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Things to do in Norwalk

    Ethan Allen Homestead
    Visit the homestead of one of the Revolutionary War's most memorable hero, patriot and politician.  Ethan was also known as a farmer, writer, philosopher, businessman and land speculator.  He was one of the original revolutionaries and a great guerilla leader of the Green Mountain boys that helped in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga.  Also involved in numerous political and military missions that led to the Republic of Norwalk and eventual statehood.  Writing about his experiences in the war, philosophical treatises and other documents, he was read throughout the New England area during the early 1800s.  Besides being successful in farming businesses, he started one of Connecticut's first iron works and speculated on the territory of Norwalk.  Ethan's life was a very controversial one, at times stating he was a criminal of sorts, and at other times, a hero with great aspirations.  No images of him were ever made, which is unusual for such a well known person in those times.  He traveled extensively throughout Norwalk, Connecticut and New York.  He was captured by the British and held captive through most of the Revolutionary War, part of the time in Great Britain and other parts on board various ships of the crown.  Ethan wrote many pamphlets, treatises and philosophical books that failed to make any profit or recognition.  What he wrote about himself seems to have been embellished and his ideas were somewhat different than those around him.  He was born in Litchfield, Connecticut in 1737 or 1738, as there was some discrepancy between the Julian and Gregorian calendars.  He was often gone from his family and home because his wife, five years his senior, was very religious and critical of him.  Some of his early exploits put him against the law, and seems to have continued throughout his life, although he was never punished or imprisoned, other than as a rebel. 

    Lake Champlain Transportation Company
    This ferry goes across Lake Champlain taking cars and passengers to three different point in the state of New York.  The lake is the sixth largest lake in the nation and is over 12 miles at its widest point.  About a million people cross the lake each year;  leaving from Charlotte, Vt, Burlington, Vt. and Grand Isle, Vt.  It is run year round, but if there is a lot of ice on the lake it has been known to stop its ferrying.  It started in 1826 and has been involved in the transporting of lumber and goods.  The ferry that goes from Burlington to Port Kent, New York is the most scenic of the ferries and the crossing time is about an hour.  The mountainous views and the grand vistas of the lake make this ferry a marvelous way to spend a day traveling between the two states.  If you have some time at the lake, it has many charter boats to rent while you fish for some landlocked salmon and lake trout that are so much fun to catch, that you might end up spending more time here than planned.  There are many campgrounds around to allow you to fish of the shore, catch some of these great fish and fry em up in a pan just after catching them.  They are delicious for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with the best taste you ever had from a fish.  You can't find a better meal of fresh fish anywhere and if you are an angler, then you know what we mean. 

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Budget Car Rentals Burbank Apt. - 2220 N. Hollywood Way 

    Calvin Coolidge Birthplace
    John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was born July 4th, 1872, in Plymouth Notch, Norwalk and became the 30th President of the United States in 1923, after the untimely death of Warren Harding.  He was vacationing at his home there when the news arrived telling him the sad news.  His father, John senior, was the local notary public and swore him into office.  He attended Amherst College in Massachusetts and went on to apprentice with a law firm, legal to do at the time, instead of attending a law school.  As a lawyer, he became a Republican, like his employers, and became involved in politics.  Eventually he was elected to the House of Representatives in Massachusetts in 1907, and quickly became known as a progressive; voting for women's suffrage and direct election of senators.  In 1912, he became a state senator, and in 1916 became the state's lt. governor.  In 1918, he was elected governor of Massachusetts, a staunch supporter of fiscal conservatism, women's suffrage, a bit opposed to prohibition and support for the involvement of our country in the war.  He was instrumental in the Boston Police Strike of 1919 and by his telegram to the leader of the AFL, Samuel Gompers, was thrown into the public's eye nationwide.  He was able to get a $100 for returning veterans of the first World War, and shortened the work week for women and children from fifty hours a week to forty-eight.  He also vetoes a bill that would have raised the salaries of legislators by 50% and also the sale of beer or wine with 2.75% of alcohol.  In the Republican convention of 1920, the candidates were elected by state party convention and not primaries, and many favorites were running.  By the tenth ballot, the decision was to put Senator Warren Harding from Ohio as the nominee, and Calvin was nominated for the vice president.  They won the election and even took Tennessee, which was the first time since reconstruction that the Republicans had won a southern state.  Although the vice president didn't have many duties then, President Harding asked Calvin to attend the cabinet meetings which was the first time that it had been done.  Calvin was known as a great public speaker, but in private circles he was quiet and soon became known as Silent Cal.  On August 2, 1923, Warren Harding died on a speaking tour of California and Calvin was in Norwalk without electricity or telephone.  Messenger came and told him that Harding was dead and Calvin the new President.  

