Way Back When... 1887
In 1864, during the Civil War, the first home for disabled veterans and soldier’s orphans in the United States was built on a 19-acre tract at Noroton Heights.
It was named after its founder, Benjamin Fitch of Darien, who funded almost the entire project.
The state provided limited aid until 1883. In 1887 the state took over control and formally named the institution Fitch’s Home for Soldiers. The home, which housed veterans and the children of veterans, was dedicated July 4, 1864.
On Jan. 15, 1887, 17 voters of the town petitioned the Selectmen for a meeting to ask the General Assembly for “such legislation as will more fully promote the well-being of the inmates of Fitch’s Home for Soldiers and increase the efficiency of said institution.” The petition bore the names of Weed, Hoyt, Mather, Morehouse, Whitney, and others. By 1888, the State assumed responsibility for operating the Fitch Home, and the Soldier’s Hospital Board took over the management of the Home.
After World War II, the institution’s services were transferred to the larger Veterans Home and Hospital in Rocky Hill.
The year Fitch’s Home for Soldiers, the first home for disabled veterans and soldier’s orphans in the United States, was built on a 19-acre tract at Noroton Heights