400 Washington Street Norwich, CT
The name “Lowthorpe” is the English equivalent of “Lathrop.” The 18-acre meadow was deeded to the town of Norwich in 1907 by the Gilman sisters with the stipulation it “be kept as free open space for the public.” The founders of Norwich did not regard this particular site as lovingly as we do today. According to an account published in 1659, it was “a dark and dolorous swamp…the haunt of wolves and venomous serpents, from whence it is said, often at nightfall, low howling issued, and phosphorescent lights were seen, vary fearful and appalling to the early planters.”
During the 17th century, this lovely meadow harbored timber rattlers and wolves. Simon Huntington, grandson of founder Simon Huntington, was mowing in the meadows when a timber rattler bit him. Hours later, young Simon died from his wound at his home on the Norwichtown Green; he was only 21 years old. A bounty on timber rattlers and wolf hunts eradicated the creatures from the meadows by the early 1700s. Please walk through the meadows at the end of the tour. See if you can find a stone bench with this verse carved into the back of the bench: “They ne’er grow old who gather gold where spring awakes and flowers unfold.”
Please continue down Washington Street.