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Rowayton is an affluent section of Norwalk, Connecticut. Located on Long Island Sound just 40 miles from New York City, Rowayton is a coastal New England village. According to Forbes magazine, the 2010 median home sale price was $1,674,964, counting Rowayton among the most expensive communities in Connecticut as well as the nation.
The community is governed by the Sixth Taxing District of Norwalk and has a number of active local associations, including the Civic Association, the Historical Society, the Rowayton Library, a Gardeners Club, and a Parents Exchange. Rowayton annually plays host to a Shakespearean production at Pinkney Park, produced by Shakespeare on the Sound, and also has an active community of artists, many of whom are associated with the Rowayton Arts Center.
The Rowayton coastline has been a source of inspiration for centuries. John Frederick Kensett, a famous nineteenth-century landscape painter of the Hudson School, frequently painted this seascape in his later life. This tradition has been carried on in an active local arts scene.
Rowayton is home to a host of beaches, three of which—Roton Point, Bayley Beach, and a coastal enclave of Wee Burn Country Club—share a common history. In the early 20th century, the properties of all three made up the Roton Point Amusement Park. A boat landing attached to Sunset Rock, just to the West of Belle Island, allowed steam boats to bring day-trippers from New York City to the park. A trolley ran from both Darien and Norwalk, arriving at the Park via Highland Avenue and over present-day Langdon Preserve, located across from Farm Creek. At the Amusement Park, amenities included a bath house, a picnic grove, and rides ranging from the classic carousel to roller coasters with stunning views of the beach.
"Rock Ledge" Estate
The former Rock Ledge estate at 33 and 40-42 Highland Avenue was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. In 1910, James A. Farrell, later president of the United States Steel Corporation, built a Tudor revival mansion, which burned down in 1913 and was rebuilt in granite. The estate was later bought by the Remington Rand Corporation, developers of the UNIVAC computer, which merged with Sperry Corporation to form Sperry Rand. Since 1966, the Farrell family stables have been converted to the Rowayton Community Center and the Rowayton Library. In 1964, part of the estate was purchased by the Thomas School for girls, a day and boarding school founded by Mabel Thomas in 1922. The school later merged with other private schools in the area, eventually becoming King Low Heywood Thomas in 1988. The school is now co-educational and located in Stamford, Connecticut. The mansion and attached office building were previously owned by Hewitt Associates. Currently, the main house of the estate is home to Graham Capital.
Notable people, past and present
- Philip Caputo, author whose best-known work is A Rumor of War (1977)
- Crockett Johnson, cartoonist and creator of children's books (Harold and the Purple Crayon)
- John Frederick Kensett, nineteenth-century artist
- Ruth Krauss, author of children's books
- Andy Rooney, author, humorist, television commentator
- Emily Rooney, TV producer, journalist, and host
- Treat Williams, movie actor, Prince of the City etc.
- Stefan Schnabel, Broadway (Plain and Fancy, Three Penny Opera, etc.), movie actor (Counterfit Traitor, Firefox, etc.)and Doctor Jackson on Guiding Light
- Meg Foster, actress with very blue eyes and many credits
- Jerome Beatty, author with a great sense of humor and writer for the Saturday Review, Colliers, Esquire, etc.
- Jimmy Ernst, artist and teacher
- Jim Flora, commercial illustrator
- Richard Bissell, author of popular Broadway musicals
- Horace McMahon, actor and little league umpire
- Billy Rose, Ziegfeld impresario and theatrical showman, married to Fanny Brice
- Betsy Palmer, actress and 1950s TV personality
- Ian Falconer, children's book author, illustrator, and set/costume designer
- Hal Prince, Broadway producer of shows
- Emily Levine, humorist
- Gabor Peterdi, artist
- Ward Chamberlin, PBS executive
- Albert Markov, violinist and composer
- Leslie Charleson, TV actress
- Kay Boyle, novelist and short story author, taught at Thomas School on Bluff Avenue
- David Bergamini, author of Japan's Imperial Conspiracy and Time-Life Books
-  Forbes.com "Most Expensive Zip Codes". Retrieved March 2012
-  Shakespeare on the Sound
- Arthur L. Norberg, Computers and Commerce: A Study of Technology and Management at Eckert-Mauchly Computer Company, Engineering Research Associates, and Remington Rand, 1946–1957 (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2005).
-  "If You're Thinking of Living in: Rowayton" by Rosalie R. Radomsky, an article in The New York Times Real Estate section, July 4, 2006, accessed 2006
-  Rowayton Historical Society, Retrieved March 2012
-  King Low Heywood Thomas "History". Retrieved March 2012
- Civic Association
- Historical Society
- Rowayton Library
- Rowayton Arts Center
- Shakespeare on the Sound
- Rowayton School
- Rowayton Kids of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s
- Sale of 40 Highland Avenue a.k.a. "Rock Ledge Estate"