Roswell Burrows Fitch (1833-1908) was born in the seaside village of Noank to parents Elisha and Mary P. Fitch. At twelve years of age he commenced to be self-supporting, and from then until he was fourteen, occupied a clerkship in a general store in town. In his teens, summers were spent aboard ships fishing for a livelihood, and his winters attending school. Upon completing his education, he became clerk in a store, and was afterwards engaged to assume the management of a union store which was erected for the special purpose of being placed under his charge. This building was constructed as the union store in 1851 with eighteen-year-old Roswell becoming an active partner in the business. In his twenties, he slowly bought out, one-by-one, the twelve other owners, until he possessed absolute control. The eclectic Greek Revival and Italianate style building features classical detailing, but with a bracketed cornice and gambrel roof which is capped by a parapet. Mr. Fitch retired from business in 1890 and got to work “Victorianizing” his nearby home. Stay tuned for the next post which features his home in Noank.