Revisiting Norwalk Conn.’s trolley travel history

NORWALK, Conn. —  In the late 19th and early 20th century, trolleys tied together the towns that eventually became the city of Norwalk, Conn. The trolleys went everywhere. Children rode them to school. Shoppers took them to go downtown, uptown and even to other towns. Workers in the cigar factories and hat factories rode them home very evening. And, on weekends, families got on open trolleys with their picnic baskets to enjoy a summer day at Roton Point. Today’s Norwalkers can revist thosei routes with Norwalk Preservation Trust’s fall event: Lost Tracks – A Trolley Tour of Norwalk. It’s a chance to travel back in time and hear the clang, clang, clang of the trolley on Norwalk streets once Trolley_Wall_350wagain.

Scheduled for September 15th, the tour will retrace the path of some of Norwalk’s trolley routes and include stops at historic points along the way such as the Trolley Barn on Wall Street and Roton Point. The tracks are long gone, so the tour will use comfortable trolley buses to reproduce the experience. Reenactors in period costumes will join the tour at various points to bring history to life and historians will provide insight into the significance of various stops along the route. A reception with refreshments is planned at the end of the tour.

“Lost Tracks – A Trolley Tour of Norwalk” is the third annual Norwalk Living History Tour conducted by the Norwalk Preservation Trust. Last year’s tour revealed the “hide in plain NPT copysight” secrets of Norwalk’s 19th century rural hamlets: the schoolhouse, chapel and stores that were the heart of the farming communities of Broad River, Cranbury, West Norwalk and Brookside. In 2011, NPT launched the Living History Tours with an inside look at some of Norwalk’s 18th century houses, restored and lived in today.

You can reserve space on this year’s “Lost Tracks” tour by visiting the Norwalk Preservation Trust website (norwalkpreservation.org).

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