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Town of Litchfield










Facts of Interest

Year Town Incorporated: 1721
Form of Government: Board of Selectmen
Geographic Location; SE Tip of Region
Geographic Area; 57.3 square miles
Current Population: Est. 9,000 (2005)
Median Household Income: $58,418 (2000)
Number of People in Labor Pool: 994
Total Households: 949 (‘94)
Average Home Price: $378,098 (‘94)
Assessed Value of Community: $267, 230, 940 (1997)
Public Safety: Resident State Trooper
Health Care: Extensive
Sales Tax: 6%
Low-Rise Facilities: Zoned Commercial with small Industrial Area (35ft. height restriction)


Litchfield History
LITCHFIELD , Connecticut | Litchfield Historical Society

Founded in 1721, Litchfield was designated the county seat in 1751, and by the 1790's the town had become the leading commercial, social, cultural and legal center of Northwestern Connecticut. Its population grew from 1,366 in 1756 to 2,544 in 1774, and by 1810 Litchfield was the fourth largest settlement in the state with a population of 4,639.

Unlike many Connecticut towns, Litchfield prospered during the Revolution. While Connecticut's coastal and river towns were under constant attack by British forces, and while New York City was occupied by the British, Litchfield became a major "safe town" of the Continental forces. The main roads from Hartford and Southern Connecticut to the Hudson Valley ran through Litchfield and most of the provisions and munitions for the Continental Army beyond the Hudson followed this route. Litchfield became a chief depot for military stores and a safe place to jail Loyalist prisoners.

Beginning in 1784, Litchfield lawyer, Tapping Reeve, systematized his law lectures for young students, creating the Litchfield Law School. Reeve was the first to develop a series of formal, regular lectures that insured that all students had access to the same body of knowledge. The lectures became so popular that in 1784 Reeve built a small school building adjacent to his house to accommodate his growing classes, and to house his law library. Over its 60 year history, more than 1,500 men graduated from the Litchfield Law School, many of them going on to distinguished careers. The list of graduates includes two Vice Presidents, Aaron Burr and John C. Calhoun, over 100 members of the House of Representatives, 28 senators, 14 governors, 14 cabinet members, 34 State Supreme Court Justices, and 3 Justices of the United States Supreme Court.

Established in 1792, Sarah Pierce's Litchfield Female Academy was one of the first major educational institutions for women in the United States. Over its forty-one year history the school enrolled more than 2,000 students, established a national reputation, and evolved a highly challenging academic curriculum. The school was an institution in transition, begun as a typical small select or private school which offered a simple course of academic and ornamental subjects taught by single teacher, later becoming a large female academy with a full staff of teachers and an academic curriculum rivaling the best schools of the period.

The Reverend Dan Huntington, a Congregational minister in the town from 1798 to 1809, wrote upon his arrival in Litchfield: "A delightful village on a fruitful hill, richly endowed with schools both professional and scientific, with its venerable governors and judges, with its learned lawyers, and senators both in the national and state departments and with a population both enlightened and respectable, Litchfield was now in its glory."
Litchfield's fortunes declined during the later years of the nineteenth century. The town did not have the ample water supply and rail transportation necessary to establish industry and the village became a sleepy backwater. Rediscovered as a resort community in the late nineteenth century Litchfield became a popular spot for vacation, weekend and summer homes. The town embraced the Colonial Revival movement and by the early Century many of the homes began to sport the white paint and black shutters we see today.







Centrally located in the scenic Northwest Hills of Connecticut, the historic New England town of Litchfield offers abundant opportunity for sightseeing, recreation, shopping, dining, and cultural activities. Well-known residents have included author, Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Town of Litchfield
Town Offices
74 West Street, P.O. Box 488
Litchfield, CT 06759

Town Clerk | 860. 567.7561



Bantam Fine Arts
325 Bantam Lake Road - (860) 567-3337
Thomas Pikul has been a dealer in American and European works of art, including watercolor art and original oil paintings, since June 1980. Bantam Fine Arts, located in Bantam, Connecticut, specializes in New England artists. Bantam Fine Arts also has watercolors, etchings, Gouaches, and some European art in its inventory. The art gallery also sells antique frames. The mission of the gallery is to provide collectors with high quality art works, including wildlife art and marine art, by deceased and contemporary
New Arts Gallery
513 Maple Street - (860) 567-4851
Opened its doors in 1996 exhibiting works by both internationally recognized and newly emerging artists from both the US and abroad. The gallery has become recognized for its world class exhibitions as well as its commitment to exhibiting thought provoking, significant works of art in all media. The gallery’s program of exhibitions include a schedule of both solo and group exhibitions in the main and north galleries as well as an ongoing rotating exhibit of gallery artists in our lower gallery space.
P S Gallery
41 West Street - (860) 567-1059


