John Olmstead, Norwich's first physician, settled here in 1661 and later sold his house to Samuel Lathrop. After the original house burned in 1745, it was rebuilt by Samuel's son, Dr. Daniel Lathrop. Near the family home, Dr. Lathrop opened the first apothecary shop between Boston and New York. Daniel's younger brother, Joshua, helped build the prominent business.
Benedict Arnold lived in the Lathrop House while working in the apothecary shop from 1754 - 1761. His parents, Benedict Sr. and Hannah, were well respected but when Benedict Sr.'s mercantile business collapsed and three of his children died, Benedict Sr. succumbed to alcoholism. Hannah secured a future for their son as an apprentice with her relatives, the Lathrop Brothers.
Lydia Huntley Sigourney, a prolific poet and one of the most popular and influential writers of the 19th century, also lived here for a time. Known as the "Sweet Singer of Hartford," Lydia was born in Norwich and often wrote about her childhood. As a young girl, she lived in the Lathrop residence as the ward of Dr. Lathrop's wife, Jerusha.
This panel was produced by the Norwich Historical Society in cooperation with Sheryl and Marco Middleton, Norwich Community Development Corporation, the Norwich
Heritage Groups, Norwich Historic District Commission, City of Norwich, and Norwich Public Works Department. Research and writing by Regan Miner; panel design and oversight of fabrication by Geoff Steadman and Pam Ballard.
The Norwich Historical Society received support for this project from: the State Historic Preservation Office of the Department of Economic & Community Development with funds from: The Community Investment Act of the State of Connecticut; the Sachem Fund; Eastern Connecticut Association of Realtors; the R.S. Gernon Trust; and the Elsie A. Brown Fund.