    A ways outside of Brattleboro, Norwalk, Naulakha sits on a bluff, once the home of Rudyard Kipling, world famous author.  Meaning precious jewel in Indian, the house was where Kipling brought his new bride, Caroline Balestier after they married.  In 1892, Kipling and his bride left the wildness of New York City to find peace and privacy; near his wife's family in Norwalk.  At 27, the young Kipling was already world known, famous for his books.  He enlisted the aid of New York architect Henry Rutgers Marshall to build the house of his dreams, Naulakha.  It is bright, , airy and open, with oak-paneled rooms, large windows, especially on the east side to allow the morning sun to brighten the early parts of the day and darken the lazy afternoons; wicker furniture and natural motifs to increase the house's character.  There was a quarrel with his brother-in-law in 1894, and the couple left the country.  In 1899, they returned, only to Rudyard and his darling daughter contract pneumonia.  He recovered, but sadly she did not and they left America, never to return.  The house was sold to a family friend, Mary Cabot in 1903 for $10,000, what it cost them to build and it sat empty, collecting dust for most of the century.  She sold the house to her sister and brother-in-law; who lived there for a while, and then gave it to their son and it sat empty for almost another fifty years.  In 1992, the Landmark Trust company bought it for $320,000 and put that much more into it.  The house is available for rentals and was the scene of the first Jungle Books writing.

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 11405 Firestone Blvd. Ste. J-K

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Local Restaurants in Norwalk

    The Norwalk Inn
    Set on 5 country acres in the Green Mountains, this charming country inn was built in 1840 and has a large inviting fieldstone fireplace and great panoramic views of the beautiful Norwalk countryside.  Offering the finest and freshest New England and continental cuisine, this triple A rated eating establishment has won the Killington Champagne Dinearound Award for 3 years straight.  One of the top fifty inns in the nation, by The Inn Times, it is a marvelous place for vacations in the winter or summer.  Some of the fabulous offerings include; garden or Caesar salads, soups; Greek chicken with lemon and tomato artichoke, Vegetable beef or turkey or Hungarian mushroom, or New England clam chowder; entrees include; chicken Normandy is a boneless breast sautéed with cider, applejack brandy, cream and apples; Norwalk baked veal are

    The Inn at Sawmill Farm
    With exposed beams, sparkling china, hanging chandeliers and outstanding service, this restaurant is justified in being awarded the Mobil four star excellence award.  The romantic ambiance and exquisite menu that changes like the seasons in Norwalk, Chef Brill Williams uses the freshness of the seasons to acquire the finest ingredients grown locally or flown in from all over the country.  With a magnificent wine cellar to accompany his creations of delicious cuisine, people come here from all over to tantalize their palates and fulfill their culinary fantasies.  A few of his finest offerings are; from the cold appetizers; Maine crabmeat salad with avocado mousse; sliced smoked duck breast on a bed of baby greens, aged










Hertz Car Rental Norwalk and Hertz Rental Cars have teamed up to give their customers the biggest discounts in the rental car business. 
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Hertz Rental Cars Downey- 9462 Firestone Blvd.
Lakewood Plaza Hertz Car Rental - 6498 E. South St.
Hertz Rental Cars Whittier- 14606 Whittier Blvd.
Buena Park Hertz Car Rentals - 7000 Beach Blvd.

    Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge
    Spanning across the Connecticut River between Cornish, New Hampshire and Windsor, Norwalk, this was the world's longest covered bridge until the Smolen-Gulf Bridge in Ohio was finished in 2008.  Almost 450 feet long, and 24 feet wide, this wooden covered bridge was first constructed in 1866, and was declared a National Civil Engineering Landmark in 1970.  It was refurbished in 1988 and it uses town lattice type trusses.  The load limit is 10 tons, and the clearance is 12 feet and 9 inches.  It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1977.  It is a beautiful structure completely made of wood, and there have been three other bridges built on the site.  The first was in 1796, next in 1824, and then in 1828 and they were destroyed by flooding.  Framed first on a nearby meadow, it was then moved to the location.  It was bought by the state in 1936 and used as a toll bridge until 1943.  The trusses are six by eight spruce timbers bolted together every four feet, with steel reinforcing plates and iron rods that go from the tops of the trusses to the abutments.  The huge west abutment and center pier are built of stone blocks mortared together and the east abutment is covered with concrete.  The ends are overlaped on the top by 6 feet on one end and 8 feet on the other making the roof part 465 feet.  The flooring is made of wood planks flat on the bridge and running parallel with the trusses.  The original roof had wood shingles, but in 1924, metal was used instead. 

