Norfolk, Connecticut

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Norfolk is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 1,660 at the 2000 census.

Norfolk is perhaps best known as the site of the Yale Summer School of Music – Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, which hosts an annual chamber music concert series in "the Music Shed," a performance hall located on the Ellen Battell Stoeckel estate to the west of the village green. Norfolk also boasts important examples of regional architecture, notably the Village Hall (now Infinity Hall, a shingled 1880's Arts-and-Crafts confection, with an opera house upstairs and storefronts at street level); The Norfolk Library (a Romanesque Revival structure by George Keller, 1888/9); and over thirty buildings, in a wide variety of styles, designed by Alfredo S.G. Taylor (of the New York firm Taylor & Levi) in the four decades before the Second World War.

Contents

History

Norfolk was first settled in 1744 and incorporated in 1758, later than most surrounding towns because of the dense woods, rocky soil and high elevation. Originally a farming community, nineteenth-century Norfolk saw the rise of numerous small factories, many of which fabricated tools and farming implements from local iron ore, and mills, which took advantage of fast-flowing mountain streams.

By the late 19th century, however, rail connections to New York, Hartford, Pittsburgh and Boston gave visitors ready access to Norfolk's cool summers and clean air, and Norfolk soon evolved into a fashionable resort as its small industry declined. The town has ever since had a bustling "summer colony." Like several other towns in the Litchfield Hills, Norfolk has, in more recent years, developed a sizable population of "weekenders" from New York City and environs.

The town of Norfolk celebrated its semiquincentennial (250th anniversary) on August 1–2, 2008.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 46.4 square miles (120.2 km²), of which, 45.3 square miles (117.4 km²) of it is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km²) of it (2.37%) is water. The town is located in the Litchfield Hills portion of the Appalachian mountain range. Norfolk's elevation is 1,230 feet above sea level, and the town is sometimes called "the Icebox of Connecticut" for its severe winters and particularly cool summers.

The town is bordered on the west by Canaan, Connecticut and North Canaan, Connecticut; on the north by New Marlborough, Massachusetts and Sandisfield, Massachusetts; on the east by Colebrook, Connecticut and Winchester, Connecticut; and on the south by Goshen, Connecticut.

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