Virtual Tours

    The Norwich Historical Society is excited to share our virtual experiences with you! The NHS strives to create activities that celebrate local history and promote a greater understanding of Norwich’s diverse past. We hope our virtual tours will be a resource for adults and children alike. The virtual experiences are based off our popular guided Walktober Tours, Second Saturday Tours, and a lecture on Eastern Connecticut’s Sons of Liberty.

    Our virtual experiences include many of our popular guided tours such as: The Legend of Uncas Leap, Walking in a Traitor’s Footsteps, Ye Antient Burial Grounds of Norwich, The Norwich Freedom Trail, Off-Kilter Tales of Norwichtown, Ellis Walter Ruley: Norwich Artist, Bohemian Norwichtown, Spaulding Pond Dam Flood, Norwich Millionaires’ Triangle, Notables of Yantic Cemetery, and the Antient Ghosts of Norwich. Many thanks to our tour guides who volunteered their time to film the tours!

    These virtual experiences would not have been possible without the support of The Last Green Valley and Chelsea Groton Bank. With their generous support, NHS was able to create these virtual experiences for everyone to enjoy from the comfort of their own home. A heartfelt thank you goes out to The Last Green Valley and Chelsea Groton Bank for their continued support.

    The Last Green Valley
    Chelsea Groton Bank

    Discover Historic Norwich, Virtually

    The Norwich Freedom Trail is a part of the Walk Norwich Trail system and celebrates Norwich’s rich and diverse story of African-American heritage. This virtual experience will focus on Boston Trowtrow’s story; he was one of three Norwich “black governors” elected by the city’s African-American community in the 1700s.  The full self-guided tour is available for viewing on

    The Norwichtown Colonial Burying Ground was established in 1699 and is a significant historic resource in Norwich.  Join local expert, Dave Oat, on a virtual look at the Old Colonial Burying Grounds in Norwichtown. Dave will explain the history behind the various styles of headstone carvings while telling stories of important colonial era figures buried here.

    Zack Lamothe, author of Connecticut Lore: Strange Off-Kilter, & Full of Surprises, hosts this virtual experience through his hometown neighborhood of Norwichtown discussing off-kilter stories of its history, hauntings, and hidden surprises. Additionally, Zack has a blog where he encourages people to get out and enjoy the world around them. For more information about Zack and his blog, please check out

    Ellis Walter Ruley was a self-taught African American artist from Norwich. In 1933, he married a white woman named Wilhelmina Fox, and as Norwich’s first interracial couple, Ellis and Wilhelmina faced considerable unkindness from the community. The couple, along with extended family, lived in an old farmhouse off Hammond Ave. The Ellis Walter Ruley Memorial Park is listed on the Norwich Freedom Trail and Connecticut Freedom Trail; it is located at 28 Hammond Ave in Norwich. Join members of the Ellis Ruley Committee for this virtual experience and learn about this important figure in Norwich’s history.

    Nestled in the heart of historic Norwichtown beyond the urban sprawl lies a vibrant enclave of artistic creativity. With the founding of the Norwich Art School in 1890, local Norwichians including Ozias and Hannah Dodge, Charlotte Fuller Eastman, Helen Newton and others left lasting artistic legacies in the classrooms at Norwich Free Academy and at their many salons, studios, and social soirées. During this virtual experience, you’ll step into the lives of Norwich’s Bohemian visionaries and learn how they inspired a sense of artistry and community. For more information about these incredible individuals, please visit Slater Memorial Museum’s website at

    Meet the families who lived in the mansions along Washington St. and Broadway – Norwich’s Millionaires’ Triangle – in the last half of the nineteenth century when Norwich was a wealthy manufacturing center whose residents drew the attention of people across the nation. This virtual experience will talk about who they were and how they lived during the most opulent era of the City’s history. The full self-guided tour is available on The Walk Norwich Millionaires’ Triangle Trail is adapted from the book Norwich in the Gilded Age: The Rose City’s Millionaires’ Triangle, by Patricia Staley. To learn more about the families featured on this trail, please consider purchasing Patricia’s book.