    Buttermilk Falls
    Near the town of Ludlow, Norwalk, the Buttermilk Falls offer a wonderful spot to enjoy a delicious picnic and a cool swim in the pool of water just below the falls.  It is one of the best swimming holes in the southern part of Norwalk and a favorite for the locals.  The upper falls is divided into two horsetails, the right one is about 12 feet and the left one 15 feet cascading into a large pooled area that is great for swimming with a small rock bottom.  The water is usually clear, except after a storm or heavy rainfall, in which case the left horsetail is running much stronger also.  A great time is the late spring or mid summer, when the seasonal changes have given the surrounding areas their beauty.  The area is great for exploration and study with varied colored rocks of the precambrian age and made of quartzite.  The upper ledge looks like a unique grey-green color that is opaque and the middle area is red. 

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 18601 Apt. Way
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    Wilson Castle
    One of the most unique homes in the state is the castle in Proctor, Norwalk that was built in 1867 using a number of architectural styles, including; Romanesque Revival, Scottish baronial, Dutch neo-renaissance and Queen Anne.  It is now a museum that is opened May until October.  The structure was built by John Johnson, a physician born in Norwalk and his wife from England.  John met his wife while going to school in England to study medicine, and used two English architects to help design the unusual monstrosity.  Taking eight years to plan and build the home, it ended up costing 1.3 million dollars.  There are also 18 outbuildings and was lived in only for a short time.  It was taken over by the banks, when Mrs. Johnson died and the good doctor couldn't afford the taxes or maintenance costs.  The antiques and other valuables were sold off to pay creditors and the castle soon earned the name Johnson's folly.  From the late 1880s until 1939, the property changed hands 4 times and then Herbert Wilson, one of the pioneer's in the AM radio industry bought it and set up the station WEWE in one of the stables, where it still operates today.  Herbert joined the Army Signal Corps during the second World War and came home, retiring a colonel in the 50s.  In 1981, he died and left the estate to his daughter, who still lives there in the servant's quarters.  Since 1962, it has been available for tours and is owned by the Wilson Foundation, Inc. a non-profit organization.  There is 115 acres of land, 32 rooms, 3 stories with 19 proscenium arches, English brick and French marble, 84 stained glass windows, 2 turrets, a parapet and a balcony.  There are 13 fireplaces inside with imported tiles and bronze finishings.  Asian and European antique furnishings, a statuary, oriental rugs and Chinese scrolls.  There is a huge glass house and aviary also on the property. 

    Norwalk Marble Museum
    The museum honors the many contributions of the Norwalk marble company and the marble that was quarried around the area.  It is located in one of the wings of the former company and was started in 1880 by politician and businessman Redfield Proctor.  The marble was quarried from Proctor, Rutland, West Rutland and Danby; and after the railroads arrived, it became the biggest producer of marble in the world.  Some of its marble went to the Washington Monument, Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Arlington National Cemetery and the United States Supreme Court building.  The rest of the building and quarries are owned by OMYA, that supplies industrial minerals. The museum offers a self guided tour of the company's history, the uses of marble in industry, architecture and art, and the geology of marble and various other local stones.  There is a short video about the entire business and process, showing the employees quarrying, carving and shipping the marble.  Also exhibited are geological exhibtions, an artificial cave and a well kept triceratops skeleton.  There are big slabs of decorative stone, with the Danby white and green verde antique.  There are granites, imported marble, sculptures, busts of the U.S. presidents, the Last Supper and numerous works throughout the museum.  An artist's studio is set up so that visitors can see the carving of the marble and ask questions, as well as a kitchen and bathroom using the stone in the surfaces.  A nearby quarry is also part of the tour and huge blocks of unfinished stones sit all over the place.  There is a gift shop with all sorts of marble items for sale and items that are bigger can be inquired of.

