Rediscovering My Hometown: Scenic Norfolk, Connecticut

This week I’m in my hometown, helping my mom after her cataract surgery. If you’re a regular reader, you know that I grew up in Norfolk, a tiny town nestled in the Berkshire foothills. You can’t talk about Norfolk without using words like quaint, cute, and historic. Located in the state’s northwest corner, it’s a vacation destination for New Yorkers and the home of Yale’s Summer School of Music. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

Yet I spent most of my childhood planning my escape. There was “nothing to do”. I didn’t have a car, which meant, unless I relied on friends to drive me around, I was essentially trapped in a town of 1,600 people. The winters were brutal. (Well, not Arctic brutal, but it didn’t earn the nickname “The Icebox of Connecticut” for nothing.) As an adult, I’ve typically zipped down from Boston to visit family or friends and then zipped back. I like to say I’m a city girl. Norfolk just isn’t my speed.

A glimpse of spring on Norfolk’s back roads.

A few months ago, though, Devin and I took turns housesitting for my mother and stepfather while they enjoyed a Caribbean cruise. (Where is the justice in this world?) I spent some quality time in my old town. And I realized something quite surprising.

I like Norfolk!

No, I could never live here year-round—I’m just too citified now. But I could see myself having a little summer writing cottage here. During my visit in April, I walked and drove a lot around town, read a magazine in the library I so loved as a child, and showed Nicole some of my favorite spots when she spent a few days with me. “This is just beautiful!” she exclaimed as we drove through the woods. And for once, I had to agree.

Norfolk is located along Route 44, about an hour northwest of Hartford, Connecticut, and 3 hours from Boston or New York. For a list of attractions and places to stay, click here.

View of the town’s Congregational church from the green.

This place is old (by American standards)!

The remains of the town’s famed Curling Club, which was destroyed by arson in 2011.

(To learn more about the Curling Club’s efforts to rebuild, including upcoming fundraising events, visit

A grocery store when I grew up here, Infinity Hall has been restored to its Arts and Crafts glory and hosts a variety of musical acts.

Buttermilk Falls is worth a peek if you’re passing through.

More impressive architecture.

Still one of my favorite libraries.

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10 thoughts on “Rediscovering My Hometown: Scenic Norfolk, Connecticut

  1. What gorgeous pictures of my favorite town in CT and my “home away from home”. Thanks for sharing them.

  2. Great pictures! I will be visiting Norfolk next weekend and will be showing my kids around my hometown. Sometimes I miss Norfolk – it has more of a towny, community feeling than the place I live now. I’m sure my kids will grow bored with Mom reminiscing about her childhood spent hiking Haystack, Campbell Falls, Dennis Hill, curling at the curling club, lifeguarding at Tobey, ice skating at the ball field….It was a great town to grow up in.

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  7. Thanks for the great pictures. I grew up in Norfolk as well and left there in 1975 when I joined the military. My mom, dad and grandmother lived in our home until they passed away. My mom was a teacher there for 30 years and loved teaching more than one generation. Thanks for the memories.

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