Aspen Garden
51 West St. Litchfield, CT (860) 567-9477
Catering, Italian, Greek, American, Seafood, Chicken, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Dine In - Carry out

Bistro East
Litchfield - (860) 567-9040
Bohemian Pizza & Ditto's
342 Bantam Road (Rt 202)Litchfield, CT 06759
(860) 567-3980 Bar: (860) 567-0589
Offers a fun and diverse environment with a little something for everyone! Our new Spring/Summer menu 2008 is here with an assortment of new items to choose from and this month is jam packed with talented bands and fun entertainment.
Chuck's Steak House
Litchfield - (860) 567-1414
La Cupola Ristorante and Inn
Litchfield - (860)-567-3326
Litchfield - (860) 567-0809
Senor Pancho's
Litchfield - (860) 567-3663
West Street Grill
43 West St., Litchfield - (860) 567-3885
Chef James Cosgriff, 24, a Wolcott native, is the latest in a long line of West Street chefs who have combined their talents with the cooking instincts O'Shea developed growing up by the sea in Ireland. The result is a menu full of flavorful dishes that are sizeable and, for the most part, reasonably priced given their quality


Wood's Pit B.B.Q. & Mexican Cafe
123 Bantam Lake Road, Route 209
Bantam, Connecticut 06750
(860) 567-9869
Best B.B.Q. around!

Toll Gate Hill Inn and Restaurant
Litchfield - (860) 567-1233
Is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as the Captain William Bull Tavern. It has been welcoming visitors since 1745 when the main house became a popular way-station for travelers on the Hartford-Litchfield-Albany axis, a busy thoroughfare in colonial times.

Litchfield County Jail
Litchfield, CT
Former Litchfield County Jail (1812) located on a prominent corner in the National Register historic district and the local historic district. The building is currently used by a state social service agency, but there is a possibility that the agency may relocate and the building may become available for restoration & a new public use.

Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT 06759
Invites visitors to explore the evolution of a small New England town. Furniture, historic clothing, household objects and paintings reveal Litchfield's history from its earliest European settlement to the present day. The museum's seven galleries highlight family life and work during the fifty years after the American Revolution, a time when Litchfield was a bustling commercial, political, and educational center. Hands-on areas help visitors discover the town's past.
Litchfield Performing Arts is

A 26-year-old not-for-profit dedicated to the arts and arts education. LPA runs The Litchfield Jazz Festival, The Litchfield Jazz Camp, Project Poetry Live!, The Belsky Piano Competition, and more!
(860) 567-4162
Haight-Brown Vineyard
Chestnut Hill Litchfield, CT 06759
Situated on ten pastoral acres, representative of a New England farm winery. The Tasting Room includes a custom built wine bar for tasting each of the eleven vintages, guided by the knowledge of educated and friendly staff, a terrace for sipping wine in lazy summer days, and a stone fireplace for lingering during chilly winter ones.
Mt. Tom State Park
Route 202, 860-567-8870
Description: Summit is 1,325 feet above sea level with stone tower on top. Hiking trail, lake swimming, picnicking, fishing, boating (non-motor), scuba diving.
Tapping Reeve House
82 South Street, Litchfield, CT 06759
America's first law school with graduates including Aaron Burr, John C. Calhoun, and over one hundred members of Congress. Permanent exhibit reveals the study of Reeve, the school, the students and their experiences in Litchfield.
Topsmead State Farm
Buell Road
Litchfield, CT 06759
An English Tudor cottage, former summer home of Edith M. Chase, with beautiful formal gardens surrounding it. Tours are offered from June through October on the second and fourth weekends of the month.
White Memorial
Conservation Center
80 Whitehall Road
Litchfield, Connecticut 06759
(860) 567-0857

Environmental Education Center and Nature Museum

Connecticut's largest nature center has over 35 miles (56 km) of walking trails for enjoying the flora and fauna, and several prime perches for birdwatching, just outside Litchfield.
Wisdom House Retreat & Conference Center
229 East Litchfield Road, Litchfield, Connecticut 06759-3002

(860) 567-3163
A interfaith center which welcomes women and men who value seeking and learning in a contemplative environment. The center is a ministry of the Daughters of Wisdom of the United States Province.
As a country retreat and conference center, Wisdom House spans 54 acres of meadows, woods and brooks. Indoor and outdoor sanctuary areas and labyrinth encourage meditation, prayer and creative thinking.