rods of land (frontage 2 rods), “on ye side of ye hill to be taken up between Sergt. Israel Lathrop’s orchard and Sergt. Thomas Adgate’s cartway,” and here he builds a shop, and in 1717 he receives a grant of land south of this “to build a house on,” but he evidently prefers to buy his grandfather’s homestead, when the opportunity offers, and the land and shop (frontage rods) are sold in 1722 by Christopher Huntington, who has become the owner, to James Norman. James Norman either alters the shop into a dwelling, or builds a new house, which seems to stand on the former site of the shop.
[. . . .]
Miss Caulkins mentions a James Norman, who, in 1715 was captain of a vessel engaged in the Barbadoes trade, and in 1717 was licensed to keep a tavern. This James Norman may be the one whose house we have just located, or possibly the latter was the son of the sea captain. He was in 1723 a “cloathiar.” No record has been found of his marriage, or of the birth of children, but we know that a James Norman married after 1730 Mary (Rudd) Leffingwell, widow of Nathaniel Leffingwell, of whose estate he was the administrator. Mary (Leffingwell) Norman died in 1734. James Norman died in 1743, leaving a widow, Elizabeth, and three children, Caleb, Mary, and Joshua, the two latter choosing their brother Caleb for guardian. The heirs divide the property in 1753-4.
It is possible that the “Great Room” or kitchen, and “the Lentoo” of the old Fitch or Knight house were added in 1734 to the house, then erected by Sylvanus Jones, on land purchased of Andre Richard, but of this we have no positive proof.
Sylvanus Jones (b. 1707), was the son of Caleb Jones, one of the first settlers of Hebron, Ct., and his wife Rachel, daughter of John Clark of Farmington, Ct. He married in 1730 Kesiah, daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth (Curtis) Cleveland, and died in 1791. He had eight children, and at his death, his son, Ebenezer, becomes the owner of the house and land.
Ebenezer Jones (b. 1744), married in 1765, Elizabeth Rogers, and had three daughters, one of whom, Lucy (b. 1766), marries Henry J. Cooledge, and another, Rachel (b. 1771), becomes in 1793 the wife of Asa Lathrop, Jun. Louisa, daughter of Lucy (Jones) Cooledge, marries in 1832 Charles Avery of New London, and her daughter, Mrs. Harriet Robinson, now owns and occupies the house.
We do not know the occupation of Sylvanus, but Ebenezer was a cooper, and Mr. Miner pictures him “with his ads and double driver, holding it in the middle, and playing it rapidly on the empty barrel, as he drives the hoop, sounding a reveille to the whole neighborhood regular as the strains of Memnon.” His shop stood south of the house and a little back from the street.
the Yantic Fire Engine Co. No. 1 was established in 1847 in the mill village of Yantic in Norwich. The company‘s service area would eventually grow to include Bean Hill, Plain Hill and Norwichtown. After their old firehouse burned down in 1906, a new one was built in 1907 and was first occupied in 1908.