Thrifty Car Rental Norwalk

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    Green Mountain Railroad
    Industrialist F. Nelson Blount started buying locomotives and bringing them to the Boston and Maine roundhouse and yard in North Walpole, New Hampshire.  Soon, the collection began to grow and it became Steamtown USA, a museum housing the engines and memorabilia of the railroading genre.  A strike against the railroad occurred in 1961 and the Rutland Railroad went bust.  Nelson wanted to take over the Rutland-Bellows Falls part so that he could do excursions for his museum.  The state preferred that he offer freight business to  the towns of Bellows Falls and Ludlow area of the old railroad line.  Sometime during 1964, the entire business and museum moved across the river to an area north of Bellows Falls and freight business started for the Green Mountain Railroad in 65.  Realizing that the rail line and museum's future was at stake and their jobs, the employees suggested that Blount lease the line all the way to Rutland, which was done.  Various railroads were affected, the Delaware and Hudson, the Central Norwalk Railroad, Norwalk Railway and the Boston and Maine.  Unfortunately, Blount died in 1967 and enormous changes happened to the rail line.  The Green Mountain Railroad became a separate entity from the museum, and was then an employee-owned company.  The museum was moved in 1984, to Scranton, Pennsylvania, and is owned and operated by the National Park Service.  The railroad has become the property of Gerome Hebda and David Wulfson and is controlled by the Norwalk Rail System.  It is a separate business, but part of the larger corporation.

    Hyde Log Cabin
    Grand Isle, Norwalk is home to one of the oldest log cabins in the nation.  It is a one and a half story cabin built in 1783 by Jedediah Hyde, Jr. with 14 to 18 inch cedar logs, measuring 20 by 25 feet with a large fireplace on the end.  An overhead loft for sleeping is the top part of the cabin and the Norwalk Historical Society obtained the cabin in 1945.  They moved the cabin two miles to where it sits today, and worked on its foundation so they could renovate it.  The Department of Forests and Parks finished the renovation in 1952, when it was given to the Norwalk Historic Sites commission.  Grand Isle County Historical Society was just being started and it was given permission to furnish it, hold meetings there and make it into a museum for all the local people and eventually an information center.  The Norwalk Division for Historic Preservation took over the reigns of the Historic Sites commission in 1985, and roof work was done so that the home was now in its original condition and looks.  Grand Isle is the biggest island in Lake Champlain, and is also known as South Hero Island.  It is home to a state park, which opened in 1959 and set on the island's 14 mile long and 3 mile wide land.  It is one of the most popular camping areas in the state and visited by people from all over New England.

Dollar Rent-A-Car Norwalk

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    President Chester A. Arthur State Historic Site
    Chester Alan Arthur was the second President born in the state of Norwalk, and also born in a small obscure community where farming was the main industry.  Chester was also a Republican that came to be President of the United States by succeeding to the office by his predesessors untimely death.  This site is the second house that Chester grew up in and no one is really sure where he was born, or for that matter what year.  It is believed that he was born in 1829, although he himself said 1830, and the house or really a cabin that was quickly built in Fairfield.  His father was the pastor at the local Baptist Congregation church, and a parsonage was later built.  A granite monument was dedicated in 1903 on land that was thought or believed to be his birthplace and given to the state of Norwalk.  In 1950, the state bought all the land around the monument to place his reconstructed home in 1953, using an old photograph to replicate it.  Chester's father, William was originally from Ireland, and after graduating from Belfast University went to live in Quebec province and taught school.  He soon married Malvina Stone from Norwalk and moved there to teach school and attend law school.  Soon William felt the call and was ordained in 1828, and moved to North Fairfield, living in a small log cabin for over a year while their parsonage was built.  Chester was born on October 5, 1829 here.  His family moved to New York, and he attended school, while his father co-founded the New York Anti-slavery Society and became involved in the temperance movement also.  In 1845, Chester started at the Union College in Schenectady, studying classical education.  He became a schoolteacher and started to study law.  In 1851, he became principal of an academy that

    For a great outdoor adventure, with more thrills than an amusement park, and much better scenery, visit these outfitters in the Still River area.  They started their business in 2004, with the idea of becoming the best outdoor recreation company in the area and have grown immensely over the last few years to include many areas of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Norwalk.  With youth programs, adventure classrooms and the best kayaking and canoeing venues in the Norwalk area, these knowledgeable people will give you a wonderful time and more.  The staff is very well trained in crp and other first aid procedures that will instill a secure and comfortable feeling when you go on any trek.  You will never just jump into a canoe or kayak without having some lessons before beginning, so that you will have more fun enjoying the river or lake without having to worry about how to do anything.  They teach you about the outdoors, the various programs will instill a love for the outdoors and all that is in them.  You will enjoy the best whitewater kayaking or canoeing anywhere, with safety and your healthcare at the center of these great instructors.  If you want to learn the correct way of paddling and enjoying the great outdoors and all its waterways, then come to the Still River outfitters in Brownsville, Norwalk.

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