(The following is abridged from an undated typewritten document written by Mrs. Lyman M Waite, Secretary) -- FOR THE ASSOCIATION'S
THE EAST NORWALK IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION...
The East Norwalk Improvement Association was organized September 30, 1910 at the Mayflower Fire House with
30 ladies attending the meeting -- a Nominating Committee was appointed to secure a slate of officers, with the
following being elected: Mrs. E.E. Gorham, president; Mrs. J. Wallace Marvin, vice president; Mrs. Charles
Dunnebache, secretary; Mrs. G..E. Thompson, treasurer.
The first community project undertaken was the erection of street signs in East Norwalk. Later granite posts and iron
gates were erected at the entrance of the East Norwalk Cemetery.
In 1913 a system of garbage collection was inaugurated and garbage cans were supplied to poor families in the area.
With the help of the East Norwalk Fire District, the triangle opposite the East Norwalk Cemetery was curbed and
From the early days the East Norwalk Improvement Association has given assistance to the needy -- both to children
in the schools and to the homes directly through a Relief Committee. One of the largest undertakings in this respect,
was the relief for several families who lost all their belongings in a disastrous fire. All sufferers were clothed and
cared for, through the untiring efforts of the Association members and the generosity of the citizenry contacted by
the Relief Committee.
In the Fall of 1913 the building of a Community Hall was voted to be the main project of the coming year. A
Building Site Committee was appointed. In April, 1914, the lot on Van Zant Street (Number 51) was selected and
purchased for $900. Incorporation papers were signed May 5th, 1914.The Building Committee was formed. After
much consideration and discussion, it was voted in October 1916 to build a hall of brick large enough for social
gatherings, card parties, etc. with separate rooms to house the Library. Bids for such a building were solicited and the
contract finally awarded on May 6, 1917 and the building was finished and formally presented to the President of the
Association in the presence of members, on November 6, 1917, and the mortgage was paid off several years later.
During the First World War members were active sewing for the Red Cross. During the Depression following the
war, members canned vegetables and fruits for needy families.
Perhaps the greatest service to the community, has been the maintenance of the free library for East Norwalk
This was opened in January, 1915 in a front room of Rundle's Bakery on Van Zant Street -- the building now
occupied by the Crofut & Knapp Hat Corporation at the corner of Osborne Avenue. The Library was open two
afternoons weekly with volunteer workers from 3:00 to 6:30pm.
In May, 1916, through a Library Contest, 300 books were secured. Larger quarters were sought without success and
Mr. Rundle gave a little more space for a rental of $75.009 a year.
In October 1917 the Library was moved into the Community Hall. But was not reopened until March, 1918, because
of lack of finances for purchase of furnishing for the Library rooms. Within a few year it was possible to pay a
librarian for services which had hitherto been given without compensation.
The Library has served the Third District continuously throughout the entire time and since, with an ever increasing
circulation of books. Book collections were loaned to elementary schools and to the High School until the schools
established their own libraries.
The Third Taxing District gives an annual appropriation to support the East Norwalk Library.