    The Historic Yantic Cemetery is an outstanding example of a Victorian-era landscape design referred to as a “Rural Cemetery.”  Please join local expert, Dave Oat, for a virtual look at the historic Yantic Cemetery. You will hear stories about the notable Norwich residents buried here, learn about Victorian era funerary practices, and discover the history behind the impressive nineteenth century monuments in the cemetery.

    This virtual experience will guide you through one of Norwich’s oldest burying grounds where you’ll hear spooky tales and historical facts related to the colonial history of Norwich.

    March 6, 1963 marked a major event in Norwich when the Spaulding Pond Dam at Mohegan Park breached. Freezing water and blocks of ice rushed for miles on a course through neighborhoods ending at the Norwich harbor. This virtual experience led by survivors and eyewitnesses will relive the event which claimed six lives. For more information about this tragic day, please visit The Troubadour Trail.

    Norwich, Connecticut is a portion of the traditional territory of the Mohegan Nation. Three miles south of Norwich sits the current Mohegan reservation in Uncasville. Norwich is filled with significant places relating to the Mohegan Tribe. Join us as we explore these historic sites and discover the Mohegan Tribe’s deep connection to the City of Norwich.

    The Benedict Arnold Trail explores Norwich, Connecticut’s rich colonial era history and highlights many of Norwich’s significant figures from the Revolutionary War. Many of these sites are concentrated in the Norwichtown Historic District. Additionally, the trail chronicles the childhood of Norwich’s most infamous native son. Benedict Arnold was born and raised in Norwich, CT. His childhood was marred by tragedy, by age twenty, both of his parents and three of his siblings had passed away, leaving himself and his sister Hannah to look out for themselves. Join us as we discover the story of a controversial and complicated man who greatly impacted our nation’s history during the Revolutionary War.

    For many generations, well before contact with Europeans, there was a landing on the shore at the bottom of the Yantic Falls, where the water becomes calm. Here the Mohegans brought their canoes ashore bearing their dead. Beyond the landing, on a plateau that rises 20-30 feet above the shore, is the traditional burial place for Mohegans. They brought deceased relations from the canoes on litters and carried them up an incline that ran from the plateau’s base to its top where tribal leaders and their families were interred. The burial grounds were marked on one side by the ravine and spread outward along the ravine for 16 acres. Join us as we explore the deep history behind this sacred site.

    The Norwich Historical Society is proud to partner with Otis Library and the Prudence Crandall Museum on Harris Sisters Month, held annually in April. When Sarah Harris entered Prudence Crandall’s all-white female academy in nearby Canterbury at age 20, Crandall made the choice to close and reopen an academy exclusively for African American girls with Sarah and her younger sister, Mary, both attending the school. In the aftermath of the school’s violent closure, the Harris Sisters continued to lead accomplished and impactful lives fighting for equality. In recognition of their courage and achievements, Otis Library hosts Harris Sisters Month every April in honor of Sarah’s birthday and the and formal opening of the black academy. This video will highlight significant sites related to the Harris sisters in Norwich and features sites on the Norwich Freedom Trail ( To view this video with captions, click on the box with letters CC from the onscreen menu.

    Eastern Connecticut was a hotbed of activity during the American Revolution, and at the center of the activity was the City of Norwich. Connecticut boasted many patriots who served in the Revolution, but in the years leading up to the war, many of those patriots banded together to take the first of many daring stands against the British Parliament. This is a look at the Sons of Liberty in Norwich and Connecticut. Thank you to Leffingwell House Museum for partnering with us on this video.

    Born on a Virginia plantation, Smith escaped slavery in 1838 with the help of Norwich’s David Ruggles, a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad in New York City. Smith bought a house on School Street in 1845 and worked downtown as a shoemaker. His 1881 autobiography remains an important first hand account of the era. This virtual look at Smith’s life explores the multi-faceted nature of his story and touches upon slavery, racial issues, education, political history, and religion. Smith is a powerful and inspirational example of how an escaped slave traveled north for his freedom and how settling in Norwich, Connecticut changed his life. To view this video with captions, click on the box with letters CC from the onscreen menu.